Let’s All Engage in Unexpected Kindness

Off-white string of cutout paper dolls against a dark gray background. Image courtesy of PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay.

Studies show that doing something nice for someone else improves our own sense of well-being.


As you may know, May is Mental Health Awareness Month. It’s a great opportunity to check in with yourself, your friends and family, and your neighbors. How are you, really?

We all need connection with other human beings, maybe now more than ever before. Yet, there is something that has changed since the height of the pandemic. We want connections and many of us don’t have the energy to go out and make it happen. It’s easier to stay at home and do our own thing. Easier, maybe. It’s not healthier, though.

I’m wondering what would happen if we all made a bit more of an effort to share the joy of life with one another, and with those around us. Would you be willing to make May a “Random Acts of Kindness” month?

It’s simple enough. Just do something nice and unexpected for someone else. Bring cookies to your neighbors. Drop off a plant for a friend. Send a note of gratitude to someone. Pay for the coffee of the person behind you in line. Be generous. Be thoughtful. Be spontaneous.

Then tell us what you did right here in the comments on this post. If you can take a photo of your endeavors, email it to me. If you have permission from everyone in the photo, we can share them on Sunday morning. (You don’t need to take a photo of the people involved. You can take a selfie of the cookies, the coffee, the plant, etc. that you are sharing, and tell us about your experience.)

Please have fun with this! And notice how you feel after engaging in an act of unexpected kindness toward someone else.

I look forward to all our adventures in kindness and connection.

About Rachael Keefe

Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe is the pastor of Living Table United Church of Christ. She was called to Living Table in 2015 after serving in many varied ministry settings since her ordination in 1992. She holds graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Seminary at Yale (formerly Andover Newton Theological School). Her ministry and leadership often center around advocacy and accessibility. Her writing has been published by Chalice Press, The Christian Century, Red Letter Christians, Working Preacher, RevGalBlogPals, and others. She is grateful to be in ministry with Living Table today.

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3 thoughts on “Let’s All Engage in Unexpected Kindness”

  1. Though I didn’t see this post until this afternoon, I did a kindness this morning, though I really would say some of it was self-interest: I take part in a monthly spiritual directors’ support group, and I was inspired to grab about ten different books with spiritual themes (a few spiritual memoir, a book of poetry of Zen interpretations of some of the Psalms, and one of Anne Lamott’s lovely collection of essays) and take them to my group give away. What fun as my colleagues eagerly chose a book or two that they wanted to read. Each book was one I enjoyed, and cherished–and that I realized I wanted to let go of. I have realized that almost never do I go back and reread something.

    And: I now have a few more spaces on my shelves! (Resist…resist…)

  2. Doug, this is excellent! I also engaged in an act of kindness today after I wrote this essay. I was at Starbucks in the drive-thru. The car behind me had an adult, two children in car seats and a barking dog. (I assume their dog was barking at my dog who was barking for his pup-cup.) I paid for their order. It seemed the right person to just be kind to.
    I can’t wait to see what others are doing.

  3. I am caring for my sister after her heart surgery. We are polar opposites in our thinking. I am doing my very best to care for her while letting any seriously conservative comments not get to me.


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