When is the last time that you did something kind for a friend, family member or even a complete stranger?
Feb. 17 is Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day, a growing trend that is as contagious as the acts of kindness themselves. RAK is a day for small, thoughtful gestures that can make someone’s day or even bring a smile to a face.
With RAK just over a week away, Utica College students talked about the times in their lives that someone did something kind for them out of the goodness of their heart.
“Random acts of kindness happen every day,” junior Jessica Macheda said. “I’ve gone to Dunkin’ before and I’ve had the person before me pay for my coffee. That was awesome.”
Macheda had heard of the term “random acts of kindness” before, but she said she would be interested in participating if UC recognized Random Acts of Kindness Day on Feb. 17.
“Basically, if everyone in the world did a random act of kindness every day and paid it forward, the world would be a better place,” Macheda said.
Although not everyone has heard of the RAK trend, small acts of kindness happen in everyday life. Macheda is a waitress at Texas Roadhouse and said that people will sometimes pay for a stranger’s drinks.
“We have to all make sure that we pay it forward,” Macheda said.
Acts of kindness can brighten someone’s day — for the recipient and the giver.
“People don’t really understand what’s going on with people,” Macheda said. “You wouldn’t know if someone is having a bad day. You really don’t know.”
Macheda explained that a random act of kindness can be as simple as being friendly and asking people how their day is going.
“That’s all you need to do,” she said.
Vinny Aloi is a senior and first heard about RAK from a movie.
“I think people don’t even realize that even things like holding open a door is a random act of kindness,” he said. “Just, like, courtesy.”
Aloi believes helping people out in everyday life is important.
“[RAK] can be helping anyone who looks like they’re in need,” Aloi said. “When someone is walking around campus looking like they are not really knowing where they’re going, you always see someone helping them out by pointing where to go.”
Meaghan Romaguera, a sophomore, said that it would be “cool” if UC participated in a college RAK Day and that she would be interested in getting involved.
“I think it’s cool if you have a bad day and someone did something for you, like it could just make your day,” she said.
Romaguera does not limit her random acts of kindness to strangers.
“I buy my friend’s food sometimes,” Romaguera said.
She talked about the value of being kind.
“I think it could let people know that there’s other people in the world who actually care about others,” Romaguera said.
A random act of kindness does not have to be impressive, take a long time or be expensive to make an impact.
“Just being kind to people and respectful is a random act of kindness,” said senior Byron Waddello. “We have people in this world that don’t know how to be kind and respectful.”
Waddello said that a random act of kindness can be as simple as holding doors open for people.
“Especially for people who are using crutches or a wheelchair,” he said.
Waddello places value in doing simple things for people to help them have a better day.
“The other day, some guy was confused about where to go on campus, and I told him where to go,” he said.
Random acts of kindness is something that can be done every day. According to the National RAK Day website, Feb. 17 is an opportunity to get “loud” with acts of kindness and to “make other people aware of how kindness can impact the world around them.”
“It’s always beneficial to have people worry about doing things for others that you’d want people to do for you,” Waddello said.For more information about Random Acts of Kindness and for ideas of how you can make someone’s day, visit the website at randomactsofkindness.org.