I was moved by Sara Milledge’s recent blog post about the 26 Acts of Kindness campaign proposed by Ann Curry. You can read about the twitter campaign here, which was started to honor the 26 lives lost in the Sandy Hook shooting.
It does seem a little odd that an act of kindness is a challenge. But, if you think about it, there’s no time for it in a society that operates under downloads and deadlines. These days it’s get up, get by, and go to bed. We are whizzing shadows headed toward unknown destinations.
But doing the small things, like paying for someone ahead of you in line or dropping a note of encouragement in a book at bookstore, do have the power to make one feel gooey on the inside and turn a stranger’s life in the right direction. These small acts can serve as mini pick me ups for all of us that are stressed and losing our grips on the grand scheme of the universe. If you throw a small rock into a lake, wide rings extend through the water. I know I sound like a corny fortune cookie, but we really don’t realize that it’s the little nice things that lead to the prevention of horrible big things that crowd our TV screens.
We live in a a world where turning on the evening news means listening to a grim reporter talk about another murder, rape or a shooting. Today’s young people find that life outside the front door is unpredictable and terrifying. The current state of the economy is enough to make members of my generation head to their local bars and order a double round.
Al.com posted a solid list of simple acts of kindness here. They range in effort from getting your hands dirty in a community garden to simply letting the other person have your freaking parking space. I think the best way to devise your own acts of kindness are to start living with intention. Pay attention to those moments when you would normally get angry or walk away. Instead, why don’t you just kill the situation with kindness.
I was lucky enough to catch the Endymion parade in New Orleans for Mardi Gras this weekend. In the chaotic mess, my favorite part was standing on scaffolding, catching fun throws and handing them to the kids around me. That’s the thing about kindness. Everyone will get something in the end even if it’s just a good feeling. Or beads thrown by Kelly Clarkson.
Pay it forward…even when your own life feels like it’s spinning backwards.