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A random act of kindness is a nonpremeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world.[1]

The phrase "practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" was written by Anne Herbert on a placemat in Sausalito, California in 1982. It was based on the phrase "random acts of violence and senseless acts of cruelty".[2] Herbert's book Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty was published in February 1993 speaking about true stories of acts of kindness.

The most common form of the phrase found today is "Practice random acts of kindness." This formulation takes the "acts" from the senseless acts of beauty and somehow leaves us without the beauty, senseless or not. The ultimate extraction can be found in signs saying "Be Kind". The original construction implies a level of anonymity; that seems to have been lost too. There are plenty of groups around the world, who are sharing acts of randomised kindness. From 2015 there is a major group held in Slovenia, named Randomised kindness. It was started as pilot project of volunteering organisation Humanitarcek and spread as all-over-country movement. Starter of the project was Ninna Kozorog , neurologist and chief of pro bono clinic for homeless people in Slovenia. In 2017 more than 2000 people was involved in the movement of every day's sharing little acts of kindness, even Day of kindness was held on 13. november 2017 for the first time.


Examples of events or groupsEdit

  • The Jewish concept of a mitzvah is used colloquially to mean a good deed or an act of kindness. Judaism teaches that "the world is built on kindness". Kabbalistic teaching sees kindness as emerging from the first of seven Divine emotional attributes; to be effective kindness must be balanced and considered,[3] while mercy is also for the undeserving. The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson told reporters that to bring the Moshiach sooner, people should "add in acts of goodness and kindness".[4]
  • Caffè sospeso is a tradition in the working-class cafés of Naples where a person who has experienced good luck financially pays for two coffees, but receives and consumes only one, the second being left until a person enquires later whether a sospeso is available.
  • In 1984, Dobbs Ferry Police officer Robert Cunningham, split a winning lottery ticket with Sal's Pizzeria waitress Phyllis Penzo, netting Phyllis approx. $3M. A 1994 romantic comedy, It Could Happen to You starring Nicolas Cage and Bridget Fonda was made based on this event but moving the movie's location to New York City.
  • In 2006, the Free Hugs Campaign was made popular by a music video on YouTube.[citation needed]
  • An Australian TV-show called Random Acts of Kindness, on Channel 9, shows hosts Karl Stefanovic, Scott Cam and Simmone Jade Mackinnon giving gifts to people they identify as heroes.[5]
  • is the home of Smile Cards and a portal of kindness stories, ideas, and online groups. It allows people to send random notes of kindness to others.[6]
  • Seattle-based educator Andy Smallman creates free online kindness content and in 2009 his "Practice of Kindness" class drew national media interest.[7] It was named "Idea of the Day" from former White House speechwriter and bestselling author Daniel H. Pink.[8] To expand on the interest in these classes, in 2011 Andy launched the Kind Living Network,[9] a venture around the theme of kindness. Kind Living currently offers classes, a blog,[10] a newsletter, and a website.
  • 2012: The Newton Project attempted to quantify the benefits of the Random Act of Kindness concept in order to motivate people to perform additional acts of kindness.[11]
  • On 14 November 2012 an NYCPD officer, Lawrence DePrimo, was photographed giving socks and a pair of boots he had purchased for a bare-footed homeless man. The photograph later went viral.[12]
  • Started in February 2014, the Feed the Deed campaign has inspired over 10,000 random acts of kindness around the world.[13]
  • A Chicago man, Ryan Garcia, gained a significant following after doing a different random act of kindness each day of the year in 2012. His 366 random acts have spun off into State of Kind, a mission to do an act of kindness in all 50 states in order to raise awareness for 22q11.2 deletion syndrome.[14][15]

In film and literatureEdit

  • 1993: Random Kindness and Senseless Acts of Beauty, a 1993 children's book published by Volcano Press and authored by Anne Herbert, Margaret Paloma Pavel, and illustrated by Mayumi Oda, with a 20th-anniversary edition published in 2014 by New Village Press that includes a foreword penned by Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
  • 2002: Join Me is a book written by humorist Danny Wallace; in which he tells of the cult he started by accident, the group's purpose is to encourage members (called Joinees and collectively known as the KarmaArmy) to perform random acts of kindness, particularly on Fridays which are termed "Good Fridays". Wallace has also published a book called Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Nicer Place.
  • 2007: The film Evan Almighty ends with God telling the main character, Evan, that the way to change the world is by doing one Act of Random Kindness ("ARK") at a time.
  • 2009: Karen McCombie's book The Seventeen Secrets of the Karma Club revolves around two girls who (inspired by their favourite film Amélie) start up their 'Karma Club', the intention of which, is to do random acts of kindness anonymously.

Negative effectsEdit

There have been several documented cases when random acts of kindness failed to produce good outcomes and have even worsened the situation. For example, in the case of the 2014–15 floods in Southeast Asia and South Asia in Malaysia, random acts of donations were not reaching their intended targets, but were instead being strewn about and becoming streetside rubbish that further complicated planning, cleanup, and relief efforts.[16] Additionally, people claiming to help others randomly took selfies on social media,[17] sparking a disaster tourism frenzy of "I was there helping",[18] whereby actual relief vehicles were delayed by the excessively clogged traffic. Lastly, there were some reported cases of theft of relief supplies by pilferers pretending to be among the helping.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "101 Easy Ideas For Random Acts Of Kindness". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 2016-02-16. 
  2. ^ "the origins of 'random kindness and senseless acts of beauty'". Improvised Life. Retrieved 2018-03-27. 
  3. ^ "A Kabbalistic Approach to Spiritual Growth: Part 33 – Lovingkindness and Judgment – GalEinai – Revealing the Torah's Inner Dimension". 
  4. ^ and more generally,
  5. ^ "Sunday's TV: Random Acts Of Kindness (06/06/2009) - TV Reviews - TV & Radio - Entertainment". 
  6. ^ "Web site rewards inner beauty". CNN. 13 May 2009. Retrieved 29 March 2011. 
  7. ^ Seattle Times: Kindness taught in Seattle school's online class Archived December 31, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Idea of the day: Kindness class - Daniel H. Pink". 3 January 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  9. ^ "Kind Living". Kind Living. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  10. ^ "Kind Living". Kind Living. Retrieved 8 May 2018. 
  11. ^ WBRZ News, 5 April 2012
  12. ^ Goodman, J. David (28 November 2012). "Photo of Officer Giving Boots to Barefoot Man Warms Hearts Online". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  13. ^ "5 Priceless Ways These People Made Someone Else's Day Just A Little Bit Brighter". Huffington Post. 5 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "State of Kind". 22q Family Foundation. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  15. ^ "Chicagoan Ryan Garcia sets out to perform 366 random acts of kindness". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2016-11-21. 
  16. ^ "Random acts of kindness hindering flood relief efforts". 
  17. ^ "When helping flood victims, don't take selfies". The Malaysian Insider. January 6, 2015. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. 
  18. ^ "'Disaster tourists' throng flood devastated areas in Malaysia". The Straits Times. January 6, 2015.