To celebrate and publicize Random Acts of Kindness Week, I'm republishing my series from 2008, with some editing to fit 2010. For those of you participating in the Winter 2010 GeneaBlogger Games, there are some ideas here that you can use for Task 6. Reach Out & Perform Genealogical Acts of Kindness.
Someone, out there, needs your help.
It could be that senior citizen you talked to after the last society meeting who can't figure out how to use Ancestry's search features on their home computer.
It could be someone who shares a frustrating experience on a message board or mailing list.
It could be a friend who'd like to look up her dad's ancestry for him before he passes, but she has no idea where to start.
It could be your mother, asking you to help her sort through her boxes of unlabeled photos.
No matter who, no matter what, it's likely that you have the experience and know-how to help them. And yes, it will cost you. It will cost you time, convenience, patience; even, perhaps, some money.
Today's idea for a random act of kindness is very simple: the next time someone asks--or hints-- for help, say "yes".
Remember this: the person that seems the most annoying, the person that perhaps will try your patience most, the one who doesn't seem to "get it" no matter how well you try to explain--that person will often be the most grateful for your help. I say this from experience. And I say this from a standpoint of humility, knowing there have been many times in my life when someone helped me when I must have seemed annoying, trying, stupid, and just plain hopeless.
Practice random acts of senseless kindness...with a smile!