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Nicole J. Phillips, Published February 14 2014

Kindness Is Contagious: Take part in Random Acts of Kindness Day

Did you know there is a Carrot Cake Day? Yep. It was Feb. 3. There is also Hedgehog Day (not to be confused with Groundhog Day), Homemade Soup Day, and my personal favorite, Gumdrop Day, which happens to be today.

Once you have those on your calendar, I hope you’ll add just one more: Monday is Random Acts of Kindness Day. It is a day specifically set aside to make random kindness completely intentional.

In an email from a reader named Harvey Laabs, I was once again reminded that an act of kindness, however quick, spontaneous, or cost effective is still vital to the health and happiness of our community.

“Hello Nicole! Last April, I was out doing an eight-mile training run. I had signed up for the Fargo Half Marathon, my third consecutive one. That year was my first one in the 70-74 year age group.

“It isn’t even that I like running all that much, but signing up for the half and doing the required training was a great motivator to keep in shape.

“On that Saturday, I was about five miles into my run and feeling a bit tired. … Then, while running on 17th Avenue West in West Fargo, an SUV pulled up alongside me and slowed down. As it came even with me, the passenger’s window went down, and I could see two teenaged boys in the vehicle. The one in the passenger seat put out his hand, holding all fingers up in the air, and shouted, ‘High Five!’ I reached over and slapped his hand, he replied with ‘Have a great day!’ and off they went.

“I’m quite sure that doing this cost them no more than 10 seconds. Their motive for doing this could only have been to lift the spirits of this old man lumbering along the street. And it worked!

“This very short, brief act of kindness made the remaining three miles a whole lot easier than it would have otherwise been.

“I can’t even guess how many times I have repeated this story to myself as well as friends and family. The two young men might not even realize what a big impact their brief act of kindness had on me.”

It was quick, spontaneous and free. I hope you can find a way to brighten someone’s day today, tomorrow and especially Monday as we work together to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness in our community.

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com. Or send a letter to Kindness is Contagious c/o Nicole J. Phillips, The Forum, 101 5th St. N., Box 2020, Fargo, ND, 58107.

Nicole J. Phillips is a former television anchor for Fox News in Fargo. She is an author, speaker and mother of three kids. Nicole is married to Bison Men’s Head Basketball Coach Saul Phillips. Her columns run every Saturday. You can also get a Daily Dose of Inspiration from Nicole at www.nicolejphillips.com.