RAKs, “wasting” my time, and putting myself “last”

I have been very lazy with my writing. Not only have I not been writing much for my blog this year, I have barely touched the brand new journal that I bought to get that going again. Just now I watched this video. It totally woke me up. Gone were the “I’ll add that to my list of things to someday blog about” remarks I would tell myself. I knew right away I had to get typing, so here we go. First, let’s watch this video:

Our priorities are messed up! Seriously. Please don’t think that I am sitting on my throne up above with the right to judge others. I have many times stopped, reflected on life, and come to some pretty solid conclusions. Maybe you want to disagree with me that getting that awesome new car (paid with credit, of course), getting a ton of fancy new clothes, or getting some other material things mean more than finding peace and happiness and sharing it with others.  That’s okay. I am not here to change anyone; I just want to inspire all who read this post to find true peace and happiness.

What is a RAK? It stands for random acts of kindness. I first learned about RAKs when I first found The Chive Community. I could not think of anything better to do with my time. Yes, I have to take care of myself first before I can help anyone else. If you think I am being selfish, think back to the last time you traveled by airplane. The flight attendants tell you that should you travel with a child, the cabin pressure drops, the oxygen masks drop from the ceiling, and you put yours on first. Then you put a mask on your child. If you’re passed out from oxygen deprivation, you’re going to do a really poor job of saving your kid. True story.

Once you find strength inside, go out. Find someone to serve. You know, when I first started learning about my church, I thought that members were pressured into serving others. Then I learned it first-hand; there is nothing else in life that makes you feel better than doing good for others. Be sure to leave your selfish motives at the door. If you expect anything in return, then you’re making things worse. You create a false sense of love for the recipient. Then you feel let down when the recipient is not willing to or unable to reciprocate.

About a year ago I was dealing with loneliness and depression. I can tell you that the best cure for that is to go out and do good for others. Here’s a perfect example. Last night I was on the grounds of the Mesa Arizona Temple after closing. For some reason the gates were not yet locked. I saw this young lady sitting down by myself. Something inside said I needed to talk to her.


After she told me why she was there and what was troubling her, I right away shared with her my thoughts coming from a positive perspective. My ability to add comfort to the conversation got her opening up. Even though I am quite the talker, I just shut my mouth. I know from my past that sometimes I just need to get things off my chest, regardless who the listener is. It is how we process our thoughts. So much clarity can come just from talking to someone. I know that just being a total stranger, willing to listen to someone who was feeling down, can be one of the best blessings one can receive.

I do this because others have been there for me. Others have listened to me go on and on for hours about my problems. Others have taken me in when I needed a place to stay for a week. Others have helped me move. Others have loaned me money. Others have complimented me. Others have made me smile. Others have made me feel loved. Others have made me feel important. Others have, through their faith in me, given me the confidence to know I can do this. Others have held me when I needed to cry. Others have taught me what I need to know. Others have taught me what not to do. I could go on and on. You get the idea. Now what?


You have two choices. You can take, take, and take. You can also give. Early on in my growth process I tried to give back to those who helped me. All the time they would say no. They did these favors for me out of love or friendship, and they wanted nothing in return. Also, they were already doing well, which is why they were able to do good for me. They inspired me so much. One person who has been my greatest inspiration in empathy is my friend Jeff. He has done so much for me, and he has never wanted anything in return. What a great example!

Then I started doing nice things for others without being asked. I felt the same joy that my friends and family members must had felt. Then it hit me. When you are feeling grateful, pay it forward. Do good for those who need something. Giving to others means a few things. Yes, you might have a little less when all is done. However, the other person has something he / she didn’t have before. Most important, you will realize that you were able to give because you had an abundance! Because of your abundance, you are blessed. When you feel blessed, you should feel grateful. Gratitude is the source of happiness.


No one can take that happiness from you. Not me. Not your boss. Not your significant other. Not your parents. Not your children. Not the person picking on you. Not the person saying mean things to you. No one. It is your happiness to keep forever.

Get out there. Find something good to do. Visit an older relative. Say hi to that lonely person down the street. Ask that one coworker you never talk to how his / her day has been. I am not going to list every idea I can come up with. There are plenty of websites out there to get you started. Here are a few to get you started:

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope I was able to inspire you to do good in this world. It does not matter if not everyone is nice to you. In fact, the people who are the meanest to you are the ones who need the most love. Think about it. If you do good, tell the world about it. You can use the social media hashtag of #RAK. Maybe you’ll inspire someone else to do the same!