Anonymous kindness is often the best type of kindness. There is something to be said for the kind of person who performs acts of kindness without any need or desire for recognition.

I once sat at a bar near a group of U.S. Marines who had just returned from Iraq – they had no idea that I recognized the acronyms and military terms that confirmed their military service. I quietly paid their bar tab, studiously avoiding making eye contact or conversation with them lest they suspect me of paying. When they asked for the tab, the bartender explained that a fellow Veteran had paid their bill in full to thank them for their service to our country – they were flabbergasted and amazed. They never suspected it was the guy in the corner having drinks with a friend, but the look on their face and the excitement in their voice made me far more excited and happy than any “thank you” of recognition. As a Veteran myself I’ve also been on the receiving end of similar acts of kindness by fellow Americans while dining out, and it always makes me grateful for their kind sentiments. The world would be a much happier and fun place if more citizens engaged in random anonymous acts of kindness. Aim for at least one anonymous act of kindness each week – something as simple as leaving home-made cookies on a coworkers desk to surprise them, paying the order for the car behind you at the drive through, or maybe paying the energy bill anonymously for the elderly person on a fixed income down the street one month, just for kicks. Believe me, the anonymous act of kindness will be told and retold to many others for a long time, spreading the message of a lifestyle of kindness.

Become a kindness evangelist in your own neighborhood with random anonymous acts of kindness, for no reason other than because it will make your neighborhood or workplace a better place. Surprise someone today with it. You’ll be happy you did – just one caveat to this – you can’t tell anyone. This type of kindness has to remain your secret, or it loses much of its power. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to be kind anonymously and how much joy it brings to yourself and to others.

Ron Hill