I am a big proponent of spontaneous, unspecified, widespread acts of kindness regardless of age, sex, race, or denomination, but I've started to wonder. Where is the movement for intentional acts of kindness?
Of course, intentional acts of kindness are all around us, but we usual call them "charity", or "service", or something similar. To me, an intentional act of kindness is discriminatory in who it serves. Intentional acts of kindness would be given to those who most need them.
Yes, in a way, this sounds unfair. Isn't everyone deserving and potentially in need of a kind act? Of course! Everyone could use a brightened day, or a helping hand.
What comes to mind, however, is a theological concept called the "preferential option for the poor". Although not specifically referenced in the bible, it draws on biblical teachings, and reflects a branch of religion known as Liberation Theology.
In biblical language, this means that God loves the poor above all else. Whether or not you are Christian, or religious at all, however, the preferential option for the poor simply states that we must give the poor preference.
If you try to understand this theologically, it is challenging, because God is supposed to love all of mankind equally, but think of it this way:
You have two children - one a much older son, and the other a young boy. You walk into your house to find that the two have gotten into a fight. What do you do? You defend the younger, weaker son, even though you love both sons equally.
It is the same with the poor. We must love all of mankind, but the poor especially, because if we do not help the poor, those who are wealthy and strong will win by default. And the poor are not necessarily economically poor - they could be anyone who is somehow disadvantaged. This is true, whether or not you believe in a higher power.
Thus, I implore you. Practice random acts of kindness. Everyone is deserving of your love, and everyone is poor in some way, but do not forget to practice intentional acts of kindness as well.