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Spreading Kindness, One February at a Time

January 24th, 2016 by

Two years ago, Beverly Therapists launched a “Random Acts of Kindness” project in our neighborhood, asking people to perform random, anonymous acts of kindness for strangers. We requested that people leave a card, asking the recipient to “pay it forward” and gift someone else an act of kindness. It was a fun challenge for those who participated.

Who knew it could be so hard to get a stranger to accept a no-strings attached gift? Suspicion, and even a cold, brisk “no thanks” surprised one man who tried to give away tickets outside of a music venue. However, he hit the jackpot when the accepting recipient exclaimed that she felt so lucky having decided last minute to attend the event by herself: it “made her day”.

My jackpot moment was after “Random Acts of Kindness” month was over and I was behind someone unable to pay for their small grocery order at County Fair. As the woman started removing items one at a time to recalculate her total, I stepped forward and announced that I would cover it. Surprisingly, I felt nervous that I might embarrass the lady and somehow felt anxious by the act of unexpectedly speaking up. She looked at me seemingly shocked, and with a little encouragement, accepted. As I walked to my car, she found me. We both had tears in our eyes, and hugged. I told her, “We are all in this together”. I never saw that woman again, but the moment will always be with me.

It is in giving that we receive. And I think, in receiving we experience a surprise dose of joy and perhaps some part of us remembers again to trust, like a young child, that there is true kindness and that we are not alone.

Please join Beverly Therapists in our 3rd Annual Random Acts of Kindness event for the entire month of February. Look for our posters at businesses throughout the neighborhood, such as Ellie’s Café, Blossom Boys and BAPA. You will also find cards that you can leave or give with your random act of kindness. Please use #kindnessinbeverly on your social media to build an online community album documenting our collaborative kindness, and to be entered in a gratitude giveaway for those who participate. If you are not on social media: leave a text, send a photo, or leave a message with Jennifer Lara, LCPC at 773-251-8016, and she will spread the good word!

Let’s unleash the kindness potential in our neighborhood! Join us in the challenge; join us in the fun!

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About the Author

Lisa Catania, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice with more than 20 years of experience with helping individuals develop insight and understanding of their wonderfully complex psyches. She is a co-founder of Beverly Therapists, a local collaborative of experienced and caring counseling professionals. To reach Beverly Therapists, call 773-310-3488; or, to reach Lisa directly, call 773-719-1751.

Beverly Therapists

Beverly Therapists