Living the Sweet Life: Go ahead and RAOK them!

Alisa and her RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) card.

Alisa and her RAOK (Random Acts Of Kindness) card.

By Alisa Murray _ Nationally recognized portrait artist and award-winning columnist. –

The past few weeks have been horrific. From Stony Brook to the bombings in Boston, to the recovered kidnapped women held against their will for years and years, it seems that everywhere we have really bad people amongst us. Here are some facts according to me: I figure at least 20% of our population has some sort of mental illness, but about 5% are certifiably crazy. Crazy does not mean just plain mean and evil; that’s something else. There are plenty of people we all know who are a little kooky, and their kookiness makes them fun to be around. Mean and evil is different. Mean and evil is that kid in Toy Story who figured out a way to burn his toys with a magnifying glass and the sun. Or, it’s the sinister mind of someone who just hates because…well, that is the way they are built. There will always be in every group some individuals who are just plain mean.

Nana used to say, as did Granny, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” This little piece of worldly wisdom could have come in handy as I watched the TV. However, I, like most of you, got caught up in the display of stupidity and found myself getting angrier and angrier and angrier. What I wanted to do was to write on my blog a public display of distaste for terrorism and what can be done to abolish it in its entirety from my – not YOUR – country. I spent a good half a day just plain crazy with hate and found myself plotting ways to lash back verbally at the random act of senselessness that I had witnessed here, in what I wanted to believe, if not for myself but for the sake of my children, was and still is a safe place to live. And then, I spoke to Father Mike. Yes, Father Mike and I had a few words and what he said sent me spinning back to my center space. Funny how Godly people will always do that.

“You see God was there in Boston.”  Yes, that is what I heard Father Mike say. As I listened to him, I thought, “You are not making any sense!” As Father explained it, “The people who ran to help comfort those who had been injured had heard God’s voice. They were acting through his will to help, to support, to be kind.” They were not responding with another wrong. We spoke further about it, and I remembered Jesus. You know how he was betrayed by Judas and in the end, Judas hung himself. What I most liked was he “got it” in the end without Jesus having to do a thing, and I stopped hating. “It isn’t very becoming” anyway, as Nana would also say.

I have a RAOK card. This stands for Random Acts Of Kindness. Father Mike actually issues these out to us, and we carry them wherever we go. My norm is not to particularly pass them back out because often times, I think I will need to give it to someone who can learn a lesson from it. Then, there are the beneficiaries of my RAOK that wouldn’t know what to do with it if I were to give it to them anyway, but they need me none the less. Take for example that squirrel scampering across Highway 6 this week. No, he was not a lucky squirrel. I RAOK chose not hit the crazy beast as he went through six lanes of traffic to get to what…another pecan tree? Same was true of a not so smart little bird who, for whatever reason, has chosen the busiest door on my house to build her nest and must fly out every day when I open it no less than 50 times! I shall not do anything less than to accommodate her desire to hatch her babies there this spring. In fact, I find it quite an honor that she actually chose me to share that moment with. Then there was that teacher whose tone in her email got a little too sassy for me, and I chose to RAOK her by biting my tongue and being kind.

So, I have been holding my RAOK card for a while silently helping those who, in my mind, might not be able to help themselves. I am issuing it out right now though. I give my RAOK card to all those people in our society who make me feel real uneasy. I give it to the now dead mother of that boy who stormed into the school and murdered those babies. I give it to Judas because I have always secretly hated him for betraying my Lord, and I give it to those terrorists who want everything dead because they are most definitely in the 5% or the 20% of the human race. I feel much better now. How about you?

Take Care of YOU … and OTHERS!