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Acts of Kindness (Female; Age 14; New Jersey)

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Acts of Kindness. We always hear people say “you should go out of your way to help others”. Parents say it; teachers say it; it is a key point in being a nice person. The examples usually given for that are “smile at someone to brighten their day” or “hold open the door for people.” But “going out of your way to help someone” is so much more than that.

Acts of Kindness…Going Out of Your Way

For awhile I never really understood with true meaning of “going out of your way” was. Is it to actually do something that would cause you to physically go out of your way? Is it just something nice that you should do? I could never grasp the exact definition of the phrase, but recently the answer was shown to me with much clarity.

Walt Disney World Monorail - Monorail Black

Walt Disney World Monorail – Monorail Black (Photo credit: Evan Wohrman)

Over winter break my family and I went to Disney World. To get one of the parks we had to take a tram, and it was difficult for us to load in the stroller and all the bags that we had. One day when we were particularly struggling to fit the stroller into the door and a man who we did not know went out of his way to open the door and help us load stuff. This is an example of “going the extra mile”. This man who did not even know us, had no reason to jump up and help us, but he did it anyway.

It is a little act of kindness like this that helps define the meaning of “going out of your way to help someone.” The phrase does not just mean smiling at your friends. While it is nice to do that and while that is also an act of kindness, we should challenge ourselves to help everyone and anyone- even someone we might not know.

Now that doesn’t mean going to a stranger’s house and offering to help the clean their garage. That means if you see someone struggling with something, even if you might not know their name or who they are, try to help them out. The small act of kindness you do might make a big impact on the person help!