The Therapeutic Poet: It’s Time To “RAK It Up!” (Random Act of Kindness)

June 5, 2011

It’s time to “RAK it up!”

No, I’m not talking about readying the billiard balls for a game of eight ball. Yes, I am talking about adding to the brownie points needed to enter the pearly gates.

If you want, you can fit it into any realm of spirituality that is comfortable for you or even the realm of humanity. You can look in disgust and run from the title’s innate “corniness,” but you must admit, when you do a RAK, a random act of kindness, it warms your soul and just makes you feel good! That’s what I get out of a good RAK.

RAK is the satisfaction of sharing a bright moment with someone; the opportunity to make someone smile, help someone, or even make the people around you chuckle. RAK is not anticipated, nor is it something you do because you’ve been asked. It comes up spontaneously, by way of the heart. RAK can be just giving up the seat to the person who’s corns hurt a little more than yours, just allowing the anxious commuter to go on ahead of you, or saying “Hello,” “Thank you,” or “Have a good day” to the bus driver, token booth clerk, or newspaper vendor. It doesn’t take any more oxygen than we normally consume; but “dang” (like that word?), it sure shifts that “just another day” paradigm.

Take for instance, a few weeks ago; I was shopping up and down 125th Street. Anyone who knows me knows that this poet considers shopping, anywhere, a walk through Dante’s Inferno. (Yes, there’s a poem there….) I suffer from what I have titled: “sensory overload.” When I am on a really crowded street or in a crowded store, I get overwhelmed like a toddler losing their parent in rush hour. When I am in the throws of a “sensory overload,” I am ready to run and hide. I feel like throwing on some medieval armor and getting a long jousting stick to walk through the street. (To anyone who struggles with a hint of what I am sharing, you know what I mean.) I quickly decided that to make it through that day, I will have to slow down, flip my frustrated frown to a smile, and appreciated the world around me. Soon I found myself focusing outward, instead of inward: I smiled at a person who looked like they were walking in my shoes, greeted the vendors, chuckled at the tourists with their deer-in-headlights expressions, as they are shuttled in their fish-bowl-like-bus, and complimented a sister or two sauntering down the street with a nice hair style or outfit. I then rewarded myself with a visit to Café Latté for a turkey burger and start a few lines of a poem (I’ll share it when it is completed).

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By the time I was ready to go home, I realized that the day wasn’t so bad and shopping isn’t so painful. I concluded it was because I RAK’ed it up that day, did some random acts of kindness, just gave it away. With shopping bags in hand, I headed home feeling that I came, I shopped, and I conquered. I realize that we are all in this together, whether it is dealing with the recession, the rigors of everyday, or shopping on 125th Street. Just a little bit of RAK goes a long way.

World Concert

Our lives are in concert with others; compatibly at times,

Not so well other times, but invariably, with others.

We don’t always acknowledge our togetherness, but moved to, we quickly sense the comforts of a shared symphony.

People belong to sections of the orchestra;

each the master of and instrument;

yet the concert belongs to more than just our “section” –

our neighborhoods, families, circles of friends… or us.

The symphony is greater; the harmonies, complex,

with a conductor who vigilantly keeps tempo.

This concert encourages us to appreciate

the music we make with others.

The whole of creation depends on

the contribution of each part for its completion;

interdependently, never singly and alone,

We Exist!

We are one with one another –

the concert


“I may not feel our oneness today, but I trust it is so.”

“You may not feel our oneness, but I trust you will.”

By Lora René Tucker

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