*image from google images.
Since I joined the planner community through different groups in Facebook, I have participated in a few RAKs also known as “Random Acts of Kindness” which consist of sending planner goodies to someone you don’t know for no specific reason but that of being kind or nice or wanting to share a good find with others.
I have received RAKs and I have also sent them. My take on these famous RAKs is that they are great as a way to receive something or send something without expecting anything in return, but also, at times you really don’t know what you should exactly do after receive a RAK. I have to say that, my common sense tells me that when someone sends you something the least you can do is send something in return, just as way to say thank you, even though, a RAK is not supposed to be reciprocal, not in principle at least because it is precisely that “a random act”. Since we don’t ask to sent things in theory you are not responsible for sending anything back.
There is also something weird about these RAKs because, it has happened to me whenever I have sent goodies, which I actually bought with joy and with the intention to share with others, the person receiving those things didn’t even write back to follow up and say thank you or let you know that your packaged had arrived. You only have to assumed that the packet was received and that the circle of “kindness” ended. It would, however, be nice if at least the person at the other end wrote you back to let you know that the goodies made it safely.
I am not sure whether there are any kind of guidelines about these RAKs, and I simply don’t know them or whether there really are no guidelines and it depends on each individual how they respond to your RAK. I guess I am yet to find someone who will truly believe in the act of kindness that the person will bother in writing back and letting you know whether the things that you sent are nice or useful to them.
Also, even though it is a random act of kindness we are not to expect anything back. Is this a way one action where you give without any expectation at all? I guess so, just to avoid disappointment. I am also not whether we truly understand the meaning of these RAKs or whether this is just one more thing that become popular among people in social media and it will soon disappear. I want to believe that we have become in these RAKs because, somehow, we still find joy in receiving “happy mail” as they call it, in using “old” methods such as snail mail to exchange things with someone you don’t know. Maybe like the old style “pen pal”.
Swaps on the other hand are more reciprocal because it is precisely that, a swapping of things between two individuals with expectations in place. The idea is that you will send something to someone knowing that you are receiving something in return.
I want to believe that even though we have become more dependent on electronic communication media, we take part in RAKs and swaps and pen-palling and what not, because we still like receiving old fashion mail from someone we don’t know.
Whatever it is, I like doing RAKs because I do believe in sharing the good with others, whether you know them or not, it is a nice thing to share a good find with someone who shares the same passion: Planners.
So let’s give a chance to RAKs and swaps and let’s continue trusting on each other, in the end, this is still someone inherently humane that we can do for one another, even if a RAK is only about sharing planner goodies and nothing more. These things make people happy and this is exactly what we need, more happy people in the world! – and fabulous as well.
E M J