Fun versus Kindness

A loyal reader asked the question “What is the difference in the attention on fun activities, and the attention on kindness?”

It was much easier to do my 49-4-49 project – the one where I did 49 fun activities or adventures between my 49th and 50th birthdays – than my 50-4-50 project – where I did 50 Acts of Kindness towards others between my 50th and 51st birthdays.

The fun activities were much easier to do – there are always fun things listed in the media, talked about amongst friends, advertised, and easy to Google.  Little real thought had to go into generating the list and then executing each activity. Many of the fun activities were more social, done with other people who were equally engaged in the activity.

My intention behind the fun activities was to enjoy things I’ve always wondered about doing (skeet shooting) and some that excited and scared me (trapeze).

The kindness activities were harder because they aren’t really advertised, don’t feature much in the media and aren’t often discussed among colleagues and friends. They are fewer and far between, especially if you’re looking to do more than just donate money. It was harder to think of things off the top of my head, but became easier when I found a couple of websites that talked of kindness. Acts of kindness were much more solitary, often me on my own or with one other.

My intention behind the acts of kindness were to make others feel better, connect with others in a deeper way than I might otherwise, and push myself outside my usual kindness to try new and different things.