Kindness is the most beautiful paper chain. Each link that we add makes us stronger, as human beings, as one united force on this planet. Over the last few weeks I have seen many amazing people open their hearts in the wake of the tragedy in Newton, and commit to doing 20 - 28 acts of kindness in honour of those who died. I read Lisa A. McCrohan's blog post, and she was inspired by Ann Curry's post, and so the kindness chain extends. I put the call out to my friends on Facebook to help me commit 28 Random Acts of Kindness, and we are now up to 19 of those 28.
I created this piece of art a while ago, but hadn't added the text yet, and this quote came to me yesterday, as I was napping with my baby. I believe that kindness has the power to heal us all. Not just the act itself, but the power that telling our stories of kindness holds. We are all deeply wounded when we hear about these tragedies, and if we let that become our story, we can come to believe that we live in a hostile world. We need to hear stories of everyday acts of kindness to be reminded that at our core, most of us are really GOOD. We need to be reminded that there is more love in this world than hate.
There are some fantastic sites out there that remind us of this every day. If you are looking for some inspiration, I recommend Positively Positive, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and Love is Louder.
And if you are looking for ideas about what you could do, here are our 19 acts of kindness so far:
1. Joyelle: Shoveled sidewalks around my house and salted them, so moms can get out of the house with their strollers.
2. Joyelle:Made up some star shaped shortbread cookies with the note "You are a shining star!" Gave some to Janice at London Drugs, who helped me out by getting me another package of batteries that gave me twice as many for the same price as the package I had picked out.
3. Joyelle:Went to Rona, gave some shining star cookies to Brent, who has been spectacularly helpful on several visits there, including helping us replace a broken lamp shade for free!
4. Michele: Organized a Christmas hamper, including gifts for parents for deserving people who don't know I am doing it
5. Michele: Kids took poinsettias to the 'granparent age' people in the trailer park by our house
6. Michele: Elderly man in front of me at superstore was going to put back his donuts because he was $3 short, I reached over while he was digging them out and paid his whole bill....
7. Lynn: Our Founding Editor, Dr. Lynn Burton, gave her extra-fine long blond hair to the BC Cancer Society for baby wigs. Maybe you can donate too. http://www.anmorealternative.com/HEALTH.html
8. Heidi: Gave a homeless woman my hat
9. Lynn: Gave a sandwich and warm drink to a Salvation Army Bell Ringer. It felt so good.
10. Joyelle: Took a Christmas card to the owners of our local coffee shop, thanking them for creating a space where I have so many happy memories with my family. Tucked a lottery scratch n win card in the envelope.
11. Joyelle: Bought a Caffe Divano gift card for our townhouse complex landscapers. Left it at the shop so that the next time they come in for coffee it will be a treat.
12. Joyelle: Took cookies to deliver to staff at my sons school.
13. Joyelle: Played parking meter angel on Commercial Drive, filling 6 expired or almost expired meters.
14. Joyelle: I made a donation to this school.
15. Samantha: Also made a donation to Brittannia Elementary.
16. Robert: Donated his fees for a dental procedure for a student
17. I baked banana muffins and dropped them off at my chiropractor's office, then serenaded the office with a Christmas tune.
18. Robert and I paid the bill for the person behind us in the McDonald's drive-thru line.
19. Samantha: Purchased Indigo Adopt a School Gift Cards to support Moody Elementary's library.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead