Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Random Acts of Kindness Paperback – August 1, 2002
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 70%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
Bestselling author Dapne Rose Kingma writes the forward, and there is an introduction by Dr. Dawna Markova. But about 63 others participated in stories and ideas for this book. It is a group project than transcends anyone author.
The concept of random of kindness is an antidote to the concept of random acts of violence. Random of kindess are far more common than random acts of violence, and the more they are encouraged, the more they should dominate.
Random acts of kindness can be both as simple as talking to strangers, as inconspicuous as allowing people in a hurry to get ahead of you in line, as generous as doing unsolicited chores for people in need, as philanthropic as paying for a stranger's dinner or sending books to a sick child.
Random acts of kindness can be as fulfilling as climbing a tree after a runaway child, and then leading the child down, or as planting a tree that others will enjoy decades letter. They can be forbearance in the case of a minor traffic accident or of a personal debt. They can be meaningful advice given, compassion and empathy shared. They can be tips given in appreciation of the server instead of the value of the service. They can be the willingness to let others act on misunderstandings despite some element of personal sacrifice by the actor.
The endless examples of the ways people can treat others with random kindness are well sampled in this book. So are inspirational quotes.
Pennsylvania founder William Penn says "If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do, let me do it now, and not dter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again." Martin Luther King describes the concept of agape as "understanding, create redemptive goodwill toward all men...and overflowing love which seeks nothing in return. When you rise to love on this level, you love all men not because you like them, not because their ways appeal to you, but you love them because God loves them."
The Dalai Lama says "My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness." Jesus says "If you bring forth what is inside of you, what you bring forth will save you. If you don't bring forth what is inside of you, what you don't bring forth will destroy you."
Herman Melville says "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among these fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects." William James says "I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest moments of pride."
M.C. Richards says "Compassion is an alternate perception." Albert Einstein says "A human being is part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest--a kind of optical illusion of conscioiusness. The illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature."
So having demonstrated the relevance and the vitality of the random acts of kindness philosophy to both everyday situations and to the thoughts of the world's greatest humanitarians, the authors praise part of the beauty of the concept of random acts of kindness as "the turnaround from the ugliest and most frightening of all phrases: random acts of violence....It's so easy to fear. It's so easy to create an almost palpable reality out of our imagined teerror. Random acts of kindness ring pure and true to that fear, as life-confirming revolutionary acts."
"Kindness," the authors say, "is soft and bubtle. It permeates everything it comes in contact with, remains as a permanent reminder of what could and should be."
At some level, this is a book of great idealism. At another level, it is a book of great pragmatism. A world of kind people is a world that values all people and gives all people the great gift of a friendly and supportive environment.
This reviewer can think of no one who would not beneift from reading this book. At a practical, everyday level it is an invaluable guide to building up communities of hope, trust, friendship, and love. It seeks not a Utopia on Earth, but communities around the globe worthy of the best aspirations of our most profound and visionary insprirational leaders and the day to day lives of our nicest and kindest people.
There are lots of books that talk about doing good from a selfish point of view, sometimes politely called "enlightened self-interest", but this is motivational book for people who want to be altruistic and intrinsically good. If you want to reach Maslow's fifth level, then this is a book for you.
kindness in the world," notes Daphne Rose Kingma in the foreword
to RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS by the editors of Conari
Press . . . you'd bring "delight and goodness
to yourself and others."
Methinks that could well be possible; i.e., if everybody took
the time to read this short but oh-so-powerful book . . . it is
packed with practical ideas that can be applied to work
situations, such as the following:
I had a client who owed me a good deal of money.
Eventually she stopped seeing me, but each month
I would send her a bill and receive no response.
Finally I wrote to her and said, "I don't know what
difficulty has befallen you that you are unable to pay
me, but whenever it is, I'm writing to tell you your debt
is forgiven in full. My only request is that at some point
in your life, when your circumstances have changed, you
will pass this favor on to someone else."
By the same token, there were perhaps an equal number
of things that could be utilized if you wanted to make
your home life more enjoyable, including this one:
There was a time in my life when everything was working
so smoothly, I found myself sitting at home one Saturday
with all my work done, all my household chores completed:
dishes washed, laundry folded and put away, house dusted,
grocery shopping completed, and that delicious feeling of
having nothing to do. Then I thought about a friend from
work who was a single mother of two small children and
never seemed to have the time for anything. I jumped into
my car, drove over to her house, walked in and said, "Put
me to work." At first she didn't really believe it, but we ended
up having a great time, cleaning like mad, taking time out to
feed and play with the kids, and then diving back into the
I also liked the quotes sprinkled throughout the book . . . what
caught my attention was the fact that many had not been
seen by me previously, including:
* Do every act of your life as if it were your last.--Marcus Aurelius;
* I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community,
and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it whatever
I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the
harder I work, the more I live. Life is no "brief candle" to me.
It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for a
moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible
before handing it on to future generations.--George Bernard Shaw; and
The question is not whether we will die, but how we will live.--Joan
Lastly, I appreciated the thought-provoking suggestions presented
throughout RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS . . . among the ones
that caught my attention were these:
* As you go about your day, why not pick up the trash you find on
* Buy a big box of donuts or chocolates for the office next to yours
Or the kids who hang out on the street corner. Or the UPS person
or the mail carrier.
* If you have an infirmed person living near you, offer to do the grocery
shopping for him or her.