I’m Will Rubio, one of the hosts of BYUtv’s Random Acts show. We take hidden cameras to unexpected places to expose random acts of kindness. We’ve filmed acts big and small, from building handicap-accessible infrastructure for folks who need it but can’t afford it to small-time good Samaritans returning a lost wallet or helping a badly burned beach-goer escape further sun damage.
And as someone whose job is literally to do nice things for people, I’m not only a very lucky guy, but I’m often asked the question, “Where can I start?”
It truly takes a village to do what Random Acts does, but every act of kindness, big or small, starts exactly the same way: with one compassionate person seeing a situation that they can help improve. These are 10 random acts of kindness that can change someone’s life right now.
On Random Acts, it may be a neighbor, a coworker, or a sister who recognizes a need and sets off an incredible chain reaction of service. Not every act of kindness will be as grandiose as a secret home renovation or a surprise helicopter ride, but every act of kindness starts small.
Take the story of Emmalene Meyers. Like many young girls, Emmalene dreamed of being a ballerina—but her cerebral palsy makes even everyday tasks a challenge. Instead of seeing a limitation, however, Emmalene’s thoughtful friend Lily saw an opportunity. Lily envisioned Emmalene’s dream being brought to life onstage and enlisted Random Acts to rally the troops and handle the logistics. I won’t give away the tear-jerking details, but you can watch the magic unfold right here.
So, where can you start? They key is to be like Lily: look for an opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem, and then take that first step towards making it happen. Being kind and doing service is just like any other attribute you want to cultivate or goal you want to achieve. You have to work at it. But the more you do it, the easier and more fulfilling it becomes. Take my word for it!
After two seasons of hosting Random Acts, the joy of easing burdens and brightening lives doesn’t wear off. I sometimes think Random Acts might lose its luster eventually, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I finally meet the person we’ve been working to surprise and see their genuine shock and appreciation, it hits me in the feels every time. I cry more than anyone else on the show—and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
One easy way you can start cultivating kindness is by checking out Reader’s Digest‘s Nicest Place in America contest. From nearly 300 nominations across the country of places where acts of niceness happen every day, Reader’s Digest selected ten finalists to showcase the very best we as Americans can be. The winner will be on the cover of the November issue of the magazine and will be announced in October when that cover is unveiled. You can help spread the word about the nicest people and places by reading about the finalists, like the local tradition around a Children’s Hospital that will melt your heart, or the tiny town that raised $45,000 in one day, or the high school where bullying isn’t tolerated and pranks make everyone feel good and many more. Share with your friends and family on Facebook and maybe you can spark a niceness movement all your own.
After all, every act of kindness starts with a single person having a single thought. Be that person–be the nice you want to see in the world!