This chapter outlines how the whole concept of acts of KINDNESS came about. As will be made clear in our story, we did not create "random acts of kindness" nor did any other currently living individual. Our contribution was to bring massive media attention to what has been around for many centuries but seems now and then to be forgotten or ignored. The story is brief but does point out how one person can make a difference even when that was not the objective. Below is our story for your consideration.
An Assignment that Got Away
Chuck Wall, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus
"Today, I will commit one random act of
senseless KINDNESS -
year was 1993 and my classes in the Business Department at
outside assignment for my Human Relations students was to go out into our
community and "commit one random act of senseless
years later the idea continues to grow and now has a life of its own. From a
single web site in 1993 to dozens if not hundreds today the idea of committing
in addition to continuing motivational speaking, I am concentrating my efforts
We've all heard stories and read headlines about the plague of senseless violence. It seems to be an inevitable fact of life. Well, in 1993, Dr. Chuck Wall decided to do something about it in the form of an assignment presented to his college class: Go out and commit a "random act of senseless kindness" and write about your experience.
Today, Dr. Wall's inspiring lesson has blossomed into a worldwide Kindness movement. Fueled by tremendous media attention, including Dr. Wall's appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Crusaders, stories of generosity and the awakening of the human spirit continue to pour in from across the country and around the world.
And the momentum generated by random acts of senseless kindness led to the establishment of Kindness, Inc., a non-profit organization staffed entirely by volunteers.
by Chuck Wall, Ph.D.
An act that positively influences the life of both the giver and the receiver is a kindness. It doesn't have to cost money or be difficult to perform. It can be spontaneous (random) or premeditated. It can be as simple as a smile or a thank you, and as complicated as starting a non-profit organization to benefit those in need.
Kindness has four working parts: dignity, respect, compassion, and humility, If you have all of these things for yourself, then you will be able to share them with others. If we reach out with dignity, respect, compassion, and humility, we are likely to feel it being returned.
Actively seeking out opportunities to assist others will naturally bring a certain amount of warmth and feeling of self-worth to each of us. It feels good to help others and others feel good knowing someone wants them to help.
"Considerate" and "helpful" are words often used to describe a kind deed.
Kindness is what you define it as, rather than what someone else thinks you should believe it is.
I suggest all people actively attempt to live by my phrase, "Today I will commit one random act of senseless kindness. Will You?"