Kindness Army: Now Recruiting

“What this world needs is a new kind of army – the army of the kind.” – Cleveland Amory

Ten days from now, Wednesday July 13th, will mark 100 days since I began my kindness journey. Its crazy to think that as of today I have completed 90 kind acts already. It has also got me reflecting on what I was hoping to achieve all the way back in March when I first asked, Can Kindness Be Powerful? I wanted to challenge myself to walk the talk and ‘be the change I want to see in the world’. To stop complaining that there wasn’t enough kindness and start actively contributing to it instead. I also wanted to discover what impact this would have on myself and those I was kind to. Would I feel happier, more positive? Would others be grateful? Would they see the point? I wrote about all these things before starting the kindness journey but strangely enough I did not clearly articulate my biggest wish for this project: that it would inspire others to be kinder too.

The journey so far hasn’t all been smooth sailing – in fact there have been times when I have wanted to give up completely, but sticking to it has given me some amazing connections with beautiful people and allowed me to learn some life-changing lessons. I have performed big kindnesses that have resulted in big happiness. Lately however, real life has somehow crept in to take complete priority while kindnesses have taken a back seat. I have still completed a kindness each day – today, for example, I had a lovely experience microvolunteering on sparked (a way for “busy” people to volunteer a few minutes of their time and knowledge helping someone out with a worthy cause). And small kindnesses are still important and meaningful in their own way. But for my purposes I think its time to “take it to the next level”, to really challenge myself and make this project the best, most inspiring, most meaningful it can be. And I’d like your help. Yes, you! My plan is threefold:

1. The biggest week of kindnesses yet – I have almost completed all the kindness on my list, but this week I’m going to tackle the ones I have been putting off. These including giving food to the homeless, giving ten dollars to a stranger (inspired by Reed’s amazing Year of Giving), and (after a lot of mental preparation and positive affirmations) take two for giving away a bunch of flowers, one of the most challenging and meaningful kindnesses I have ever attempted.

2. Audience participation – Here’s my dream to celebrate 100 days of Year of Kindness: every person reading this blog performs a random act of kindness for a stranger on July 13th. Think about what would make your day a little brighter and do it for someone you don’t know. It does not have to be as big as giving away flowers or $10 (although that would be awesome), it could simply be writing a kind post-it note and leaving it in a public place. On the 13th I will be giving away flowers again, and considering how unexpectedly challenging this was the first time around, it would certainly give me an extra boost of kindness courage if I knew your lovely selves were out there in the world performing your own kindnesses too. And do let me know if you do, either by commenting or email: yearofkindness@gmail.com.

3. Guest bloggers – over the next few months there will be some amazing, inspiring guest bloggers contributing to Year of Kindness. They will be blogging about what kindness means to them and the change they would like to see in the world. Let me know if you’d like to be one of them!

Since you are reading this, I would say you are already part of the kindness army. Whether you know it or not you are probably already contributing to the kind, the positive and the good in the world. On July 13th, I invite you to take all your innate kindness, positivity and goodness and put it into one act to brighten the day of a friend you haven’t met yet. Go on, you know you want to…

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44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kristin Hernandez
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 17:54:04

    Hi Cat! I will go with you to feed the homeless. We can go spend an evening in a soup kitchen in the city if you are keen. I love your blog! 🙂

    Reply

  2. Emma
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 19:17:37

    Consider me a new recruit for the kindness army. I’m not sure yet what I will do as my act of kindness but I’ll let you know how it goes…

    Reply

  3. Future Focused
    Jul 04, 2011 @ 23:32:16

    You are an amazing beautiful soul. Best wishes my friend.

    Reply

  4. Lexy Raine
    Jul 05, 2011 @ 07:11:35

    Count me in for July 13th!!! 🙂
    And in case you don’t yet realize it, you provide me with huge amounts of inspiration! I plan on devoting an entire month of my Happiness Project to kindness, just because of you. I figure if you can do it for an entire year, I can at least attempt to do it for an entire month.
    Thank you for all that you do Cat, you are pure awesomeness!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 05, 2011 @ 12:53:30

      Thankyou Lexy, that’s brilliant. A month is a big challenge too and you’ve got a pretty full plate with all your other awesome happiness goals! Thanks for your support, it means a lot. 🙂

      Reply

  5. stevepmoore
    Jul 05, 2011 @ 09:08:24

    July 13 is in the diary. And I’d love to do a guest blog. Sxxx

    Reply

  6. veggieatlas
    Jul 05, 2011 @ 12:14:34

    Am with you on the 13th. Your posts are a joy to read and they always trigger both a smile and contemplation. Thanks for the sparked link also – is a great idea 🙂

    Reply

  7. Eric Winger
    Jul 06, 2011 @ 04:15:28

    Happy to help and I’ll mark down 7/13 on my calendar. Let me know what you’d like from a guest blogger as well.

    Reply

  8. Phil Bolsta
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 01:59:22

    Thanks for “Liking” one of my blog posts, HDC! Are you familiar with this kindness poem? It’s wonderful!
    http://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/naomi/

    Love what you’re doing with your blog. I know you’re inspiring many people to consciously be more kind.

    Blue skies!

    Phil Bolsta
    bolstablog.com
    Author of “Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything”

    Reply

  9. louisvillehuggers
    Jul 10, 2011 @ 23:26:14

    Count me in Cat! I will be spreading the love in Louisville KY!
    It’s so great to see like minded people out there giving away kindness 🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 11, 2011 @ 22:14:28

      Awesome, great to have you on board louiseville! It’s truly becoming an international campaign which is amazing! Keep up your kindness crusading, you’re doing a great job. 🙂

      Reply

  10. Trackback: Shock and Awe Kindness (Inspired by Kermit the Frog) « yearofkindness
  11. Trackback: Shock and Awe Kindness (Inspired by Kermit the Frog) | WPBlogger
  12. politeandparanoid
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:00:16

    I definitely will do an act of kindness tomorrow!!

    Reply

  13. Low Carb Jo
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:55:30

    I’m in. Will let you know how it goes. BTW I’m in N.Ireland. It is 21.55 here now. So you should be starting your day already.

    Reply

  14. Ash Butler
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:37:04

    My cousin, Laura, before she died used to take her money whenever she had a little she could part with and would go to doughnut places in her area to ask if she could buy all their old, stale doughnuts that just get thrown away because they were a day old… she would get these buckets of doughnuts, and when she got them then she would go around and give doughnuts to homeless people in the area. No strings attached. No thanks needed. Just giving doughnuts to homeless people because it made her happy inside to know that she helped someone who didn’t have any food or money for food either.

    Laura has/had always inspired me. So does one of my favorite books, about a girl who strongly believes in random acts of kindness no matter the outcome. So do you. 🙂

    Thank you for making the world a better place.

    DFTBA. ❤

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:47:47

      Thankyou for sharing that lovely story, Ash. Laura must have been an amazing person. It’s so inspiring to know there are people like her all over the world spreading kindness and compassion!

      Reply

      • Bunny
        Jul 19, 2011 @ 12:16:29

        My pleasure to share, happydancecat. And thank you, Laura was a pretty amazing person. It’s definitely has always been inspiring to me, knowing that there are people like her in the world.

        I, do, greatly appreciate what you do by the way. It keeps me remembering how much good there is in the world too. 🙂

        DFTBA. ❤

  15. Ash Butler
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:39:03

    (By the way, count me in for July 13th. <3)

    Reply

  16. Buenas Vibras
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:30:36

    Wow, just in time for joining! You are SO inspiring! And, although I don’t know exactly what act of kindness I’ll be doing tomorrow (it’s still 23:25 where I am 😉 ), I am absolutely in for this one. By the way, I have a blog in Spanish, it’s called Buenas Vibras (good vibes), on which we include positive, inspiring and uplifting articles like yours. Would you allow me to comment on your project tomorrow? It’s my 100-day gift for you! Also, if you would like, we can work on something together, like making the project available through my blog, or letting me translate and post some of your articles or comment on your ideas. Anyway, if any of this resonates with you – and I hope it does! 🙂 – please contact me, OK? Lots of blessings your way! (and btw, I was feeling kind of down and uninspired, but you just brought me back up! Thanks! 😉 – would this count as another act of kindness of yours? 🙂 ) Good vibes!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:56:24

      That is fantastic, Buenas! Of course you can talk about yearofkindness and I would absolutely love to work on translating it so that more people can get involved. Please email me yearofkindness@gmail.com. And let me know how you went on Wednesday!

      Reply

      • LizG
        Jul 20, 2011 @ 07:02:46

        🙂 Thank youuuu! I will send you an e-mail with different options that we could consider, and maybe together we can come up with more. And I already shared my Wednesday adventure 🙂 Thank you for your comments! And for this week’s challenge as well, truly important if I may say 🙂 Oh! and sorry, in my first comment I hadn’t realized my public name was the same as that of the blog 😀 All fixed now!

  17. Trackback: Thankyou (Yes, You!) « yearofkindness
  18. Ann Marie
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 07:23:44

    Consider me a part of the kindness army, too!
    Are you still looking for guest bloggers at all?

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 08:15:47

      Awesome, thanks Ann Marie! Definitely, why don’t you email me (yearofkindness@gmail.com) and tell me a bit about yourself and what kindness-related topic you might like to write about? Do you have a blog yourself?

      Reply

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  25. JokeL
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 00:47:59

    Hi!
    I just started reading random posts in your blog!
    Can I still be part of your Kindness Army? 🙂

    Few days ago, I wrote something about “what’s the most beautiful thing about people?” and kindness and a good heart was my take on that.. 🙂

    You really have a nice blog! 🙂

    Reply

  26. Trackback: Kindness Army: We Want YOU! « yearofkindness

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