The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) tank is a clear 4' x 2' Plexiglas tank decorated with the MBC logo. The tank is placed in a prominent thoroughfare inside the school, creating maximum exposure for the kids to see during the school day, reminding them to perform random acts of kindness with each other.
The small things we do for each other can make such a big difference. Holding a door open, picking up dropped books or personal items, a kind word when someone feels down, reaching out to those who no one pays attention to or seems to care about, or simply giving a sincere smile to another are all kind gestures that can genuinely touch a heart, brighten a gloomy day, and create a positive impact. Not only does it affect the person who is receiving the kindness, it affects the person giving the kindness. This 'double dipped kindness', once set in motion, can multiply and have a subtle, yet powerful, perpetual ripple effect.
The tank also acts as a 'character' monitoring gauge for the staff and students. The tank is clear, thereby allowing open visibility for everyone to see how many RAK cards are in the tank. When the RAK tank is not getting filled, it's a visual indicator that character kindness is not being practiced enough!
The Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Tank - A Personal Story
"One afternoon as I was driving down the country road where my son's fatal car accident occurred, I had an odd visual flash through my thoughts. I was on my way to visit the crash site, now known to family and friends as 'Ryan's Site', when the vivid image of a clear Plexiglas tank formed in mind. At the time, I couldn’t quite understand why something so odd would pop in my sorrowful thoughts while visiting our family marker of mourning. The confusing image persisted off and on over the next several months. Each time I would visit Ryan's Site, navigating and journalizing the difficult path of my grief, the odd visual of that Plexiglas tank would continuously pop into my mind.
About nine months into my grief journey, I slowly came to the realization that I wanted to share the information I had learned about overcoming pain, brokenness, and the importance of living a life filled with good character. The character legacy of my son at such a young age had comforted me and my family to such an enormous degree, had greatly affected the lives of so many others, that I wanted to share: I wanted to share the story of my son. I wanted to share the profound knowledge that we are all woven together like a tapestry, with each and every life having individual relevance. And, I wanted to encourage others in the choice of creating a life with positive impact and leaving behind an honorable legacy.
As I began to develop the Measured By Character program, I would frequently look back through my grief journal, reading through all the notes, thoughts, and emotions I'd put on paper while sitting at Ryan's Site. Included in those notes were thoughts I'd written about the importance of participating in sincere acts of kindness for others without seeking personal gain. I felt strongly about wanting to engage our youth in this concept, so the MBC program was developed specifically for school presentation. During development, the idea of the RAK cards was created and it was during this process that the clear Plexiglas tank image that had been persistently popping into my mind finally revealed its relevance. Like the last piece of a puzzle being put into its proper place."
- Wade White