February 17 is Random Act of Kindness Day. I certainly hope that everyone who reads this has performed a random act of kindness to a friend, family member or even a stranger. Or, maybe you were on the receiving end of a random act of kindness. It can be anything, really. I believe in helping people as much as I can.
I do a lot of traveling across the country, whether it’s going to VA hospitals to meet soldiers or speaking at an event. No matter where I am, I am always talking to people and meeting someone new. One time, I met a soldier who was struggling with a traumatic brain injury and needed financial help. I reached out to the local news station and told them I would donate $1,000 to this guy and challenged the public to donate as well. We ended up receiving $10,000 in donations that night. It was amazing.
One summer, I spent a week at the Center for Courageous Kids, located in Kentucky. The camp has different weeks that kids can attend, and I was there for Physical Disabilities Week. There was a 12-year-old boy who really took a liking to me. He noticed my resilience when it came to my disability and I think, by the end of the week, it really helped him to move forward and focus on the good things in his own life. He also loved my signature white-and-green Oakley sunglasses. Every day, he asked me if he could wear them for a bit. I thought that was cool, so at the end of the week, I just gave them to him. He was in such awe. It was easy for me to just go buy a new set (I can’t be without my white and greens!) and I knew how happy he was to receive those sunglasses. Who would’ve thought that something so small would have such an impact?
I think random acts are important because that’s what we do. We share knowledge, pass things along and help each other through this game of life. Plus, it shows others that we’re not all selfish and looking out for ourselves. Random acts of kindness can give people their faith back. I can’t tell you how many times someone has shown me a kindness. I am a firm believer in the human spirit. A lot of people have made me into what I am today and it’s because of kindness.
About Bryan Anderson: Bryan grew up and resides in Illinois. Injured by an IED in October 2005, Bryan is one of the few triple amputees to survive his injuries in Iraq. He is an ambassador for the Gary Sinise Foundation and a spokesperson for USA Cares, which is focused on assisting post 9-11 veterans. Click here to learn more about Bryan.