good life with robyn bomar
Part of cultivating a good life is showing kindness in extravagant, unexpected ways as a means of celebrating one’s own life.
Every day, 19 million people celebrate a birthday. I tell that statistic to a lot of people and it never ceases to amaze me. 19 MILLION. That’s a lot of celebrating. And while different cultures observe this special event in various ways, the fact that we all have something so simple and beautiful in common as sharing the anniversary of the day we were born makes me wonder: What if we each decided to celebrate by doing something intentionally kind for someone as a way of honoring the life we have been given?
The phrase “random acts of kindness” is a concept we are all pretty familiar with. Doing something nice for someone when they least expect it. It is a lovely idea and something that makes both the giver and the recipient feel good. The thing about kindness though is that while it may feel random to the person on the receiving end, it really isn’t “random” at all. Kindness is a very intentional act and we are called to live intentional lives.
There’s that split moment at the grocery store where we decide whether to let the tired mom with the fussy baby go ahead of us in line, are bold enough to offer to cover the rest of the balance for the man scrounging for change to pay for his coffee, or allow ourselves to be inconvenienced during our own busy day to help a neighbor find their lost dog.
Kindness is most definitely an intentional act.
Being intentional is being purposeful. It’s seizing a moment and making it memorable. It’s that beautiful balance between having a plan but with a willingness to be flexible. And that is exactly how we celebrate birthdays in our family. We consider the life we have been given and the wonderful people who make it worth living: family, friends, and neighbors. We think about the things we care about, like social issues, charities, causes, and organizations doing their part to make the world a little better. And we decide how to combine all these lovely ingredients into what we think is kind of the perfect way to celebrate!
Whether it’s a small gathering of friends who bring food for a local shelter to a dinner party or a big group of people gathering to do a kindness scavenger hunt all over town, celebrating our birthdays with intentional kindness is the most fun, rewarding, meaningful way we’ve found to celebrate another year of life. It reminds us what is important, opens our eyes to the countless opportunities around us to love people in big, bold ways and makes us grateful for the blessings we have, no matter the circumstances.
It really is such a good life and there is no better way to celebrate it than to throw kindness around like handfuls of confetti, especially on our birthdays!
Robyn Bomar is the founder of The Birthday Project. Six years ago on Robyn’s 38th birthday, she decided to do something more than the usual. She carefully planned to perform 38 random acts of kindness for others. With the help of her friends and blog followers, she was able to spend her birthday in a very fulfilling way. She lives her life in such a way that everyone she comes in contact with leaves her presence feeling uplifted. We love how The Birthday Project and Robyn’s example encourages others to pay it forward.