Do Choices Create Hope?

What are your choices?

We had a lively discussion today about choices. Cowboy Fan threw in some Zen philosophy stating: what happens in our lives is the result of the choices we’ve made.

“What about that guy who was minding his own business, walking down the sidewalk and a car jumped the curb and ran over him?” I asked.

“It was his choice to walk down that particular road at that specific moment,” Cowboy Fan replied.

Well now, I’ve been mystified by this before. When I read about someone falling asleep, running off the road and hitting someone, I often wonder how different things would have been if either one of them had started their journey a few minutes sooner or later? Would they have missed each other? Would something else have happened?

Last week I mentioned weighing choices by how important they were to our obituaries. Yet,  I’d agree with Roxie, that often the most insignificant choices—giving someone a ride, giving the guy who fills gas tanks a piece of candy, writing a note of encouragement—are the choices which lay foundations of hope for others.

So this week, I’ll experiment. You can join me if you want. Each day this week, I’ll make a choice for a random act of kindness. At the end of the day, I’ll tell you what I did. We’ll see if what happens in my life is the result of the choice. Will the ripples affect anyone else?

Please join me if you’d like, I’d really enjoy hearing what choices of kindness you’ve made this week.


About Barb

I escaped from a hardscrabble farm in Oklahoma. I'm not sure why people think I have an accent. I miss the sunshine, but not the fried foods.
This entry was posted in Appreciation, Choices, Hope, Life, Sleepless Nights and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Do Choices Create Hope?

  1. Lisa Nowak says:

    Okay, Day One. Even though I got Rose and Roxie’s follow up comments just hours before I left the house, I still totally forgot I was supposed to do a RAK while I was out. And it’s much easier to do them when I’m actually meeting people face to face. So I get home and see your comments, and I think , Oh, crap, I blew my chance. Now I’ll be stuck doing my husband’s laundry or something to fulfill the assignment. But then I started thinking about what I’d done at Costco. I actually talked to the lady giving out artichoke samples instead of just grabbing the little cup and ducking away. The outcome: she tried to talk my ear off. Then as I was standing in line in the food court this Asian lady in front of me looked at me. So I gave her a big grin, which was easy, since she looked like a very friendly person. Then she asked me if the pepperoni pizza or combination was better, and I gave her my opinion, also warning her that while the chicken bake is tasty, it’s very rich. She was difficult to understand, so I wasn’t completely comfortable talking to her. I always feel stupid having to ask people to repeat themselves. The outcome: I have no idea what she finally ordered, but it felt good to talk to her, and especially to see her smile.

    The moral of this story is that RAKs can be very small, and also that they can be so second nature that you forget you’re doing them. So what’s the distinction? What constitutes a real RAK vs. a quirk of your personality? Or does it have to be bigger than a smile and a few words to count?


  2. Barb says:

    Okay, Roxie, Rose, Lisa, and Les,
    Thanks for joining me. I need your motivation. Please let me know what you did and how it worked out.


  3. Barb says:

    Hey Flashgordon,
    I hope you try it and let me know if it made any difference in your January life.


  4. Les O'Riley says:

    Barb ~

    I planned on doing this anyway, but I’m giving you the kudos for getting me to do it n-o-w.

    Partners In Health has been in Haiti helping people for over 20 years.

    The “dial in your donations” numbers people have been using are great, but the phone companies can’t pass on the help until a major portion of them pay their bills. The Haitians need the relief ASAP, to put it mildly.

    PIH is a good, fast, well established organization to donate through, rated very highly for the percentage of donations that make it to the needy. Going to their site will only take a few minutes more than texting, and the Haitians will get what they need sooner. But BRAVO for whatever way people donate. will get you to their site.

    I’m with you, Barb, on makin’ this “Random Act of Kindness Week” whether we directly see the fruit or not. Let’s go! ~ Les


  5. Roxie says:

    You are the motivation I need to actually put that check to Medical Teams International in the mail today. Thanks. I’ve been intending to do it for a week. Don’t know if that counts as random but it’s an act of kindness.


  6. I have always believed in doing this. I saw a movie once called Pay It Forward and it is all about doing good deeds and kindness.
    When I had extra finances, I used to create baskets filled with food and necessary items, like for cleaning and bathing, for people I knew were having difficult times, and during the night under cloak of darkness, leave these on their doorstep. I was never caught and it felt good to do so anonymously.
    I think I enjoy my work so much because I get to help people every day.


  7. Lisa Nowak says:

    I love random acts of kindness. They’re so much fun. I think it would be hard to track the affects, though. I mean, you could see it if you’d made someone happy, but you don’t know if she went home and bake cupcakes for her son’s class, and some girl in the class was so inspired by them that she decided to take up baking as a hobby and one day started her own bakery, which had the best cupcakes in Portland. You can’t see those kinds of ripples.

    It’s harder to do random acts of kindness when you’re sitting home in front of a computer. I mean, what am I going to do, comment on somebody’s blog? I find that I lot of mine take place in Fred Meyer or something. But I’ll make a conscious effort this week.


  8. flashgordon1999 says:

    That is a really interesting experiment. 🙂 Might have to try that, too.


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