One of the main premises of this Kindness Activist project is: KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS. When we see kindness, receive kindness, or even hear about kindness, we are in turn inspired to go out into the world and CREATE KINDNESS – SHARE IT! One little act of kindness can be a ripple that goes out into the world and makes more ripples – spreading, expanding, and filling the space with KINDNESS.
That is what I have seen to be true. That is what I believe.
With that concept in mind, that sharing about kindness inspires more kindness, I set up something special on our front gate.
We live on a very busy intersection right outside Washington DC. Cars pass by day and night, as do bicyclists, walkers, and runners. I wanted to see how many people would be willing to stop and get involved if they spotted THIS sign:
|Kindness is Contagious sign - day one!!!|
It was quite bright, neon in fact! And it was really noticeable. Hanging from it was a bag of post-it notes and markers, and another bag with Kindness Activist cards with contact info.
But these days so many of us (myself included) have our heads buried in our cell phones or our minds focused on “more important” things than what is right in front of us… So how many people would, a: NOTICE the sign, and more importantly, b: be willing to get involved and share a message???
I started by putting my own message on the board. I invited my partner to post his. Then I waited and hoped people would join in.
And they did!! One of the first person to be bold enough to participate wrote this:
|I couldn't agree more, Georgia (who I have never met but would like to!)|
You can’t imagine how much that made me smile!!!
I wrote about the board on Facebook, and loads of friends gave me stories of kindness to post. So those were added! Two friends even wrote their own post-its from afar and sent them snail mail to add to board.
And neighbors, passersby, continued to stop and share. Their messages filled me with joy. With happiness. And I guess, ultimately, the messages filled me with HOPE. Some days it is hard to believe in kindness – when the news is all negative and the workday seems to never end. But on those days I would pop out to the front gate and find notes like this one:
|I have often thought about doing this, buying a stranger's coffee, but have never |
actually DONE it. Thanks, whoever wrote this, for reminding me what a
KIND thing it is to do, and not difficult!
|Hey Mike at Safeway - your kindness made a big difference in|
the day of the person who wrote this note!
And look at this one!
|What a great way to give back to the world.|
Even kids got involved, which really made me grin.
|Because to help people :)|
|Once I fell down and someone helped me get up. :)|
Some were very serious:
|You are lucky to have such an inspirational friend, JH. Thanks for|
being open and honest and stopping to share!
|I bet your friends were happy to be able to help|
Others more light-hearted:
|You are VERY WELCOME! It was totally my pleasure.|
I guess, in the end, this project was a tiny bit selfish… I am certain that I received more than I pitched in on this one – all I had to do was make a sign and keep the bag stocked with markers and paper, passersby did the amazing work of opening their hearts and sharing kindness. Thank you, kind souls, who took time to stop and share your stories of kindness.
This project was a tangible way to remind myself, and to share with others, that KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS.
Share some today, won't you?
And if you know of a kind person, please tell me about them! I am looking for more stories to share so that we can spread kindness even further. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to share YOUR story of kindness received, given, or witnessed. THANKS!
|Thank YOU! After all, KINDNESS IS CONTAGIOUS!|