31 Acts of Kindness in 31 Days: Did Potter Make It?

In honor of my August birthday I decided to try and perform 31 Acts of Kindness in 31 Days. I always try and be nice when I can (holding doors, giving up my seat, etc.) but I figured this would force me to find new ways to help people that I might not have thought of before.

These were my guidelines:

  • I’m unemployed right now so the Acts will cost little to no money. I kind of like that restriction because it will hopefully help me realize how much of a difference I can make it someone’s day without it costing anything.
  • The acts will vary in size and effort…Many will be small gestures. Again my hope is to make a difference in someone’s life and create personal habits that can last forever.
  • I’m going to publicize them on my social media channels. It’s not to draw attention to me – It’s to hopefully inspire others to do the same.

So how did I do? I had some successes and some failures. Here is my list:

  1. Interrupted some tourists to tell them where to get off the light rail – The stop they were planning on would require a MUCH longer walk
  2. Picked up poop left by another person’s dog (the full story)
  3. Used a gift card I had to take a friend who is also out-of-work out to lunch
  4. Told a stay-at-home mom at the playground about all the cool/cheap/free stuff I’ve found for kids this summer
  5. Gave up my seat on the bus so a guy could sit with his kid
  6. Let someone who seemed rushed at the grocery store cut in front me.
  7. Did some positive trolling – The Internet is FULL of negativity, so I intentionally surfed around complimenting people.IMG_4825
  8. Saved an octopus at Seahurst Beach in Burien (video here)
  9. Gave up my seat on the Light Rail for someone who didn’t necessarily need it (BTW I had to ask 5 people before someone took me up on it – People are very suspicious of kindness!)
  10. Left nice notes for people at work
  11. Helped a friend with their job search
  12. Picked up trash outside the Museum of Flight
  13. Gathered photos we’ve taken of friends and family and sent to them
  14. Complimented a stranger (which is way out of my comfort zone but felt good!)
  15. Donated to Goodwill
  16. While sharing a house with 10 people scrambled to get our family out at 6am because the Tiny Humans wouldn’t quiet down (so everyone else could sleep in)
  17. Helped a friend with some Social Media Marketing for his company
  18. Held the door for an overwhelmed parent (even though I wasn’t going that way)
  19. Acknowledged or replied to every single birthday greeting I got on Facebook (thanks everyone!)
  20. Invited a person who had been circling at the mall to follow me to my parking space so they could have it
  21. Sat in the car for 45 minutes so my Tiny Human could finish his nap
  22. Got free tickets to Wild Waves from work and passed the extra one on to a huge family in the parking lot
  23. Helped a friend get a handle on their email with some tips so they didn’t have 7,000 unread messages
  24. Sent one of our CD’s to a listener who never got one
  25. Candy and I invited friends to my parents house (who had power) for dinner during the blackout
  26. Shared a fundraising post for a friend online
  27. Picked up debris in my parents yard after the windstorm
  28. Donated gently used baby stuff to a friend in need
  29. Let 3 people merge in front of me
  30. Signed up to be a volunteer at the Tiny Human’s school

I had a lot of fun doing it but there were a couple areas I feel like I failed in. The most obvious is of course that I didn’t quite get to 31 Acts. I’m not going list any excuses, I just didn’t quite make it (at least not with specific Acts I could remember).

The other failure came down to posting on Social Media. I had every intention of posting about every Act every day, but my chaotic life got in the way. The goal was of course not to make myself look good, but to inspire others to possibly do nice little things for those in their life.

I really enjoyed it. There has definitely been a mindset change for me and I think I will regularly do more nice things for others than I have in the past. And next August I’m going to try and do 31 Acts in 31 Days again in honor of my birthday. You should try it too, even if your birthday is in February! Just be ready to step it up for Leap Year.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Originally I only had 27 listed, but then I had listeners and friends/family remind me of other things I did!

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9 thoughts on “31 Acts of Kindness in 31 Days: Did Potter Make It?”

  1. Great job Potter! You’ve been an inspiration to me for the last 10 years or so and I can only hope to be as nice and kind as you are. Thanks for doing this and for posting about it. I’m sure you surpassed 31 acts – but you don’t always recognize when it happens.

  2. You know, Potter, you probably did WELL over 31 good deeds, but didn’t even realize it…because you are a good person and don’t even think twice about helping an overwhelmed mom get her two kids into a store, grabbing a grocery cart in the parking lot and hauling it to the corral with your own cart, smiling and momentarily at a little kid on the metro.
    You have to be a super fantastic person, or Candy wouldn’t have married you, much less had kids with you!

    1. Possibly. I was hoping to wake up each day and plan something specific, but between working part-time, job hunting, staying home with the Tiny Human, etc. it was tough to do it that way. But that gives me something to work towards next year!

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