Project Kindess

January 24th, 2013

(Listen, we’re just going to gloss right over the fact that it’s been well over three months since I’ve posted. It’s my blog; I can do that if I want to and I don’t owe and explanation or apology. This is all said in a self-soothing tone as I get fretty about this sort of thing.)

I am entirely too self-focused and selfish. I complain too much and see the flaws in everything well before seeing the positive. I know this, I accept it, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to change it. I’m going to actively seek ways to be kind and selfless in the hopes that it will become a larger part of my nature instead of something I have to work so hard to achieve.

For the month of February, I am going to complete one random act of kindness per day. I place no monetary value on the acts or strict rules that I have to follow. The only guidelines are:

1. I have to go out of my way to do this act of kindness. It cannot be an act of convenience.
2. It has to legitimately help another person and not myself by extension.
3. I’d like it to be anonymous if possible, but I will do kind things for people I know and love and won’t hide that it was me.

I’m posting this not to boast, or pat myself on the back, or to get you to praise me. I’m posting this to ask if you want to participate. If you’d like to be a part of Project Kindness for the Month of February, you can either comment or drop me an email (erica @ andnoplacetogo . com). We can share ideas with each other and encourage one another if the going gets tough. More importantly, I’d like there to be more kindness going on than I can do all on my own. Together, we can be a force to be reckoned with.

(And if this goes well in February, then who knows? Maybe we’ll keep going on a smaller scale. I don’t know that I can commit to one act per day for the foreseeable future, but surely we can come up with a reasonable plan.)

6 Responses to “Project Kindess”

  1. PinkieBling on January 24, 2013 3:40 pm

    I *love* this. I’m in!

  2. Ruth on January 24, 2013 4:03 pm

    I’m in!!

    Here’s a fantastic source of inspiration, started by Shmuel Greenbaum as a response to the murder of his pregnant wife by a suicide bomber in 2001:

    It’s so easy (and human) to focus on our own crap (both the crap we create and the crap that is done unto us), and to forget that crap begats crap. Our lousy moods seep into everyone around us and poisons them in turn. But the same is true for kindness, and little ripples of kindness get bigger and bigger. I’m in awe of someone like Shmuel who finds the strength to look into the face of pure evil and turn it to the good–and for others as well.

    Can small acts of kindness banish all evil from the world? If only it were that easy! As my grandparents used to say when I pouted and whined, “That’s not faaaaair!”: Life is not fair. Where did you get such a cockamamie idea? Life’s not fair, get used to it–because that doesn’t get you off the hook.

    So here’s one of my contributions. I call them “mitzvah bags” but you can call them whatever you want. I take big ziploc bags and fill them with:

    –hotel or travel-size toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, etc.)
    –a couple of granola bars
    –fruit rolls
    –juice box
    –a pair of white cotton tube socks
    –a photocopied list of local homeless shelters and other social services

    I buy the socks, chapstick, etc. at Walmart or Costco for just a few bucks, and make up a few of these at a time to keep in my car. When I see someone panhandling by the side of the road or in front of the supermarket, I hand one over with a smile and a few words of encouragement like, “Hope this helps!”

    My friend’s church made this into a service project where they collected the items to be donated in big boxes in the lobby, had the Sunday School kids sort and bag them, and gave a couple of bags to everyone at the next service to hand out in the community too.

  3. Reading (and chickens) on January 24, 2013 4:11 pm

    Count me IN.

  4. Cara on January 24, 2013 4:21 pm

    I am totally in! My first thoughts that come to mind are:

    -Drop off cookies or something similar at a police or fire station with a note saying how much the community appreciates them.
    -Write hand-written notes giving people compliments
    -Pay for someone else’s meal/drink at a drive-thru, etc
    -Offer to babysit someone’s kids so they can have a night out
    -Give service workers (waiters, people at stores, etc) compliments to their managers for good service

  5. Mama Bub on January 24, 2013 5:26 pm

    I’m in.

  6. heidi on January 25, 2013 7:18 am

    I want in. But I need help. In my selfish, selfishness I never can think of things to do. Thanks for the suggestions Cara.

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