Have you heard about the newest trend in giving back? It’s called “Random Acts of Kindness” and if the internet is anything to go by, then it’s the newest rage since flash mobs.
Random Acts of Kindness is when you, as an individual, family, or group perform acts of goodness, not for recognition or gain but for the sheer pleasure that it gives you and the recipients, whomever they may be.
Over the years it’s been known by other names like paying it forward or just simply manners. It’s not a complicated premise and is a good way to live life in general. Unfortunately, many people have forgotten or have not been taught this simple example of what many of us would consider common sense and human decency.
It doesn’t need to be complicated, or expensive, or time-consuming. It can be as easy as holding the elevator for a person still coming down the hallway, or holding the door open for a woman with her children. Leaving your change in the drink machine when you buy a soda pop so the next person finds it, or baking cookies and taking them to the local police station. Some people get very ambitious and buy turkeys for the local shelter or donate a day of their time to help out at their child’s elementary school. But sometimes, it’s the little things, the simple things, that can make someone’s day extra special.
My niece, Madison, recently celebrated her 21st birthday and as a gift to herself she decided that she would complete 21 random acts of kindness. She corralled my daughter, Regina, into driving her around and off they went. They delivered Get Well cards to a local hospital and asked the nurses to give them to the people who don’t get very many visitors. They left money in the coin returns of pay phones (yes, there are still a few in existence) and drink machines. They went to the dollar store and bought a few items for the Children’s Hospital waiting room. They paid for the coffee of the people in line behind them at the local donut shop.
The things that they did were not expensive. They were not incredible feats of strength or fraught with danger. They were simple, honest messages from the heart. From her heart to others. And that’s the best way to live your life.
These chocolate chip cookies are from my heart to yours. Bake them for someone you love or bake them for a complete stranger today.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from Hershey Canada
- 2/3 cups butter, melted
- 2 cups brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-2/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups chocolate chips (milk, dark, mint, butterscotch, white, or whatever suits your fancy)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or using your stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add hot water and vanilla. Mix well. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix well. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined or ungreased baking sheets. To make more uniform sized cookies, I like to use a small 1 oz ice cream style scoop.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden brown. Cookies will spread and form a soft centered cookie with crispy edges.
Soft in the center – just like Madison!