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6 Random Acts of Kindness for a Winter Day

Bostonians are tough, but this is ridiculous

Published in ChicagoNow, February 17, 2015

Today is Random Acts of Kindness Day, another one of those holidays no one knows about and few celebrate. I’m thinking someone plopped this day in the middle of February for a reason. Of course, it’s close to Valentine’s Day, but for those of us who have to survive winter weather, it’s the perfect time to perform a few of those random acts of kindness.

My son and his family are living through Boston’s apocalyptic winter. Dealing with the over seven feet of snow that have fallen this month has been extremely challenging. There have been lots of days of closed day care, no public transportation, and impassible roads. And massive snow is really not much fun for a four and one-year-old. They can’t even walk in it, let alone build a snowman.

Sunday night was the final blow – almost literally. The roof started to collapse. So, at midnight, this family needed some major acts of kindness. A friend took them in, including their dog and cat. Workers showed up in the dark and bitter cold to hack ice and snow off the roof, saving their home from destruction. As their mother/grandmother, I am so grateful.

But this got me thinking about how we could all use some smaller random acts of kindness to survive what looks like a never-ending and brutal winter. With temperatures forecast to hit -7 Wednesday night and only climb to 3 degrees on Thursday (please be wrong!), we need to be extra kind to one another.

So here is my list of random acts of kindness for a rotten winter day:

  1. Shovel and salt your walk. During the last huge snowfall, my daughter’s neighbor didn’t bother. The letter carrier was so forgiving when I tried to help her by coming to her to get the mail. She admitted it was tough, but worried about folks who had to navigate that ice field in the dark.

  2. Shovel and salt your neighbor’s walk. Think of it as a random act of kindness for the folks who are trying to get down your street

  3. Lay off your horn. That cab may be waiting for an older person or to take a child with specials needs to school.

  4. To cabbies and all drivers, pull over if you can. Last week, I was trapped in a standoff between a car that stopped in the middle of the street to drop someone off and a car that refused to pull over when it was time for that car to move. Come on people.

  5. Help someone by pushing her stuck shopping cart through a snowy parking lot, or by giving her a hand to get over a snow mountain. And thanks to the people who did this for me.

  6. Hold the door open for that mom carrying her small child to protect him from the bitter cold.

The weather has been brutal. Be patient. Be kind. Be careful. Be safe. And please add some more random acts of kindness to my list. We need to help each other to get through this miserable winter.


by Laurie Levy
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