Week 33: SpreadKindness.Org: Heart+Action=Power
One of my goals for this 52-week journey is to explore a wide variety of ways to get involved – from more structured organizations to grassroots efforts. Sometimes volunteering can take a pretty big commitment of time, resources, or planning. However, there are also many simple ways to tie volunteering and kindness into your life in much more organic and simple way. SpreadKindness.org is one such avenue.
SpreadKindness.org is a California based non-profit dedicated to encouraging individuals and groups to practice kindness in their everyday lives. They strive to inspire, enlighten and spread joy through sincere kindness.
It all starts with you. You have the power to impact someone right now… to bring a smile to a face, to touch a heart, to start a growing ripple of love with what may seem like an almost meaningless gesture.
Their website lists many different acts you can perform – from super-simple ones to more planning-focused one. They can also help you be creative to come up with something new.
When you participate in random acts of kindness, you are in essence showing unconditional love… your act has no strings attached.
It’s an amazing way to connect with others to share love and compassion and to contribute to another’s well-being.
When it’s aimed at strangers it can be even more powerful. Someone who is on the receiving end of an act of kindness will stop with surprise at someone they don’t know doing something for them.
My focus with SpreadKindness.org was to create tiny unexpected and wonderful moments for others. I am hoping it will create a small shift in a positive direction. So I chose to create 50 Kindness Bags and leave them in places like coffee shops, a hospital waiting room, and on tables in the local libraries.
To create my Kindness Bags I filled sandwich-sized Ziploc bags with a granola bar, a positive note and a small, blank notebook.
SpreadKindness.org has business-sized cards you can print and include in the bag that tell the finder that they’ve been hit by a random act of kindness and encourages them to pass an act of kindness on.
I included purchasing the supplies in a trip to the supermarket and then spent about 2 hours getting the bags ready. I had my grandson and daughter help stuff the bags.
I took about 12 bags each morning as I left for work and made an effort to leave them around each day. Similar to last week’s DoSomething.Org’s activity, the conscious intent to do that over the course of the week really changed my perspective.
I found it really fun to think about where to leave them and go do it… quietly and secretively leaving them to be found like some kind of kindness ninja.
Performing small, random acts of kindness makes you an example of what is possible. You can become an inspiration to someone.
Maybe finding the bag would bring a smile to someone who is having a very stressful day. Maybe it would make their next interaction with another person a better one than it would have been. It can help open up potential in others as it creates a ripple of perspective shifting from one person to the next. Even if someone sees the bag, looks it over, and does not take it – it could bring a smile or get them to wonder about who left the bag, to think about their intent.
That simple act itself could cause someone’s outlook to change for a small while, making the world a better place. I like to think it opens their thoughts to doing something nice for someone else – opening their potential for positive human connection. If I can play a tiny part in that, it’s pretty amazing!
I believe we each have a responsibility to create and grow positive energy in the world in whatever way we can. I believe it makes a difference and adds up. I’m looking for the tipping point on the scale, where, one day, people are so used to being kind to each other first, to connect with strangers in a compassionate way as our default approach (as opposed to now where most of us approach strangers with distance, a wary eye, or… worse… angry and biased), we begin to see opportunities and a future in a whole new way. Where we transform our old ways into newer, more inspirational, more loving ways of living and being.
Kindness does not have to be big. As the SpreadKindness.org motto reads, “Share a smile, be kind, pass it on.”
To learn more about SpreadKindness.org, to check out their campaigns, or to participate in spreading kindness, please visit: http://www.spreadkindness.org/