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Random Acts of Kindness or Directioned?
Posted: 07 December 2007 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]
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My older brother seldom speaks or writes to us.  Not because he doesn’t love us or because he lives a long distance away, but because he only speaks when he feels there is a purpose to what he has to say (unlike me and my sisters who ‘cluck’ all the time just for the noise of it)

He brought up an interesting idea a few days ago that really is one everyone thinks about occasionally even if only in a peripheral way.

Random Acts of Kindness…..

You can google this phrase and come up with a lot of foundations and groups ... even religious ones.  They are all over the net really.  The concept is a nice one that all of us (well nearly all) would agree is healthy.  But there seems to be a kind of contradiction in the concept as the phrase states it.  So I pulled Webster’s definition of a few words:

Random:  : a haphazard course

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Posted: 07 December 2007 09:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m slightly confused as to what you’re asking here (it happens a lot wink), but I’ll discuss random acts of kindness.
Thinking about it, there are two ways (to me) that the phrase itself can be interpreted.
1) Acts of kindness which are random to me.
2) Acts of kindness which are random.

Ok, that didn’t help.
What I mean by 1) is that, when I think about it, most of my acts of kindness aren’t random, per se. They are my acting on impulses from my morals, conscience or whatever. So, in that sense, they’re not random (although still kind acts).

With 2), I mean that the acts themselves are random - that I see the chance to do something for someone and do it - which mine are to an extent, although I’m likely to favour certain acts over others, due to time constrictions or whatever.

Did that make any sense?

As to your brother’s quote:

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Posted: 07 December 2007 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I do apologise - that might be the most poorly written post I’ve ever typed out.
wink

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Posted: 07 December 2007 10:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Not really Boo,  I understood it perfectly. 

Random acts of kindness are just that random,  done on the spur of the moment instead of being planned.  The random part comes in because they can be done any time, any place.  Any random act will have consequences.  In this case the consequence of your random act is a good deed or act of kindness.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I think I understand too:  but that confuses ‘cause’ and ‘effect’

Both of you appear to say - A ‘caused’ random need produces the ‘effect’ of directed kindness.  You deliver (thoughtful deed) the kindness because a need is presented in your path. 

so it’s the need that is random.  The act of kindness is not random but rather directed or on purpose.

What if it were the other way around:

Directed kindness causes other directed kindnesses?

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Posted: 07 December 2007 10:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Well, like I said, I don’t really understand your question. wink

But yes, I suppose the randomness comes from the crossing of paths - me and the person with a specific need - rather than the act itself. But then, there’s not much point me (for example) holding the bus if there’s no-one who would otherwise miss it (in fact, that would be the opposite effect wink). That’s the way… well, almost everything works.

I’m not sure (again) what you mean by your last sentence. Sorry.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I think kind people do kind things, they just seem random to the person on the receiving end, in this sometimes very unkind world.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes Boo, when my brother presented this I found it a bit confusing as well.  I think N E O is close to what I mean though (and I’m still a little confused too so I think my quest here is a kind of muddled contradiction. 

I guess I’m asking, why do acts have to be random.  As N E O said, this is a very cruel world so needs are everywhere and many are not random at all but ongoing needs.  I know that this is true, but I don’t begin my days always hunting out someone who might need something I can give either.  Yet, at other times I deliberately do just that.  Maybe because I need to be needed.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Neo is right, the act isn’t random to the one committing it, it’s random to the recipient.  You can have well organized and thought-out random acts of kindness.  The point is that the recipient wasn’t expecting it - it came out of the blue - and that makes it all the more special to them.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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hulitoons - 07 December 2007 04:12 PM

Yet, at other times I deliberately do just that.  Maybe because I need to be needed.

I just always put it down to your obvious insanity, as evidenced by your avatar. wink

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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N E O - 07 December 2007 04:03 PM

I think kind people do kind things, they just seem random to the person on the receiving end, in this sometimes very unkind world.

Bingo.

TO be honest, does it matter about directioned or purposeful kindness? Really?

Does it make any difference to the old person you help up when they slip on ice? No. Does it matter to the lady with a pram which you help carry down a flight of stairs in a train station? Not one little bit.

You over-analyse things and you’ll confuse the issue. The philosophy of the thing is irrelevant. It’s just what you do.

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Posted: 07 December 2007 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Yes and my brother always likes to stir the manuer!  Thank’s Renquist!

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