Not So Random Acts of Kindness

March 30, 2011

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I’m nearing the end of the first whole month of my Happiness Project. Every day I check off things that I’ve resolved to do. Things like: exercise daily, blog daily, declutter 15 minutes daily.

Love can be yummy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography

As the month has wound to a close, I’ve realized that I’m going to drop some of these resolutions for next month. Perhaps they aren’t as important to me as I thought, or perhaps they don’t require attention daily. Or, they’re habits that are now … well, habit. (Hence, I don’t need the reminder.)

One of the resolutions for April that I want to add, however, is:

Perform One Daily Not- So-Random Act of Kindness.

“Random” makes it sound unplanned. The truth is that doing kindnesses take a little planning sometimes. If we leave things up to “random”, they may not happen.

To get a jump on the next month, I decided that I would do one Act today.

Yesterday I received my baby’s Social Security card in the mail. Not so amazing. It’s just that I was expecting a big hassle. The last two homebirths I had were in another county, and it was a big rigamarole to get the Vital Records office to communicate with Social Security. It took months to get the whole deal taken care of. I procrastinated this time because I was dreading the whole process.

Except.

This time I was helped by a wonderful woman in the Vital Records office, and was basically in and out of there in under 10 minutes. (GREAT when you go everywhere with a passel of kids!). Not only was she professional, she was downright helpful. About another, unrelated “government” issue I need to take care of. She even gave me her phone number and told me to call her in 3 weeks to check on the status of everything.

3 weeks later, I get the SS card in the mail! Totally unexpected. I was so relieved that I decided to immediately pick up the phone and call Ms. Millie Lopez to THANK her for making the whole shebang so easy.

I could tell by the sound of her voice that she was thrilled to be hearing from me. I could hear the smile in her words. I wonder how many government employees are thanked for their service? (To be fair, many of them are not worthy of thanking!)

After I got off the phone with her I had a real rush of happiness. It completely took my mind of a current problem that is causing me much vexation.

A few minutes later, I got a return call from Ms. Lopez. She wanted to know if I could send a quick email to her supervisor?

So I sat down and did just that. The good feelings continued to flow.

“Hello,

My name is Carrie Lauth Willard, and I met Ms. Lopez in the Cobb Vital Records Office. I had a homebirth in Cobb County and needed to register my daughter’s birth, obtain a birth certificate and file with Social Security Administration.

Previously I had two homebirths in Paulding County, and getting the birth certificates and SS cards were a huge hassle that took months and more than one visit to the office, etc. I was prepared for the same in Cobb, but Ms. Lopez was so lovely to deal with! Professional but more than that, truly helpful. She truly went above and beyond.

I received Ruby’s Social Security card in the mail and was shocked at how quickly it arrived. Now my husband and I can file our taxes in a timely manner. I called Ms. Lopez today to thank her for her stellar “customer” service. Please let her know that you received this email from me. Thanks so much.”

Carrie Lauth Willard

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this habit adds to my happiness and the happiness of people I encounter.

Have you ever undertaken something similar? What were your experiences?


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