2013-12-03 – I feel like a small boy at a wedding who just learned he is expected to kiss the bride. Yuk.
So what has me feeling this way? Sunday I signed up for the Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar. Where traditional advent calendars might give you a little piece of chocolate, the AOK Advent Calendar sends you an email every day prescribing a kind act, which you can do for your friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, if you are not a cad.
I already dread the daily email. What act of kindness will I be called on to do next?
As I write this, I have received two “reminders”: one to call a friend I haven’t talked to for a while and the second was to pay someone a compliment. (I am assuming there is no requirement for the compliment to be true. It’s not Diogenes Day, after all.) So far, the acts of kindness light and fluffy. I’ve survived.
But what if I’m asked to do something really loathsome, like feeding the hungry or giving shelter to the homeless? That would be kind. But it would also be gross. Do you think it would count to drop a few bucks into the old tin cup? You know? So you don’t have to really get involved? I don’t really know anyone who is hungry or homeless. And I don’t think I want to.
AOK wouldn’t want me to do something for a perfect stranger, would they? I’m getting a little nervous about this. And you know, I don’t even really have Christmas. I’m not used to thinking about this kind of stuff when it’s cold outside. It’s bad enough during the run up to the Jewish New Year at the end of the summer.
So, oh no! What if AOK wants me to apologize to someone I’ve wronged? That would be someone I know. But how yucky would that be? I mean, I suppose I could do one of those non-apologies that politicians like to do. But no one ever falls for one of those—only people who think you are right in the first place. So I hope the AOK Advent Calendar doesn’t ask me to do that. That’s kind of a Jewish New Year thing. I don’t want to do that.
So doing kindness for strangers is out and doing kindness for people I know is out. Everyone else is fair game, I guess.
And shouldn’t these things be spontaneous? If I do these kindnesses, won’t people think they are a little fake? I mean, I didn’t think them up. Someone at AOK thunk them up and I’m just doing what they say. Nah. I think this was a bad idea all around.
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Update: It’s now Tuesday morning and I just opened the AOK email for the third. Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse, it did. It says: “Be kind to animals”! Does that mean I can’t eat them?
. . . Four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree.
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Since I mentioned Diogenes Day, I want to remind you that truth is better than kindness. Diogenes Day is the new truth holiday that will next occur on October 1, 2014. Diogenes Day is only 10 months away, so get ready. Here are the links for those of you curious about Diogenes Day (I’m assuming you are new around here):
Diogenes Day (April 1)
90 More Shopping Days (July 3)
Diogenes Day Is Coming (Sept. 15)
Truth About Diogenes Day (Sept. 26)
Diogenes Day Is October 1 (Sept. 29)
Rand Paul and Fiction (Oct. 31)