Random Acts of Kindness Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated each year on February 17. The purpose of this special day is to urge people to be kind to each other, especially those they don’t know, without any specific reason.

The philosophy behind Random Acts of Kindness Day is “altruism,” which means selfless concern for the welfare of others. A traditional virtue and a core aspect of many religions, altruism is basically the opposite of selfishness.

Altruism concentrates on the desire to do good or help others without reward. Although the key to altruistic behavior is not being concerned with reward, doing good does have its benefits.

Those who perform random acts of kindness often find that doing so reduces stress and boosts their self-esteem, leading to better physical and emotional health.

As you perform random acts of kindness for others, you will likely find that some people wish to return the favor. Instead of accepting their offer, ask them to “pay it forward” instead.

The phrase “pay it forward” refers to the idea of requesting that a kindness be repaid by having it done to others instead. In this small, simple way, you can encourage others to keep the kindness flowing!


12 Join the Discussion

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars  (3 votes, avg. 4.00 out of 5)
    • Thanks for sharing your comment with us today and for letting us know a little bit more about you, Jon! We hope you have a WONDERful birthday this year! :-)

  1. I think random acts is from your heart not your mouth Wonderopolis thank you soo much for these cute videos!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • How true, Wonder Friend Jazlyn! Acts of kindness do come from the heart, and sometimes we communicate how we feel by speaking! Thank you so much for sharing your awesome comment with us! Have a super weekend! :)

  2. Paying it forward is like the person that did something to you is giving it back I think the best thing that you should do is feed the hungry and spend time with the lonely I thing it is just LOVELY.

    • We really appreciate all your awesome ideas for paying it forward, Jazlyn! Giving back, or paying it forward, is a super way to make others smile. We always want to treat others the way we’d like to be treated, and respect and kindness is always important! Thanks for sharing your WONDERful comment, Jazlyn! We couldn’t agree more! :)

    • Hello Jazlyn, we are so glad you’re back! Thanks for visiting us again and keeping a smile on our faces! Have a WONDERful Sunday! :)

    • Happy Easter to you, too, Jazlyn! We think there are lots of ways to do something nice for someone else. Sometimes it’s smiling at someone you don’t know, sometimes it’s making breakfast for your family instead of the other way around. What have you done something for someone else that has made their day? :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


  • Wonderopolis on Facebook
  • Wonderopolis on Pinterest
  • Print

Have you ever wondered…

  • What is a random act of kindness?
  • What is altruism?
  • What does it mean to “pay it forward”?

Wonder Gallery

practice random kindness_shutterstock_58680217Vimeo Video

Try It Out

OK, enough reading: It’s time to put what you’ve learned into action. It’s time to pay it forward!

There are thousands of things you can do to celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Day. Some may cost money, but there are also many, many things you can do to brighten someone’s day for free.

Just think about how great it would be if everyone took some time to make someone smile. The kindness could go on and on. So do your part and get the ball rolling!

Go to The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation‘s website to read some heartwarming stories and discover some great ideas for ways to inspire people to practice kindness and pass it on to others.

Here are some other ideas you might want to give a whirl:

  • At a drive-through, pay for the order of the person behind you.
  • At the gas station, offer to pump gas for someone.
  • At the grocery store, buy some supplies for a local food bank or animal shelter.
  • Around the neighborhood, rake the yard or cut the grass for an elderly neighbor.
  • At the hospital, visit someone in recovery or make a meal for a family dealing with illness.
  • At school, tell a teacher how much you appreciate all he or she does for you.

Don’t limit yourself to the ideas we’ve listed. We’re sure you can be creative and come up with some great ideas of your own!

When it comes to kindness, there’s no limit to the number of ways you can make a difference in someone’s life.

What random act of kindness did you perform today? How has the kindness of someone else made a difference in your life?

Write a brief story about your experience and then email or send it to Wonderopolis. We’d love to hear how kindness has changed your life!

Wonderopolis HQ
325 West Main Street, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-4237


Still Wondering

We hope today’s wonder has inspired you to keep the kindness flowing. Think you can keep it up for 100 days in a row? Use ReadWriteThink’s 100 Acts of Kindness chart to keep track of your progress. We know you can do it!


Wonder What’s Next?

All aboard! Tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day will take you for a ride on one of the most famous railroads of all time… with no tracks in sight.

Upload a Photo or Paste the URL of a YouTube or SchoolTube Video.