Kindness as a way of life

Nov. 6 is Random Acts of Kindness Day in Penticton. What are you planning to do?

Eyes on the prize. Group publisher Shannon Simpson of the Penticton Western News along with Penticton Blenz coffee shop manager Nagwa Martin and Marketplace IGA owner/manager Colin Powell with the Random Acts of Kindness giant cookie baked at the Penticton IGA. Friday (Nov. 6) is Random Acts of Kindness day throughout the city and the Western in partnership with Blenz and IGA are giving away cookies and coffee from 10 to 11 a.m. For story and photo see page 8.

Eyes on the prize. Group publisher Shannon Simpson of the Penticton Western News along with Penticton Blenz coffee shop manager Nagwa Martin and Marketplace IGA owner/manager Colin Powell with the Random Acts of Kindness giant cookie baked at the Penticton IGA. Friday (Nov. 6) is Random Acts of Kindness day throughout the city and the Western in partnership with Blenz and IGA are giving away cookies and coffee from 10 to 11 a.m. For story and photo see page 8.

Ten years ago Rylan Hernberg made a promise to a friend who passed away to be happy, since then he has found being kind to others is his favourite way of staying upbeat.

“I evaluated what makes me happy and figured doing things for other people makes me happy. I look for opportunities all the time now just to do things for other people and it really fulfills me, so that’s why I do it,” said Hernberg, sales manager at the Ramada Penticton.

Amber Grouette is greeted with flowers at the door of Ramanda Penticton by hotel sales manager Ryland Hernberg who will be just one of those celebrating Random Acts of Kindness Day Friday (Nov. 6).

With Random Acts of Kindness Day, Nov. 6, gaining steam in its second year headed by the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan, it’s like Christmas and a birthday all rolled into one for Hernberg. He has been focused on doing random acts of kindness since 2011 and is excited that the community in Penticton is jumping on board with such enthusiasm. He said seeing the community embrace the spirit of the day last year was “the best feeling ever.”

“It’s contagious, you could just feel different. It was a different feeling in the city and it made me really proud, really proud to be living in a city that promotes that. It was a special day for sure,” Hernberg said.

Many businesses throughout the community will be joining the Ramada Penticton in participating in kind acts including a partnership with Blenz Coffee House, MarketPlace IGA and the Western News giving out free coffee and cookie from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Blenz. The Community Foundation is also giving out random act of kindness cards once again this year, so many they had to order more last week, letting people know about the day and reminding them to pay it forward after being the recipient of a kind act.

Hernberg was visibly giddy about this year and plans to bring some surprise kindness to the guests at the Ramada Penticton as well as those visiting the Kettle Valley Station Pub, though he is being tight-lipped about the specifics, wanting the acts to truly be random and maintaining the surprise factor. Free goodies will be given out randomly to guests at the Ramada Penticton and the Kettle Valley Station Pub’s executive chef James Bryan is preparing some special dishes for restaurant-goers.

Hernberg likes a specific type of kindness where he is not around to see the result.

“It is a lot of fun when it’s secretive,” Hernberg said. “There’s this ripple effect. I usually go and do them and get out of the way.”

Putting change in laundry machines and vending machines, or leaving a $20 bill with a note saying pay it forward in the menu at a restaurant, those are his favourite types of anonymous kind acts.

“I’ll never know who got that menu,” Hernberg said. “I love that.”

Random acts of kindness can take many shapes and Hernberg has been doing them so long, he’s constantly on the lookout. A trip to the grocery store is a treasure trove of kind acts for him.

“I know there’s 17 opportunities, different things I can do to be kind,” Hernberg said. “In Penticton there’s a lot of people who can’t reach the top shelf. Elderly people or people in wheelchairs, without fail at the grocery store there’s always someone who needs a hand with the top shelf, it doesn’t have to cost money.”

The celebration is not meant to have all your kindness focused on one day, just to get the ball rolling and bring attention to how easy it is to be kind, and Hernberg hopes others will find it as addicting as he does.

“This day really brings out the awareness of kindness. When people start doing it they start to feel good and then they are going to probably do it more throughout their lives because they had that experience, the positive experience,” Hernberg said.

“I encourage everyone just to try it and see how you feel. It’s my quickest way to get out of a bad mood,” Hernberg said.

“If I’m feeling down, I just look for something to do for someone else and it picks me up, right away, it changes my whole mood. I encourage other people to try that.”

The Western News is looking for stories of random acts of kindness to share and spread the good word. If you were the recipient of a random act of kindness or performed one, share your story in 150 words or less via email to editor@pentictonwesternnews.com with the subject line RAKDAYSOS, or drop your story off at the Penticton Western News located at 2250 Camrose St.