Praising the Praiseworthy, or the Power of Random Act of Kindness

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Do you make it a habit to notice what others around you do?

Do you see the random acts of kindness performed by others? If so, do you praise them for it?

Take a moment to start your week with this inspiring video from Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project.

How a kind act can spread to others

In the video, Gretchen tells the story of her “nicest, kindest, most thoughtful person in the world” friend who went out of her way to be courteous and helpful to others in a situation not designed for goodwill – delayed flights.

The point of Gretchen’s story isn’t the kindness shown by her friend to others, but the acknowledgment of a complete stranger of her friend for demonstrating that kindness in the first place.

Yes, goodwill IS catching

What Gretchen describes is a continuous circle of positivity. Goodwill is catching. Sharing our appreciation for others when they go out of their way makes us all better and happier about the world we live and work in every day.

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As I move into a week guaranteed to be busier than ever, I am making a commitment to intentionally notice those around me – in the office, on the street, at home – and appreciate them for who they are and what they do to bring a little happiness to others.

Will you join me?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at


2 Comments on “Praising the Praiseworthy, or the Power of Random Act of Kindness

  1. Never more a fan of random acts of kindness than I am in this moment. When I practice gratitude & take the time to observe (i.e. live in the now) I see it everywhere. Amazing, that. We see what we want to see. We receive what we believe and give.

  2. I feel ‘random act of’ kindness has become a 21st century catch phrase, because once upon it was just common courtesy, done often. My parents raise the point that what was just commonly ‘what we just did on the old days’ (e.g, helping a mother down the stairs with a pram, or sending thank you cards) has now become glorified as a random act of kindness. Are we just too busy as a society now to notice others around us and give the time to be more kind?

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