If I asked you what a “RAK” is many of you might say, “oh it’s an animal in central asia.” Although you were close with that answer, you’re thinking of a “Yak.” A RAK is not an animal. It is, however, something that can be found in over 85 countries.
A “movement” called Random Acts of Kindness has sprouted up around the world. A “RAK” is simply an act of kindness for a stranger that encourages him or her or makes the person smile. The randomness of it is that it is not for someone you know personally well and the person who experiences the kindness would probably consider it to be “random.”
Here is a list of 10 ideas for a RAK that I took from a couple different websites:
- Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
- Tip your waiter/waitress and leave an encouraging note on the table.
- Leave change at a laundromat for people to use if needed.
- Put your phone away while interacting with a stranger.
- Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life.
- Let someone go in front of you in line who only has a few items.
- Pick up the next piece of trash you come by on the ground.
- Say thank you to a security guard, yard guy, or janitor.
- Write a thank you note to someone who did something for you.
- Put a candy bar in a random locker with an encouraging note.
Since we know that acts of kindness are literally contagious, the RAK you do can inspire the person who receives it. Additionally, there is also a pretty good chance the person will tell his or her friends about it and that will inspire a RAK ripple effect throughout our community. I would challenge those in our community to do a RAK in the next week and if you do, shoot me an email and tell me about it.