Random Acts of Kindness

I don't like them.

They seem like the perfect antithesis to random acts of violence and tragedy, but they are not.

I would hope we all find any act of violence disturbing, but there is a difference between a criminal who gets his due because of a double cross or something and a 3 year old who is struck by a drunk driver.

It is the randomness of the act that is so hard to understand, that empties our soul of purpose and meaning - leaving us hollow and barren.

Doing random acts of kindness to counterbalance random acts of violence does nothing to refresh the soul and to imbue it with purpose and meaning and resolve.

Random acts of kindness are as meaningless as random acts of violence. They do not occur because the person is in some way deserving of it, they occur for no reason, for no point.

For kindness to be effective it must have a purpose, it must flow from genuine and sincere belief, meaning and intent. It may be spontaneous, but it cannot be random.

The antidote to random acts of violence are purposeful acts of kindness.

Image copyright Rene Schwietzke, used with permission under the Creative Commons License. It was taken from here.

Comments

Tena said…
Once the driver behind me on the highway paid my toll. Who was that masked man, Kemo Sabe?

(If you have to Google Kemo Sabe, you're a lot younger than I am.)
Richard said…
tena: sadly, I am not that young. I now find watching those shows incredibly uncomfortable because they are so filled with pretty poor stereotypes (which, as a kid, I didn't notice).

My whole point was on the pointlessness of random acts over deliberate acts.
ghee said…
i cant agree more,Richard...so sad but true..

when`s your flight in the phil?
Richard said…
ghee: I have no immediate plans. Maybe 2020?
b said…
Yeah, I think the point of contention being the word "random." I think that acts of genuine kindness towards strangers are wonderful. But when I think of my own acts of kindness in this regard, I feel that I genuinely want to share that kindness with others and it doesn't necessarily have to be someone with whom I feel some specific bond with because really, I feel a common human bond with everyone. So, when someone on the street asks me for money, I sometimes give it without any judgment of that action. I simply do it because there exists a genuine desire to be kind without qualifying the person.
Richard said…
breal: yes, random is the contentious point for me. Genuine acts of kindness, motivated by genuine love and concern towards others are not the problem - since the act is not random. The problem is when the kindness is random. Don't know if I am making any sense.
Ulysses said…
They do not occur because the person is in some way deserving of it...
Who doesn't deserve it?
Richard said…
ulysses : I think everyone is deserving simply by their virtue of being human - and that results in deliberate and purposeful behaviour on my part. However, if I choose to be randomly kind, then it comes out of no conviction, out of no purpose. Today I am kind, tomorrow I am not.
Depends on which end of the act you are on...if you're on the receiving end and you call it a random Act of kindness, sadly, maybe you just have not experienced much of this before and the person who performed this act may be doing so quite regularly, naturally, and genuinely..and thus it is not random for him/her. These types of people just do this...it flows easily from them and it is not random. My friend is so totally the Good Samaritan it is absolutely incredible, each and every day.

I think when people show kindness and good will towards others, it does at least a little something to restore the faith in the goodness of people.
Richard said…
MOI: to th recipient it may seem random or unexpected or heaven sent. I was thinking of it more from the doer's point of view. Ar your acts of kindness random or purposeful?
Still, it's hard to answer that because they could be responding automatically to a situation that just randomly presents itself. They don't go looking for possible recipients.

In other ways, I often purposefully do kind things for people when I decide to..a little random or sporadic but still a bit planned...little things like baking a batch of cookies and taking them next door to a flower shop where they are all busy getting ready for an open house. I took banana bread out to the builders at our place just because....
Richard said…
MOI: I think there is a difference between random and spontaneous. An example of a random act of kindness might be: you are walking downtown and suddenly give $20 to a person, for no other reason than it is a random act. You have no connection, no concern for the person, you just did the action because it is deemed "kind". A spontaneous act of kindness would be: you are walking downtown and see a beggar, you decide to bring him to a restaurant for a decent meal and give him $20 because you were moved by compassion.
freckled-one said…
Hmmm... interesting theory. It makes sense. I tend to be kind as a general rule but it's not random. I'm kind to those that are kind to me and obviously to my family and friends. Although I did once paid toll for the car behind me...Could it be?
Richard said…
freckled-one: it may seem to the driver behind you that your act was random, but as you said yourself, if came from your nature (which is to be kind).

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