Sixty: Not-So-Random Acts of Cleanness


“Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean.”  – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

…Except when someone else has invited you to a party. Then it’s really nice to have help with the sweeping.

My family was invited to our neighbor’s 8th birthday party on Saturday. The birthday boy has a mother who could easily run an event-planning business; her parties are epic and memorable and definitely ambitious.  Birthday boy loves soccer so the theme was a World Cup FIFA party. He would stop me on my way to the recycling bins to ask which country I wanted to be, then he would list the countries in the running, and then list them backwards.

The entrance to the party was a Customs and Immigration office where each child received a passport and stick-on passport stamps. They could get a stamp for each activity completed: draw a flag, list the current ranking of countries, stick a flag to a world map, and read about soccer. Birthday Boy’s parents had been setting this all up hours ahead of time.

After the cake had been eaten, the party quickly dissolved. What was left? Crumbs, ice cream smears, abandoned plates, and stacks of activities. One other neighbor stayed behind to get a start on the dishes, so I decided to stay and help. Hey, pushing a broom for 5, 10, or 40 minutes would help my friends.

We all know Mahatma Gandhi’s quote “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”; I dare you to “Be the janitor that you wish to keep your world clean.”

Do you engage in Random Acts of Kindness? Or do you like to be acknowledged for your kindnesses? And if so, is that a bad thing?


Altered photos from Flickr Creative Commons: “Sweep Away” by Rigel; “Broom” by Barret Anspach; and “2007_10_17” by Taz 

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