Home > Society and Culture > Why We Need to Stop the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Movement

Why We Need to Stop the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Movement




Each week, at least one viral video pops up on my social news feeds showcasing a random act of kindness (RAK).  These videos tend to pull at the heartstrings and even inspire people to go out and perform their own act of kindness (which is often then uploaded for the world to see).

So, what’s got my feathers in a ruffle about the RAK movement?  It’s not that the acts themselves bother me, it’s that we even need a movement of this sort that I find curious.  Since when was kindness just a courtesy extended to fellow human beings?  Isn’t kindness a way of being, rather than just a single momentary act?  Why do we need to be reminded to be kind?

That’s not all that bothers me about this movement.  I’m also troubled by the number of RAK videos published in an attempt to garner views/likes/self-promotion.  Why does someone have to prove that they were kind?  Shouldn’t kindness be its own reward?  Often, these acts of kindness caught on video are extended to the most marginalized peoples in our communities.  That’s great!  But, why do we have to further marginalize them by using them to publicly self-gratify?

Random acts of kindness hasn’t just become a movement; it’s also become a marketing tool.  For example, just last year in 2013, Canadian airline, WestJet, released a Christmas video (complete with an appropriately branded blue-suited Santa) showing employees of the company performing a monumental random act of kindness for some of their passengers.  To date, the video has over 35 44 million views.  How’s that for some effective advertising?

Final Thought: BE KIND – each and every day.  Live and breathe kindness, so it becomes a part of your soul.  While a single random act of kindness can certainly benefit a person or a moment, BEING KIND extends beyond a single person, community, or moment.  It lasts a lifetime – your lifetime.  And a life lived in kindness is a life rewarded with kindness.

M. xo

*Post updated March 2016*

WestJet Christmas Miracle video

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