The quote “Throw kindness around like confetti” is one of my favorite sayings, and one that I see everywhere! I’ve always thought of this quote as the perfect visual behind the idea of using random acts of kindness in our daily lives, but what does this “kind-fetti” truly look like to others?
Photo by Studio Eiler @studioeiler
This post was inspired by a challenge that I participated in throughout the month of July called The Random Love Letter Challenge. The challenge was held on Instagram and hosted by three very talented artists – Olivia, Jackie, and Mandy. Each day, anyone who wanted to join in on this challenge would leave an inspiring or motivating note in the form of a quote or message somewhere for someone to find. Some people left their notes in menus, others left them on shelves in stores, and some were even left out in more public places like telephone poles or parking meters! We would then post up our pictures on Instagram tagging @randomloveletter as well as #randomloveletter. There were even a few times when people would connect with others who found their note! You can see a gallery of my random love letters from the challenge at the bottom of this post!
July consists of 31 days, giving me 31 opportunities to reflect on the idea of kindness and what it truly means. I think one of the best things about getting older is continuing to evolve into better versions of ourselves with the character traits that we learned as children. Kindness, a concept that I teach to my kindergartners every day is an idea that we as adults can learn more about, too (in a more “adultish” way of course). This challenge really served as 31 mini reflections for me on kindness, each leading me to think a little deeper about this idea of throwing kindness around like confetti.
Kindness can be random, but also intentional
While I do think we should “throw kindness around like confetti,” I also think our “throws” can be somewhat intentional. While my love letters that I stuck around were definitely random in many ways, I also chose to be intentional with my words and some of their placements as the days went on. Some days I left my “love letter” for a specific person to find and wrote with them in mind, and then there were other days when I wrote a more general, positive note for anyone to find, hoping that whoever did find it would connect with its words in some way.
Intentional words also radiate empathy, and I truly believe that empathy is one of the core pieces of kindness. Writing an intentional note that encourages others to keep going and to not give up acknowledges the fact that life can be difficult sometimes and that whoever reads it is not going through this life alone. This challenge made me consider who might find my note and what words they might need to see in that moment.
No piece of kind-fetti is too small
These notes literally took me 2 minutes at the most to write and stick somewhere. I carried around post-its in my bag wherever I went, and when my heart put an idea for a quote in my mind or a placement inspired me, I wrote it out and left it for someone to find. This simple paper/pen gesture of 2 minutes could be the words that could cause someone to smile despite a bad day, or think about something that is going on in their life in a different way. Everyone has something that the are struggling with or a battle that they are fighting. Simply seeing the words, “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be AMAZING,” could strike a chord with someone and be just what they need to power through the day or take the next step with something that has been causing them an internal struggle. At the same time, seeing a cute message like, “Enjoy your meal” inside of a menu could be an unexpected surprise that could make someone smile. No message or act of kind-fetti is too small to leave!
Trust in where your kind-fetti falls
Whenever I left these notes around, I never knew who would find them or how they would feel about the message I left. I never knew if 30 people would see it, or if one person would see it and then take it or even throw it away. Either way, I knew at least ONE person would read my note which meant that there was at least one chance that someone would be impacted by what I chose to write that day. Imagine if we all left one note around each day and one person saw it. Now imagine if we all left one note around each day and 70 people saw it. You never know how many people you could touch with a simple act of kindness, but even reaching one would be making a difference. You are making someone think, even if it’s only for a fleeting moment. Trust in what could come from that one thought, that one second, because it could be something amazing!
Bonus: Shower yourself with kind-fetti!
For so long when I thought about kindness, I never thought about being kind to myself. I just didn’t. We are taught throughout schooling and our youth that it is important to be kind to others and treat others the way we want to be treated, but what about treating yourself with kindness, too? We are so hard on ourselves sometimes. We become frustrated by things like our bodies, our parenting, our daily mental struggles, and our job performances. Some days we downright question whether or not we are doing this thing called life correctly. I know I am guilty of most of these thoughts. But why? Why do I think it’s okay constantly be tough on myself?
My new mantra?
“If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself.”- Jane Travis
This was a game changer quote for me this past year. So many of these notes that I left around for others to see I actually needed to see myself. One part of this challenge I enjoyed was visiting the @randomloveletter page and scrolling through the kind notes that others participating the challenge were leaving for others. I needed to read those words and I needed to take the advice that I was handing out each day. It’s so important that we save some of our kind-fetti for ourselves. Be kind to yourself because your heart is listening!
If you are on Instagram, I encourage you to visit the page @randomloveletter to see pictures from the July challenge, and to stay updated on challenges in the future! If you’re not on Instagram, maybe consider starting your own Random Love Letter Challenge or another “daily acts of kindness challenge” with your family or friends at work! I hope you enjoy the gallery of my letters at the bottom of the post! It includes the 31 letters that I left around for others to find throughout the month of July!
The best way to throw kind-fetti around is to do what your heart is telling you to do in that moment, whether that is leaving a random love letter, paying for someone’s coffee, or just giving a warm smile to someone passing by on the street. Being intentional and honest with your acts of kindness whenever the moment strikes your heart means that they will be random throughout your day, and that they will be coming from a place of empathy and love.
Time to go shower the world with your kind-fetti! Have fun!!!
Wishing you zest & light,