Random Acts of Kindness

by Derek Clark

A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

My wife and I recently added a new line to our budget. Random acts of kindness. It isn’t going to be huge, just a few bucks a month, but I think it will be a very rewarding thing for us. Remember that generosity was the last principle in my series on Proverbs Guide to Finance.

I got the idea while out to dinner with my family for my Mom’s birthday last week. On a whim I decided to buy everyone’s meal. It wasn’t a birthday present, I’d already given her that. My dad and I got her a Blu-ray player with Wi-fi built in so she could get Netflix. She’s a big fan. Anyways, back to the point. I just thought it would be nice to buy my family’s supper that night. Just as the Proverb said, it was very refreshing.

Random Acts of Kindness

So we decided to add a new category to our budget. It is strictly going to be for doing nice things for people for no reason at all. It could be for someone it need, or it might just be someone random. It could just be doing a nice thing for friends and family who don’t need it at all, just to show we care. We will probably pick up the tab when going out to eat with our friends more often. It might be paying for the person behind us at a drive thru. Maybe we decide to buy a meal for somebody next to us when we are out for dinner.

What we decide to do isn’t really important. It is just nice to brighten somebodies day. It is letting people know that people still care. Free Money Finance talked about this type of creative giving awhile back here and here. Several people commented that it was silly to give money to people that didn’t need it while others need it more. Here was my response that was included in the second article.

I completely disagree with those saying you should only give to those desperately in need. I’ve seen this done, and had it done for me and it really brightens that persons day. The person may or may not need it financially, but it is always nice to know that there are caring generous people out there. You can make a difference in the life of an average joe just as much as someone who is homeless. We should be striving to make the world a better place for everyone we meet. I especially like those who are giving to people in the military or some such.

Giving to those in need is great, and we should do as much as we can for people we know need help. However, sometimes you don’t know who might need your help. It isn’t always financial. Maybe they just need reminded that people still care and that there are good people still out there. The person behind you in line at McDonald’s can almost certainly afford their double cheeseburger. That isn’t the point. If you can show a person in need that people care, it is worth way more than $3.98, or whatever the total happens to be.

If anybody has any stories of doing something like this I’d love to hear them. If you have other ideas for creative ways to give I’m all ears as well.


Invest It Wisely October 14, 2010 at 10:39 am

This would be quite an interesting way to brighten up anyone’s day, especially if it is a surprise!

Amanda L Grossman October 17, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Hello Christian Common Cents!

I saw the title to this article, and had to invite you over to my blog. I started something called $5 Left at the End of the Month in September, where we strive to come within $5 of our budget, and then to spend that $5 on a Random Act of Kindness (RAC). I have reader participation, and in September, we had a kindness impact at $160! I’d love for you to join (specifically on Wednesday I have a scheduled post where I’m asking for reader participation to brainstorm RACs to commit).

Regardless, I am glad you guys are doing this.

Derek Clark October 17, 2010 at 5:59 pm

That’s awesome. I’ll plan on joining in that conversation.

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