Year-End Spirit Lifter: A Brief History of Random Acts of Kindness

Here’s a little bit of happiness to start the year right.

Let’s be honest, the end of the year is just as much a time for disappointment as it is for celebration. Many people look back at the year and are reminded of how wrong so many things went that seemed to have such promise.

So, to combat the year-end blues, here’s a quick pick me up detailing stories of generosity, love, and kindness from unexpected sources to remind us that humanity isn’t completely doomed and there is still some good worth fighting for.

The Most Hated Girl On Youtube Lends a Hand to Japan

Yes, that clueless face did a good deed.

At first glance, Rebecca Black seems like the most loathe-able kind of human being. She seems self-centered, ditzy, and generally ignorant of the world around her. In other words, she’s the kind of person you wouldn’t expect to give of herself to others in need.

But give she did. On March of 2011, she announced on The Tonight Show her intentions to donate the proceeds from her single Friday towards the tsunami relief effort in Japan as well as her own school.

It seems even a well-intentioned fool can be directed in the right direction to do some good.

A Notorious Biker Gang Puts Kids First

For one day, they could subtract the hell part out of their name.

The Hells Angels have a reputation for being ruthless criminals, but this year they proved that they have a soft spot for the little ones.

A large group of Hells Angels camped out in front of a Fresno, California Walmart on Black Friday for five days straight. On day five, they quickly marched in and bought the store’s entire stock of over 200 bicycles. Afterwords, they proceeded to donate every single bike to Poverello House, a local homeless shelter, to be distributed on Christmas morning.

This wasn’t the first time this happened either. Last year, the Hells Angels and other motorcycle groups in the area helped Poverello House give out close to 4,000 toys in total.

It’s heart-warming to know that those that live to ride fast can stand idle in queue for a noble cause.

A History of War Being Halted For Good Deeds

I’d like to see all international disputes settled with a soccer game.

A battlefield is, barring those who risk their lives to protect country and kin, the last place you’d expect to see an act of kindness. We picture it as an unending landscape of violence and horror.

That makes it all the more shocking to hear that many acts of charity and goodwill have managed to mingle with wars in the history books.

For example, have you ever heard the story of how George Washington ordered a cease fire during the Revolutionary War just to return a dog to British general William Howe?

How about the famous Christmas Truce of 1914 that saw British and German forces decorating foxholes, singing carols, and playing soccer in the middle of World War I?

It’s stories like this that remind us that, despite cynicism, peace is possible.