To be perfectly honest, when I received this assignment I groaned internally. It struck me as a worthless exercise in futility. I’ve never been one for acts of kindness. In fact, I’ve generally conducted my life along the principle that since other people in my life have no problem being unkind to me, I should not hesitate to do unto others as they would do unto me. But faced with this assignment, I realized I would have to make some sort of consistent effort to pass this assignment. While I am not a malevolent person, my normal modus operandi is not to seek out instances where I can be helpful either. With this as a driving impetus, I did however seek out how I could assist others, and came to have a more positive view of this assignment and of myself at it’s conclusion.
It was a difficult at first to ascertain in my own mind what was worth writing down and recording. Something like opening a door or someone or not saying mean things to people were common courtesy thing that I didn’t think counted. In the Events I recorded in my journal, I sought to record things that I wouldn’t ordinarily do, or that I somehow went out of my way to do. This was the standard I applied to my recordings.
I didn’t write much about what the assignment taught me in my journal, and didn’t feel comfortable espousing my thoughts on the matter in front of a bunch of strangers in a presentation to the class. What I really learned from this assignment is that one, I need to be kinder to other people, and two, that it isn’t a sign of weakness to help other people.
The first lesson I learned from several facts gather during this assignment. One was that I had difficulty recalling very many nice things I had done for people. I did my best to try to be kind to others, but it was still difficult to do something each day to keep up. I am not sure whether this was from lack of trying or my general disposition, btu considering that doing a good turn daily is supposed to be easy, I seemed to be doing a sub par job. The second thing that caused me to realize I should be kinder to others was that I was initially very worried about being able to successfully complete this assignment. If doing something so trivial like this was concerning, I must be in quite a moral predicament.
The second thing this assignment taught me was that being kind to others is more of a sign of strength than it is of weakness. I formerly believed that always being kind to others was a form of appeasement, and that those that do so all the time are in reality hoping that they will not have any unpleasantness in their life if they buy off all the people they know. However, this impressed upon me the fact that to be kind to others in fact requires strength. It requires the extra material strength to spend extra time and money on things other than yourself. It takes courage to break the social taboo of asking a complete stranger if they need assistance. I discovered this as I struggled through this assignment. Being kind to others is a lot harder than just locking out the rest of the world from one’s own life.
This assignment really was an eye opening experience for myself. Although I did not meet the goal of the assignment, I did in the end gain some valuable experiences from this activity. While I am unsure as to whether or not it has made a me a kinder person, it most certainly has made me a more mindful one.