Shock and Awe Kindness (Inspired by Kermit the Frog)

Dear Kindness Recruits,

In preparation for Wednesday’s 100 Days of Kindness mission, I must tell you something. Sometimes being kind is a bit like being green – it’s not always easy and people often give you very strange looks. But this only proves even more just how much the Kindness Revolution is a cause worth fighting for. We live in a crazy, mixed-up world and it’s up to kindness crusaders like us to remind people that it’s not all gloom and doom – that the world is also beautiful and meaningful and kindful. (Yes, sometimes I make up words, just go with it.)

As for me, my shock and awe campaign has already begun. I have upheld my end of the bargain and continued to really challenge myself with this week’s kindnesses. However, I am also discovering that the best, most rewarding kindnesses are not created but found. My advice to you would be to let your instincts guide you to find opportunities for kindness, because they truly are everywhere when you start looking.

On my 94th day of Kindness my mission presented itself at a shopping centre. I noticed a lady sitting on a bench. Not just any lady: possibly the loneliest lady I’ve ever seen. It wasn’t just her strange assortment of clothes or half-dyed hair or the fact that she was sitting by herself staring at nothing in particular or the way everyone gave her a wide berth as if she were about to spontaneously combust. It was something in her eyes, something totally defeated and lost and broken. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say, or even if she would respond to me when I did speak, but something told me I had to try.

I sat down next to her on the bench and noticed her outlandish shoes. Before I could chicken out I quickly heard myself saying, “Those are very interesting shoes.” There was a long pause, she slowly turned to look at me, obviously taken by surprise, and said, “Yes.” I thought perhaps that was the end of that. I couldn’t think how to go on from there. But then she began to talk. First about how she could only afford that one pair of shoes, then about every other aspect of her life, all of which were equally heartbreaking. I could feel people staring at us, knowing we must have seemed a very odd pairing (me still in my smart clothes from work, and her in the only clothes she owned). That made me annoyed to start with – she’s a human being like everyone else – but then I felt glad they were looking, as it meant I was making a strong point. I gave her advice when she asked for it, but mostly I just listened and tried to make her feel heard and understood. After about an hour the lady seemed to have grown tired of talking and we just sat for a little while. Eventually she turned to me and said, “Thankyou for listening to me. No one has paid any interest in me for such a long time. And just talking to you has made me think that there’s a chance things might turn out all right in the end.” Listening and acknowledging sure is a powerful thing.

On day 95 I faced one of my biggest kindness challenges: giving out flowers. I was viewing it as a major challenge purely from my previous experience – just thinking about that made my stomach turn itself in knots. And so I decided that rather than wait until Wednesday, I would dive right in and do it straight away. But this time I really thought things through to make sure it had every chance of being enjoyable. I recruited my awesome friend A to come along for moral support (and also because if people can see you have a friend who doesn’t think you’re crazy, then they’re less likely to think you’re crazy also.) Instead of handing out one bunch of flowers to one person, I handed out a whole lot of individual flowers to different people, thus taking some of the pressure off. I also generally approached people who were standing still or sitting down (at bus stops or in the park), not those who were walking by in a rush. And finally I tweaked the exact wording of my explanation to ensure that I got the words “free flower” and “kindness project” out in the first twenty seconds before the other person even spoke, because if I didn’t every single person’s instinctive reaction was to say no.

A happy flower recipient!

In the end, out of about twenty people, only three refused the flowers. Strange to think anyone would refuse to accept a little kindness in their life, but I did not take this personally, only thought it was their loss and moved on. It certainly helped to have A by my side reminding me what a positive thing I was doing, regardless of how people reacted. Of those that said yes, some of their responses were quite incredible – as A said, it “warms the cockles” and “brings a tear to the eye”. One lady informed us it was her birthday that day, another said she had been given the exact same flowers from her family during a really happy time and couldn’t describe how meaningful it was to her to recieve one again, and another lady said she was a big believer in random acts of kindness, that it took real bravery to do it for a whole year and that she was sure it would get much easier as I went along.

And it already is. On days 96 and 97 I bought a coffee for people at two new cafes in the middle of peak coffee hour in the centre of the city (so even the barista looked at me like I was Kermit the Frog). And it was only a single little baby butterfly that fluttered around in my stomach – rather than a whole butterfly family – as I explained to the baristas and the businessmen what I was doing and why. What did I care if they thought I was nuts, I don’t even work in the city so I am never going to see them again. And who knows, maybe later it will sink in somehow and they will see for themselves that random kindness is meaningful and important. And on day 98 I bought a sandwich for a homeless man who was not particularly grateful (making it clear he would prefer money instead), and I did not take that personally either. Just like when I was talking to the lonely lady, people stared at us in confusion as we spoke, and once again I was glad for it. If the man didn’t appreciate the kindness, at least people walking by might realise that “normal” people like “us” don’t have to walk by homeless people as if they don’t exist. Finally, somehow, I am starting to detach myself from the outcome of the kindnesses, and simply enjoy the journey, wherever it may lead me. Mission accomplished.

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262 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mikalee Byerman
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:41:17

    What a beautiful story — thank you for spreading this message, for recruiting us all into such meaningful efforts and for sharing the story.

    As someone who has been in the middle of crazy for a long time (which is actually the inspiration for my blog, in fact), I thank you for reminding me there’s TONS of good out there too!

    🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:28:36

      Thanks, Mikalee! Yes, unfortunately craziness is everywhere and everyone has their own crazy to deal with. Which is why it’s so important that we always try to look after each other!

      Reply

  2. The Simple Life of a Country Man's Wife
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:42:52

    What beautiful stories. The one of the old lady on the bench brought tears to my eyes. To think something as simple as a conversation was enough for her to think life might be worth living. It’s hard to think about.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:36:35

      You’re right, TSLCB, it was quite heartbreaking, but at the same time the way she opened up so willingly and shared her story with me – a complete stranger – was quite beautiful. And then to have felt that perhaps some of her suffering might have been eased by our interaction was incredibly powerful.

      Reply

  3. monkeygrrrrl
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:52:12

    This is a really beautiful blog. My mother passed away six years ago, but once during her sickness she gave me a ‘challenge’ if you will….to smile at everyone I saw for an entire day. Not only are we programmed in this desensitized technology age not to even look at people, but to smile, really catches them off guard!!! I found it taught me a lot about myself, and what I am NOT doing, out of laziness and creeping cynacism…we all kind of abstractly disconnect from our exterior humanity without even realizing it. Come visit me on my blog MonkeyGreens where I talk about the ups and downs of urban gardening, and my love of animals and nature and local food. Have a blessed day!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:43:53

      Thankyou so much for sharing your story, monkeygrrrrl. Your mother must have been a beautiful person. My kindness project is very much inspired by my grandmother, who was the most giving and caring person I’ve ever known. Smiling and saying hello was my very first kindness task and I found it very difficult! It certainly is a challenge to overcome laziness, cynicism and fear (I still find it a challenge each and every day) in order to be kind to strangers, but its worth it. Your blog sounds great, I will definitely check it out.

      Reply

  4. kvnsgrrl
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:56:49

    I just found your site randomly through WP. I love the idea, and I hope that it spreads around the world. I’ll be with you today, looking for that opportunity, and you’ve inspired me to make it a habit. If a butterfly opening it’s wings can start a monsoon, what could one act of kindness start?

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:47:10

      That’s fantastic, kvnsgrrl. Did you end up finding an opportunity for kindness today? The first step can be the hardest, but it gets easier. I certainly hope a little kind butterfly can start a kindness monsoon. Or many monsoons, as the number of butterflies grows!

      Reply

  5. My Camera, My Friend
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:57:45

    Congratulations on comming so far in your venture. You give the rest of us some food for thought.

    Reply

  6. HurricaneCandice
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 00:59:30

    Being kind is definitely not always easy. I just finished the Boilermaker 9 mile race. Toward the end, a man stopped running. There was so little left, I knew he could finish, so I encouraged him and pushed him so that we finished together. I told a few people about it, feeling good about my accomplishment, but most people’s response was, “He probably thought you were weird.” Well, I am, I guess, but these little things matter.
    Keep up your good work!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:53:53

      Good for you, Candice. That is an amazing story, and a very good example of spontaneously grabbing an opportunity for kindness with both hands! When people respond negatively to my kindnesses, I try to remind myself that they are clearly very deprived of kindness in their own lives, and so sadly cannot understand its power and importance. Makes me feel better, anyways! I’ll be “weird”‘ and kind with you!

      Reply

  7. David Mahlow
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:00:26

    Beautiful idea! Keep it up!

    Reply

  8. coyotemoonwatch
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:19:06

    Thanks.
    Thanks for the reminder.
    Thanks from all those you have touched
    Just thanks.

    Reply

  9. phylliskirigin
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:19:44

    What a lovely undertaking. I thought it might inspire people to know there seems to be a kindness gene in all of us. I recently had an experience that puts the lie to the notion that New Yorkers are uncaring. I was walking along a sidewalk in Manhattan and my heel got stuck in a crevice. I fell straight forward with my left knee absorbing the weight of my whole body. Immediately about seven passersby came to my rescue and lifted me off the sidewalk. Another ran to get a park chair for me. A woman appeared seemingly from nowhere and began spraying something on my injured nee. It burned like crazy. She said, “Don’t worry. I’m a nurse. This will help.” It turned out to be a perfume spray (containing alcohol, of course). Fortunately, my husband was with me. He hailed a taxi and took me back to the hotel. The pain persisted but I sure smelled good.

    I’m using the same theme as yours–koi. Don’t you love it?.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:01:54

      Thankyou for sharing, phyllis, that’s a great story. I was having this very conversation with a friend the other day. Even though people in big cities may seem unfriendly or rude as they rush to their destination, when it really counts their true kind colours show. New York has proven that and then some over the years.

      And yes, I love koi!

      Reply

  10. incessantme
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:20:42

    I have always wanted to do this…to go out in the street and help ease someone in any small way…maybe help an old lady cross a street or just offering them my seat…or maybe just listening to someone’s bad day.Though i have been doing these random things as and when i get any chance but i always wished to do it more often..maybe everyday.And reading this post of urs has definitely inspired me further.Just want to say Thank You for sharing this and Thank You on behalf of all the people u have touched with ur kindness.May God ease ur life manifolds of what u have given.May u have a great day each day of ur lovely life !! God Bless You !!
    Thank You !

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:53:21

      I had always wanted to do it too, incessantme. But I was too scared and too overwhelmed and too busy with my own life. I kept procrastinating. And none of those things ever went away, but something just clicked and I decided to do it anyway. It’s fantastic that you have been doing little kind things, you should be proud of yourself for any kindness you put out into the world because it all counts.

      Thankyou so much for your kind words, and good luck on your own kindness journey!

      Reply

  11. skippingstones
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:34:10

    I think that we are so often wary of people, of their motivations, that it’s hard for us to accept kindness for kindness’ sake. I don’t mean little courtesies, such as holding the door open for people or saying thank you – we don’t expect those things as a given, but we’re not suspicious of them. But I know I can be suspicious of bigger acts of kindness, because those are even less common-place anymore.

    It’s incredibly brave to hand out flowers to strangers. I’m not as surprised by 3 people saying no (for reasons above), but I’m also not at all surprised by the positive responses you received. We are so connected to one another – just the small act of smiling at someone can brighten their day. And yet we don’t act on these connections, we don’t put forth the effort to brighten another’s day. When we accept someone doing that for us, with purpose, it opens those floodgates of joy and we bond, even for just those few minutes.

    In the end, there is something great to be found in the experience, for all involved. I work in retail, and people tell me their troubles all the time (I call it retail therapy, and I get as much out of it as they do). You can tell that they just need to talk, just like that lady said.

    Well done! I’m proud of you and you are a great inspiration to me. I wonder if you know about this: http://www.kindnessthemovie.com/? You might be interested.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:00:13

      Thankyou for your insightful comments, skippingstones.It’s very true that we are naturally suspicious. In the beginning I used to get quite upset when people responded with suspicion and wariness, or even rudeness on occassion. But upon reflection I realised that I would probably react the exact same way if I were them. It’s just not part of normal everyday life to really truly show kindness and compassion, and that’s why I started this project. We need to re-connect, and to remember that those people we encounter who are suspicious, rude or nasty are usually those that need most kindness in their life!

      Just checked out the kindness movie website, what an interesting project! Will have to have a more thorough look later.

      Thanks for sharing the link and your thoughts. 🙂

      Reply

  12. spidersworkshop
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:35:39

    What an inspiring blog. I don’t know if I will see any strangers tomorrow, but if I do I will try something kind.

    Something I have done in the past is return lost phones to people. It is not that hard to find out who a phone belongs to and pop it in an envelope with a couple of stamps, instead of claiming it as your own, “new” phone.

    I believe acts of kindness come back to you.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:04:18

      Thanks, spidersworkshop. Did you find an opportunity to be kind yesterday? If so, I’d love to hear about it. I haven’t ever found a mobile phone, but I certainly would return it to its rightful owner if I did!

      Reply

      • spidersworkshop
        Jul 15, 2011 @ 02:44:48

        I only went to my daughters school yesterday, so no strangers. However I did pass a pair of new shoes to one of my daughters classmates, (they were giving her blisters), and the mother was very thankful. She is quite a woman. As well as looking after her own boy she also cares for her sister-in-law’s 4 year old boy after she died in childbirth, raising the two as brothers. Kindness, some people do it everyday.

      • happydancecat
        Jul 15, 2011 @ 23:17:42

        That’s a beautiful kindness, spidersworkshop. She sounds like a truly amazing and inspiring person. You’re right, every day there are people giving endlessly and wordlessly and never asking for anything in return.

  13. lilthechic
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:42:12

    Whoa. Cool to know people like you still exist. You may have saved that woman’s life by that simple kind gesture of simply listening. I think i am going to try it too! I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:09:55

      That’s brilliant, lilthechic. I think there is so much positivity and compassion in the world, we just don’t hear about it as often as the doom and gloom on the news! Did you end up finding an opportunity for kindness? I’d love to hear about it if you did. 🙂

      Reply

  14. aweinfur
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:43:07

    I love this! I think it’s great how you don’t take any refusals personally and keep others’ negativity out of the project.

    Reply

  15. Jacqueline
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:49:33

    Your blog has left a lasting impression upon my day, and quite possibly all that truly matters to me. Thank you so much for that! xx

    Reply

  16. annisveggies
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:50:26

    Hi, I have just seen your blog on freshly pressed and I am so impressed! What a wonderful idea. I am about to subscribe and will take time to go back and read all your posts to date. All the best, Anni Kelsey

    Reply

  17. girlonthecontrary
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:51:00

    Thanks for sharing this! Incredibly inspiring and very heartfelt. This made my day!

    Reply

  18. thewordmavens
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:52:45

    really nice. i try to do random kindness too, but not on a scale of your project. congrats on FP!

    Reply

  19. boretobitch
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:59:43

    =)

    Reply

  20. รับสร้างบ้าน
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:02:58

    Thanks for sharing. Is very good and very interesting.

    Reply

  21. Trackback: Shock and Awe Kindness (Inspired by Kermit the Frog) | WPBlogger
  22. makingmomproud
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:15:24

    This is so cool! I am sometimes appalled that people think it strange when somebody does something nice. What has this world come to 😉
    I consider myself a very nice person and at times people question what I’m doing. They think that there is some kind of hidden agenda behind my actions. But I can understand. I am not suspicious when somebody is nice to me so it’s always some kind of disappointment when people have ulterior motives. And it happens a lot. So to find people who do nice stuff unconditionally is a rare treat!
    Lot’s of luck for the rest of your year!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:34:26

      Thanks, makingmomproud. Yes, unfortunately kindness from strangers is simply not that common and our society teaches us to be wary and suspicious because “nothing is for free”. But when I think about it, it makes my kindness tasks extra lovely when someone realises I don’t have hidden agenda and I am just being kind for the sake of it!

      Reply

  23. lavieeuropaa
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:17:23

    what a beautiful thing you are doing- I truly admire this project and will definitely attempt to preform little acts of kindness in my daily life as well. Thank you for the inspiration!

    Reply

  24. Charlei Scott
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:18:04

    What you said about the homeless man makes me think of a piece I’m working on. It’s a painting of someone with outstretched hands (like a panhandler or beggar), it’s done in shockingly neon and radioactive looking colors — the person is, but the background is normal. The piece is entitled, “I’m poor, not contagious,” because that is precisely how the disenfranchised are often looked upon and treated. I’m glad you’re doing something differently about that. Keep it up!

    Reply

  25. Tar-Buns
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:19:35

    Great project. I’ll have to read more of your previous posts. Congrats on being FP!
    BTW, I could not read other comments on your page. Are they hidden for a reason? Sometimes I return to read comments. Just asking…

    Reply

  26. Jo@simplybeingmum
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:19:50

    What beautiful beautiful flowers, wish one had come my way! I have a little story to share. At a car parking machine last week the man in front was 10p short. I gave it to him. As soon as it was my turn to put my coins in the machine another man tapped me on the shoulder and gave me his ticket with two hours left on it till expiry. I’ve never had an act of kindness so quickly returned as that! Karma was on a mission that day to get through everyone!

    Reply

  27. char48
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:21:04

    I just found your blog through freshly pressed….and I love it! My mission this year has been to ‘stop complaining and start changing’ – ie to act to improve the things that I don’t like seeing and hearing about, rather than just talking about them. You are an inspiration, keep up that kindness, and don’t forget to be kind to yourself too!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 13:53:36

      What a fantastic mission, char! That was a big part of why I started this project, actually – instead of getting frustrated at the lack of kindness in the world, actively do something to change it.

      And thanks for the reminder – the kindness to self is probably the trickiest one for me, but I’m working on it!

      Reply

  28. cravesadventure
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:27:01

    Great Post – really made me think about the kindness I spread throughout a day, week or year. You are so brave and kind. We all could use a little more kindness and at times tolerance with one another. Congrats on being FP!

    Reply

  29. splashkidd
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:32:23

    Bravo! Just found your blog this morning via the “Freshly Pressed” page of WordPress and very much enjoyed reading a bit about the 100 days days of Kindness mission. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about not only your journey, but the lives you touched too during the mission!

    Reply

  30. Auspicious Wedding Dates
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:36:00

    True kindness is not easy to express, because it requires Wisdom to dispense it properly, i.e., appropriate to the scenario and needs. However, if done under the pretext of a Kind Campaign, it should have the effect of evoking other’s kindness.
    All the best to your good work 🙂
    You will probably touch someone’s heart you didn’t thought possible and ignite their engine frozen by their environment.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:03:27

      You’re very right, AWD. It’s been a steep learning curve to be able to read situations and understand what kindness is truly needed. Sometimes its much simpler than it first seems!

      Reply

  31. dollycupcake
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 02:58:08

    I love the fact that you acknowledged that other people were openly looking at you funny, and yet you were OK with that. For me personally, the scariest thing about a project like this would be what others might think — people who don’t know me and whom I would never see again. Thank you for writing about this, and it might sound trite, but you really are an inspiration!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:08:12

      Thanks, dollycupcake. I definitely wasn’t always okay with people giving me strange looks, and I still don’t find it all that enjoyable, but I suppose I’ve become a bit immune to it after experiencing it 100 times! I think fear of being judged is the biggest factor stopping people from doing a random act of kindness. I feel the fear every single day, but most of the time its completely unfounded – when you think about it, if someone is going to look down on you for being kind, it makes them look far worse than you!

      Reply

  32. Evie Garone
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:07:45

    Well good for you . . . I think what you are doing is WONDERFUL!!!

    Reply

  33. pokey mama
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:08:20

    I’m new to your blog, so forgive me if you’ve written about this, but have you read Mira Bartok’s “Memory Palace” memoir about her mother’s mental illness and homelessness? Your post was moving and made me think of her book. Thank you for putting these beautiful words out in the world–that in itself is a very large kindness!

    Reply

  34. Mehdi
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:27:37

    Happydancecat,
    After a long time, I am writing this comment. I find the post very interesting and inspiring as well. You are doing a great thing.keep it up. I wish you all the best.

    Reply

  35. ceciliagunther
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:28:17

    I love this. I have always said that kindness was the most under-rated quality in a person. To see kindness and to BE kind takes thought. Real thought. Real slowing down and thinking kind of thought. And tons of courage. Sadly we have been taught that speed is better. that watching out for oneself is sensible. Good for you. I would take a flower should you offer me one.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:19:09

      Thankyou so much, cecilia. We are definitely taught to be wary and not trust too easily. I suppose that is a necessary lesson, but it has the sad consequence of people not believing someone can be kind just for the sake of being kind. And even sadder, of stopping us from being kind for fear of being judged. But the good news is, even the smallest act, such as handing a flower to someone can shift that perception completely!

      Reply

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  37. savesprinkles1234
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:12:23

    Very cool! You really are making a difference one random act at a time. What a wonderful thing you’re doing! 🙂

    Reply

  38. poindextr
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:14:33

    awesome story and a wonderful reminder that promoting kindness and compassion in the world starts with me. ❤ ~diane

    Reply

  39. midnitechef
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:28:49

    Most people are afraid to talk to total strangers, myself included! I have given change to the people who wait at traffic lights a few times, it was never more than a dollar, but they appreciated it

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:32:57

      It is scary at first, midnitechef. I still get butterflies everytime because you never know how they will react, or if they will judge you wrongly. But every kindness counts, no matter how small! It’s still something positive you chose to put out into the world, and who knows what it could lead to.

      Reply

  40. allenavw
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:38:09

    I’m impressed by your commitment to this project! I once tried to start a “k.a.r.a.o.k.e.”(kommit a random act of kindness everyday) program in a youth group that I was going to, but it never took off because no one wanted to face the strange looks that you describe getting when you try to do something nice and unexpected for someone! It’s too bad that as a whole, we tend to be so cynical and wary of each other. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed 🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 14:36:50

      Thanks, allenavw. There have been plenty of times I’ve felt like giving up, because it isn’t enjoyable to constantly have people thinking you’re crazy. But you just have to persist until the moments of wonderful and you remember why you’re doing it in the first place. It is sad that we’re cynical, but its amazing that sometimes we can break down that cynacism and distrustfulness with the smallest kind gesture.

      Reply

  41. Sage and Sass
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:57:43

    Fabulous goal! Bravo and congrats on being FP!

    Reply

  42. politeandparanoid
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:58:00

    This is such a wonderful thing! 100 Days of Kindness! I love it!! I think I will have to try giving out flowers to strangers. I know that would brighten my day 🙂 Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!

    Reply

  43. Eliana Nunes
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:00:22

    That is such a nice thing to do! I got to your blog because of the handing out flowers part. Our store plans on starting doing random acts of kindness by giving out flowers on the street soon. It’s nice to bring a smile to someone who we don’t know. We are all humans, we are all the same and I am happy to see that some still see that. I did get a giggle out of the homeless guy who complianed about the sandwich.
    Keep on! I will be checking you often for inspiration to do my personal little acts of kindness myself. Great job!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 17:04:48

      That’s lovely, Eliana! If its rare for people to be kind to strangers, its doubly rare for a store to do it! Do let me know how your future kindnesses go, I’d love to hear about it.

      And yes, after the fact I did laugh about the homeless man. Gotta love him for trying, I suppose!

      Reply

  44. karyl33
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:07:35

    This is really cool! Congrats on being freshly pressed! I am basically a kind person but need to be reminded that it’s the right thing to do. Just as kindness spreads so does meanness. I have to fight to remain kind!

    Reply

  45. Go Send or Disobey
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:25:48

    Wow! You are my hero! I wish more people would think like you do. I will be joining you tomorrow all the way over here in California, USA!

    Reply

  46. Elise
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:44:48

    Wonderful site. Great blog. Keep it up. You brought a smile to my face and inspired. me. Thank you. May God bless you.

    Reply

  47. jenesaisblah
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:51:59

    This is really inspiring to read. I can totally relate. After months of hoping someone would say hello back, or return my smile, when I was on a walk. Finally a nice old man said, “Thanks for the smile”, when we lapped each other on the track. I was so terrified by the unexpected that I could only reply “You sure do walk fast.” I told myself in the future not to run from a good vibe. This project is awesome and courageous and I admire you.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 17:40:43

      What a fantastic story, jenesaisblah, I just love that. My very first kindness task all the way back in April was to smile and say hello to strangers. Even though it seems small and simply, I found it was (and still is) one of the most challenging kind deeds to do, especially in a big city. People look at you like your nuts if you even make eye contact. But your reaction to the man’s positive response just goes to show that we are all a little unsure how to deal with kindness sometimes, even when we are giving it to others!

      Reply

  48. Just me
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:53:00

    ““Thankyou for listening to me. No one has paid any interest in me for such a long time. And just talking to you has made me think that there’s a chance things might turn out all right in the end.” Listening and acknowledging sure is a powerful thing….”

    Beautiful and kind. Thank you for spreading kindness and caring.

    “Listening and acknowledging sure is a powerful thing.”

    So true and when it is lacking, it scars and hurts very deeply.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 22:04:13

      Thanks, Just me. You’re right, and those scars can last forever, but maybe it is possible to heal them a little by giving someone what has been lacking in their life.

      Reply

  49. thebigbookofdating
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:54:31

    Lovely post!

    Reply

  50. mitambien
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:55:28

    Wow! What a great post! We sound a like.. I too look for ways to extend kindness. It is very simple..

    Reply

  51. ournote2self
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:05:33

    Great post. More people should participate in such an act. Way to be an example!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 22:10:58

      Thanks, ournote2self. Yes, definitely – lots of people joined my kindness challenge yesterday and did a kind deed for a stranger themselves, which was fantastic!

      Reply

  52. neverending1
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:12:27

    Am I the first to respond to this log? I thougt I”d log in and your blog would be filled with messages. I’m sure if it had been a blog on traveling or food, you would have gotten a lot of responses. It shows where kindness gets you. People just don’t understand kindness. Loved your blog. I’m sure if I met you, you would have been kind to me. Kindness is not something I’ve gotten a lot of lately.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 22:15:07

      Thankyou neverending1! I’m sorry to hear you haven’t had much kindness in your life lately – I hope more comes your way soon! And if you feel up to it I would recommend giving kindness to others what you would like to recieve – making someone else happy tends to increase ones happiness tenfold.

      Reply

  53. a time to cast away stones
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:15:47

    A worthwhile goal! Thank you for documenting your project so thoroughly, and for sharing it with us.

    Reply

  54. Trackback: An Attitude of Gratitude – July 12, 2011 « Go, Send, or Disobey
  55. In Western Europe The Grass is Juicy
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:23:45

    WOW! This is nice

    Reply

  56. Normal is a Dryer Setting
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:39:41

    I think we are kindred spirits. Good for you. Spread the kindness!!!

    Reply

  57. Sister Earth Organics
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:42:51

    The world needs “crazies” like you

    Reply

  58. ohsunshine2011
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:44:36

    You are simply Amazing for touching people’s hearts and for being so kind.

    Reply

  59. Jaclyn Rae
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:49:01

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful heart with the world. You are truly inspiring! 🙂

    Reply

  60. singlemamalife
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:03:40

    what an amazing thing you are doing!!! can’t wait to hear about more of your adventures 🙂

    Reply

  61. run4joy59
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:05:46

    What a wonderful project!!

    Reply

  62. peeblescd
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:14:09

    You’re such a good writer, and an even more inspiring person 🙂 Keep fighting the good fight 😉

    Reply

  63. Barb
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:17:53

    If all of us would do this, no one would be left needy and alone. Actions always speak louder than words! Lets Go Do It!!!

    Reply

  64. Eva McCane
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:30:13

    great idea! the idea of making a strangers day better is my favorite. even just a smile or a hello can go a long way. too often people just pass one another without acknowledgement or kindness. pay it forward.

    Reply

  65. Rachel's Workshop
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:47:53

    I stumbled across your blog in Freshly Pressed and I just found your post to be really inspiring. I am very touched by it. This is a great thing to do… I’m not sure that most people realize the magnitude and the personal bravery that it takes to go against the grain for something like this– that you feel passion for— to be kind to people… it seems so simple. I try to live my life this way as best I can, and often get a lot of wierd looks… but it is worth it because it’s what I believe in. Thanks for a great post!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 22:54:01

      Thankyou Rachel. It’s probably not possible to realise how nerve-wracking it is to be kind to a stranger until you actually do it. But you’re absolutely right – if you believe in it strongly enough, getting weird looks won’t stop you! I try to just see it as one big learning experience, that way it doesn’t matter how people respond, because either way I have given my all and there is a lesson to be learned!

      Reply

  66. Mickyle
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:54:55

    love love love what you’re doing. brings sweet tears to this feller’s eyes.

    Reply

  67. lauriesturner
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:56:22

    This is an awesome idea. You inspire me to do something like this and keep track of it!

    Reply

  68. offthefrontporch
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 07:59:23

    What a sweet story with the lady on the bench! How many people just need to be heard. It reminds me of the Ben Sollee song: Mute with a Bullhorn, “some people want to be heard, some people need to be found.” I like that you are following through your acts of kindness even when hard or perhaps unappreciated.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:04:10

      You’re very right, offthefrontporch, I think everyone wants to feel both heard and found! Yes, I’m trying to focus on the kind act itself rather than the reaction it produces – not always easy though!

      Reply

  69. changingmoods
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 08:28:44

    Wow. I’m truly impressed by your heartfelt actions, especially with the woman in the first story. You’ve got a new reader.

    Reply

  70. wordsweneversaid
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:03:02

    Thank you.

    Please don’t stop.

    Be well,
    M.L.

    Reply

  71. Skye
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:13:22

    It’s kind of sad that some people think there’s a catch to receiving someones’s kindness. This is really awesome.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:20:30

      Yes, you’re right Skye, it is a bit sad. But its also great to think that simple acts can actually change people’s perception, so that next time perhaps they won’t be so suspicious of kindness!

      Reply

  72. arcanewhisper
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 09:25:06

    This is great 🙂 I wish everyone could just be kind… haha, call me a hippy, but can you even imagine what this world would be like?!

    Reply

  73. louisvillehuggers
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:18:11

    I love this so much Cat! I found the lady on the bench to be especially inspiring. Wish me luck tomorrow!

    Reply

  74. Army Amy
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:20:05

    I feel so inspired after reading this! You can tell how much the people you help appreciate your kindness. we are all fighting our own private battles, so a little kindness goes a long way. Great blog!*

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:28:41

      That’s for sure, Amy. Sometimes I think everyone is so busy wishing to recieve kindness that no one remembers to give it! But there is always time to make that change.

      Reply

  75. JT
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:46:51

    What a wonderful idea! Inspiring and so needed, Blessings on your journey friend the eternal rewards can not be measured!

    Reply

  76. Julee Celeste
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:48:24

    I am impressed about the lesson you have learned about not taking it personally. That’s tough for me. So good that you are doing kind things and remembering that it doesn’t matter if people think you’re nuts. You know you aren’t! As to talking to that lonely lady and listening to her, it made me a little teary. I am so glad you intuited that she needed some attention, and you made her feel hopeful just by listening to her. God bless you. You’re setting wonderful example.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 23:37:57

      Yes, it is a very hard lesson for me too, Julee. As a somewhat reformed people-pleaser, my first reaction to rudeness or rejection is always that it must be my fault. The thing is, doing kind things everyday I simply could not get stressed and upset every time someone rejected a kindness or I would spend all my time stressed and upset! And that would have meant giving up on the whole project a long time ago. It’s almost like free therapy really – face the fear every day until its not so scary anymore!

      Reply

  77. Ariana@Pearl's twirl
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:52:25

    With the people like you the world will be a better place. Thank you.

    Reply

  78. Annie M
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:41:04

    This is a great blog!
    DFTBA
    God Bless!

    Reply

  79. arlinaaffendi_36
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:45:34

    Great Blog………:D

    Reply

  80. MaryPoppinSertraline
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:48:20

    Congratulations on being featured via FreshlyPressed- else I’d likely never have found you! Read everything on your uplifting blog in one go, and immediately added you to my blogroll. Having apparently been an unwitting footsoldier in The Army of Kindness for decades (Starting with Brownies at age 6!), what I already knew was reinforced, and your varied experiences have inspired me to redouble my efforts on this side of the Pond! As much ground as is gained, there’s still that much further to go, yeah? You’re a smasher, Cat- good on ya! Looking forward to reading more. Cheers! 🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 18:55:31

      Fantastic to hear you’re a Kindness Recruit from way back, MaryPoppin! Brownies are an oldie but a goodie – that was my kindness today in fact. Let me know how you go on your own kindness journey. 🙂

      Reply

      • marypoppinsertraline
        Jul 16, 2011 @ 01:18:41

        Thank you for your personal reply to my comment- not many bloggers bother, so I respect those who do. Just wanted to clarify, I mentioned “Brownies” in terms of The
        Girl Scouts of America. Brownies are the second level in Scouting, and joining my troop utterly transformed me. The Girl Scout Handbook became a bible of sorts to me, at a very impressionable age. The story of “The Cobbler and the Brownies” in it, was the catalyst that set me on the path of kindness. I belatedly realized you might not exactly have Scouting there, as we do in the States. I couldn’t bake dessert brownies anyhow- it’s a federal offense for me to dare enter a kitchen! 😀

      • happydancecat
        Jul 16, 2011 @ 07:56:17

        Ah ok, I have heard of them but it’s certainly not what comes to my mind first when someone says brownies! Im a big baker and we don’t have girl brownies in Australia but it sounds like it’s a pretty wonderful thing to be part of while growing up! And yes, I do try to respond to every comment, because I feel that if you took the time to respond to me then it’s right that I should do the same for you.

  81. Karen
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 11:48:42

    LOVE this and LOVE kindness. You are inspiring. Thank you.

    Reply

  82. acleansurface
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:09:24

    I am going to share this with someone who has a similar but less formalized mission.

    Reply

  83. Antipodean Adventurer
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:10:59

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your blog has been one of the most deserving of the honour that I have ever seen. I have clinical depression, and today has been a really bad day for me. However, to see that there was someone like you in the world who cared to spread a little kindness was a great comfort to me, and helped me to feel a bit better about the human race. Thank you for what you do … people like you give hope that maybe the world is not as horrible as it is sometimes portrayed.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 19:03:28

      Thankyou so much for your openness and honesty Antipodean. Despite all the doom and gloom that is portrayed on the news, I truly think there is equal amounts of positive, inspiring, goodness in the world if you know where to look. Over the last few days I have been inundated with stories of kindness from all over the globe. I wish you bucketfuls of kindness. Keep looking for the good within the human race – it is everywhere.

      Reply

  84. Sacha Calagopi
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:20:05

    This entry is heart warming. I especially like the story of the woman who said thank you for listening to her. keep spreading the kindness!

    Reply

  85. dadenalxio
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:35:50

    I think I’m gonna copy your idea a little. Kindness for a year is a bit too much to do right now. So, I’ll try for a month

    Reply

  86. baileyr
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:39:25

    You’ve inspired me and I am beginning my acts of kindness today.

    Reply

  87. Smallpeace
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:41:40

    I need more of this positivity in my life! So happy to have stumbled on your delightful and uplifting blog. Keep on keepin on.

    Reply

  88. Currie Rose
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 12:43:08

    Hi. My friend posted your blog to my facebook page with these words, “A kindred spirit — you may want to talk to this person.” She was right. I’ve sort of been on the same kind of quest for about the last year and a half. I can really relate with people looking at you like you are crazy. I’ve found when I tell them I am writing a book about all of the kindness in the world, that they think I’m a little less crazy and mostly I find really uplifting results when I do nice things for others. I remember several years ago, when I first started realizing how fun giving was, I gave out free flowers to a stranger and they actually threw them away.. I saw them laying in the dumpster the next day (my heart was temporarily broken)… however, as I have shifted my views on giving and receiving, I mostly seem to attract people who are more open to my kindness shenanigans… and mostly see me as refreshing…. In fact, the other day was my birthday and for my present to myself, I turned to the stranger behind me in line and said, “Today is my birthday and my favorite thing to do is give, so may I contribute to your order?” He said, “It’s your birthday, I should buy YOU a coffee.” I said, “Well, it’s my birthday and I like to be backwards” He smiled and accepted my gift. Followed by, “Thank you and I’m sure I’ll see you around.” 🙂 Anyway, I don’t know if there is anything other to say than a simple thank you for what you are doing… Thanks for sharing the gift that is you so freely. Thank you for putting more good vibes out there and for inspiring others to think outside of the box and simply give just because.
    ~Namaste,
    Currie

    Reply

    • lovelylici1986
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 00:32:06

      That’s awesome! Keep me posted on the progress of your book.
      I love the birthday story. 🙂

      Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:08:24

      Wow, that’s fantastic, Currie! I too used to find it extremely hard not to get upset and take it personally when people were ungrateful or unaccepting of kindness. It is very strange that once you let go of that and accept not everyone will respond positively, people all seem to respond quite positively! The universe knows just how to teach us the important lessons.

      Please do email and let me know if you would like to do a guest post (yearofkindness@gmail.com). I’m sure you would have some amazing stories and lessons you have learned on your journey. Thanks for your kind words and for being a kindness crusader yourself, its always a pleasure to “meet” a kindred kind spirit. 🙂 Good luck on your journey and of course with your book – that’s very exciting!

      Reply

  89. facebook login
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:41:52

    Wonderful site the picture is who

    Reply

  90. drawnoutdoors
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 13:59:17

    Lovely and inspiring, thank you for sharing, I’m going to delve deeper now and grab some of those kindness ideas to try out myself.

    Reply

  91. sheila7697
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:18:54

    What a wonderful idea! I’m a big supporting of bringing comfort and joy wherever possible, however possible. You have obviously committed to a deliberate plan to share kindness, and that’s something I’ve never really done…I just try to be kind throughout my day. But I like the idea of having a plan and a goal. Good for you!

    I also like what you said about being less attached to the outcome of your acts of kindness. I realized a while back that however a gift (whether a literal gift or an action) is received, it doesn’t change the fact that it was given. Hopefully giving to people with an unselfish and generous motive will open doors to hearts that are cynical.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Sheila

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 19:53:23

      I think all kindness is meaningful, Sheila, whether planned or not! Sometimes I think the most spontaneous kindnesses are the best because they really show that you truly had your eyes open for opportunities to be kind. It has certainly been a steep learning curve to let go of expectations and not take any rudeness or rejection personally, but I’m getting there slowly. But you’re right, ironically the people that react most negatively are usually the ones most in need of kindness!

      Reply

  92. faithandstagefright
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:37:05

    What a beautiful story and a great project! Thank you for sharing your experiences. Keep fighting the good fight!

    Reply

  93. quarterofacenturywriter86
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:16:59

    Wow. You have inspired me to keep going. I have been planning an event for my father’s birthday next year…called One deed, One day, One time (Still not sure of the name). I was hoping that by giving people the chance to recognize one random act of kindness one day to just one person could greatly change lives throughout my community. I wanted to surprise my dad for his birthday next year, because as a single father of 3 girls his strength and kindness has taught me that one little act of kindness can change so many lives. Your blog was inspiring and has fueled my want to commit to this, and hopefully shrug off the crazy comments I am sure to get. Thank you! And keep up the incredibly inspiring work!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 20:24:05

      That is incredibly moving, quarterofacentury, it sounds like an amazing event. How creative and thoughtful of you to come up with that – I’m sure your father will be very proud that you have inherited his appreciation for the power of kindness. I’m so glad you’ve decided to go ahead with it (despite any looks). I wish you the best of luck and would genuinely love to hear all about the planning and the actual event when it comes around. Great work!

      Reply

  94. Lisa Stowe
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 15:38:16

    My teenage son has been experimenting by smiling and/or saying hello to people he passes. He’ll say something simple like, ‘nice day’. He said he has discovered a trend. People my age, in their fifties, and older, invariably smile back and say hello. People his age, or in their twenties, don’t. He said some look at him like he’s odd, but most are too isolated by cell phones and ear buds to even notice he’s said something. He feels kindness is a dying art that belongs to an older generation. After reading this post I can tell him that some are still keeping it alive.

    Reply

    • lovelylici1986
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 00:27:23

      That’s so great that your son is doing that!
      People his age are likely to look at him like he’s strange, and/or be completely unaware. Young people (as well as some older people) are completely out of tune with what is going on around them, and so engage in iPod listening and cellphone chatting. Real people are invisible a lot of times.

      Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 20:28:49

      You must be so very proud of your son, Lisa. It is very sad that younger generations have lost that sense of connection. But there is definitely plenty of kindness in the world if you know where to look! Tell him to keep up the great work, you never know what might be going on in someone elses head in the moments and days after recieving an unexpected smile.

      Reply

  95. Rachel Henry
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:00:24

    Just found your blog. You are an example of the possibility for change I just wrote about. Thank you for doing this!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 20:32:08

      Thanks, Rachel. You reminded me of that quote “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

      Reply

  96. Trackback: Shock and Awe Kindness (Inspired by Kermit the Frog) (via yearofkindness) « My Ever Changing Moods
  97. Gail-Tzipporah Saunders
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:16:14

    Nice job. I was especialy impressed about how you took an interest in that lady. You sound like you have the courage of your convictions. Good for you and for others you may touch, really.

    Reply

  98. InspiringAlways
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 16:48:26

    Keep on shining your light. Beautiful and inspirational. This is life — the good, the bad and the ugly. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 20:38:20

      Thanks, Inspiring. You’ve very right – if I originally thought that a kindness campaign would simply shine a light on all good, I have certainly learned pretty quickly that being truly kind means facing the bad and the ugly right along with it.

      Reply

  99. plainsteamrice
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 17:05:30

    This is just awesome! Let’s keep on spreading kindness =)
    Yeah I agree it’s not easy being kind to strangers, but the feeling is undescribable. It feels like you have won a battle!
    So, when we are nice to others, at least there’s one person who’s always feel blessed: ourself! =D

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 20:42:35

      Definitely, plainsteamrice. Like in all things in life, the struggle makes it feel even more valuable! And I do feel very blessed to have had such incredible experiences and met such inspiring people.

      Reply

  100. coxcastillo
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 18:43:58

    Thank you for reminding me. I was completely moved by the story. It reminds me that we don’t have to be in a position or someone-who-is-fame to show a lil’ kindness…:)

    Reply

  101. The Nameless
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 18:58:37

    You surely did inspire me… it was really very kind and brave of you to do this random act of kindness. Reading about your post only, I felt the happiness in my heart so, I believe those who received it felt happier too. thank you for sharing this with us..:)

    Reply

  102. Silver
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 19:14:10

    I love this! Sometimes it’s the little things we do that can make a big difference. This is such an inspirational blog.

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply

  103. ppriyaaster
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 19:33:44

    What a beautiful way to spend an entire year. I so want to do what you are doing and the very thought has an entire forest of butterflies fluttering in my tummy.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:01:56

      It has been quite a remarkable experience so far, ppriyaaster. Gotta love those butterflies – in case you didn’t know, the fluttering means you should go for it! Let me know if you do …

      Reply

  104. meicaa
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:00:00

    aw… what a beautiful story 🙂

    Reply

  105. eliza keating
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:52:54

    What a beautiful way to live ones life..my grannie said if you cant give someone anything give them a smile….so pleased I came across your inspiring blog..ELiza Keating

    Reply

  106. tbelcheva
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:23:35

    So brave…and kind 🙂 Keep it up! There are other acts of kindness that happen every day but I think the world needs to also acknowledge them and read about them! 🙂 Great quest!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:31:06

      You’re totally right, tbelcheva. It is a big question that I struggled with at the start – do kind deeds have to be anonymous to be truly kind? However, since I wish for the whole world to be a little kinder, I hope that by sharing my stories maybe I can inspire others to start their own kindness quest. I really wanted to show that its possible to be kind and compassionate everyday, even when you’re busy and stressed and dealing with your own “stuff”, as we all are!

      Reply

  107. hikeagiant2
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 22:53:50

    Over the course of the past few weeks I have had several opportunities to talk to people who have done or are about to do brave things. I found myself thinking: “I wish I had the courage to do something like that.” In the subsequent conversation, I learn that they were terrified, but did it anyway. Just like you and your butterflies!!! Not only ‘food for thought’ but ‘impetus to action’. Thank you!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 12:24:58

      I’m sure those were very interesting conversations, hikeagiant! Yes, no matter how many times I do something kind for a stranger, there are always butterflies. It’s the fear of the unknown – it’s imposible to predict how someone will react, and thats a bit scary. But I try to tell myself it doesn’t matter if they are rude, or dismissive, or look at me like I’m Kermit the Frog. I will probably never see them again, and I believe in what I’m doing even if they don’t get it! In fact, the rudest people are probably the ones that are most in need of kindness. Let me know how it goes if you do act!

      Reply

      • hikeagiant2
        Jul 16, 2011 @ 22:05:35

        In re-reading these conversations and your replies, I realize that “brave” is a matter of perspective – some folks go to “third world” countries and risk their lives or health to do incredible things – some folks walk down “these mean streets” and risk their hearts to give another a smile – maybe I’m not as “lily-livered” as I first thought. Your blog and those that respond to it may just become my daily meditation! Namaste, indeed!

  108. livelaughloveliquor
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:11:39

    God Bless! youre an inspiration!

    Reply

  109. abhidworx
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:30:53

    you have inspired me to practice kindness. I will be kind this whole week.

    Reply

  110. Jim Cox
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:42:02

    “It’s nice to be nice to the nice” ( Frank Burns in Mash)

    Reply

  111. Mèo Lười Việt
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:42:27

    Why have to put yourself intentionally in some situations to do “random” act of kindness. There’re so many people in need out there. You can help them naturally. For example you can help an old lady to cross a crowded road, treat kindly to a homeless near your house. Shouldn’t care much about how they will react. I think just the mere act of kindness brings you happiness.

    In this global warming age, you can be kind by reducing greenhouse gas, eating less meat, saving energy by turn off a lamp whenever you don’t need it, reducing your needs so you can throw less waste away.

    Actually if you are really kind at heart, there’re thousands ways to do “random act of kindness” without the need to show people that you are a kind person.

    Sorry if I talk straight from my heart.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 11:57:04

      I definitely agree that there are many, many people in need of kindness. I think the homeless man and the lady with no friends or family who feels totally alone are seriously “in need” of kindness. But I also think every single person needs a little more kindness in their lives, which is why I like to do kind things for many different people. I have experienced many people who are not grateful or do not accept kindness but that is okay and it has not stopped me because it is the kind act that is important, not the reaction.

      And you are absolutely right that there are many people doing kind deeds totally anonymously and not telling a soul about it and that is a beautiful thing. The reason I write this blog is to hopefully show other people that it is possible to be kinder in our everyday lives – because if I can do it anyone can. I wish for the world to be a kinder place in general and that is not something one person can do quietly on their own.

      Reply

  112. Jim Cox
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:44:23

    All kidding aside, kindness will save the world

    Reply

  113. elroyjones
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 00:21:44

    A sincere smile and a simple greeting opens hearts and minds. Good for you, for making the time to be kind.

    Reply

  114. lovelylici1986
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 00:24:21

    This is so great! I’m sure it’s quite a challenge to do a random act of kindness every day. It’s important to realize that everyone won’t be as open to receiving as you are to giving, and it’s not about you. It’s about them. I was a part of the RAK Squad at my university, and we had lots of fun. We did things like hot chocolate giveaways on super cold winter days and cake giveaways on Valentine’s Day, and even those were refused by some people. We kind of shrugged it off and continued to spread happiness and the spirit of kindness in our bright orange t-shirts. Keep it up!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:19:42

      It can be a challenge sometimes, thats for sure lovelylici! I have learned pretty quickly that you cannot take it personally when people are not grateful or even refuse to accept a kindness. It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them. But it makes up for it when you really do brighten someone’s day and you can see they are completely stunned that someone they don’t know was kind to them. Hot chocolate on a winter’s day, that’s brilliant! Good for you.

      Reply

  115. jamiebobamie
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 06:54:17

    Wonderful story. Bless you.

    Reply

  116. Lesh @ TheMindfulFoodie
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 09:55:36

    Cat, I loved you story of the little lady sitting on the bench in a shopping centre. You truly are an inspiration and I’m learning a lot about compassion through your gorgeous blog. It’s so easy to get caught up in the ‘rat race’ where it’s all about ‘me, me & me’. If we all could slow down and just see everything & everyone around us, there would be more compassion in the world.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 14, 2011 @ 11:07:57

      Thanks, Lesh. You’re right, it is so easy to get caught up in our own struggles and forget that everyone else is struggling too, and deserves our compassion even when we least feel like giving it!

      Reply

  117. poohalicious
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 16:23:34

    Thank you for the inspiration. In my country, everyone is so insecured, that they may think there is a bomb even in the flower! But the thought of kindness is very provoking! Wonderful post! God bless.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 21:11:31

      Yes, such suspicion does make it difficult, poohalicious, but not impossible! People’s first reaction is always confusion and wariness when they are presented with kindness, because we are taught nothing comes for free. But that makes it even more important that we prove them wrong!

      Reply

  118. Trackback: 100 Days, 100 Kindnesses « yearofkindness
  119. gaycarboys
    Jul 14, 2011 @ 21:34:02

    Thank you so much, Loved the flower pic too:)

    Reply

  120. Trackback: How much would it take?? | Peek-a-boo
  121. The Lucky Mom
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 09:31:05

    Fantastic mission! Keep it up, forever.

    Check out JustBeeGenerous.com, too. Another great mission promoting kindness and generosity!

    Reply

  122. chasingtimemedia
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 13:06:02

    A new visitor to your blog and was inspired by your beautiful story about the lady on the bench. Thank you for sharing and spreading a wonderful message. Keep up the great work:)

    Reply

  123. birdieshealthchatter
    Jul 16, 2011 @ 04:34:03

    LOVE this.

    Reply

  124. Dani
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 01:02:52

    It’s people like you who change the world.

    Reply

  125. emfilmgeek
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 08:39:47

    It seems like you’ve found your gift: the gift of kindness! Love and kindness powerful emotions and sentiments that are often overlooked, sadly. But it’s posts like these that reinspire a sense of hope in me.. and for that I thank you. I just saw this documentary that talks about kindness and the power of love for both ourselves and those around us. Have you heard of it? Here’s a trailer.. really powerful http://on.fb.me/n8ik8T

    Reply

  126. happydancecat
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 19:20:14

    Thanks so much for sharing that emfilmgeek! Very powerful and thought provoking. I could relate to what she was saying in so many ways. And yes, although I wasn’t able to see kindness as a gift for a very long time (in fact I thought it was the opposite) but I definitely do now! You really do have to let go of the expectations of other people and just listen to your own instincts.

    Reply

  127. happydancecat
    Jul 22, 2011 @ 19:20:36

    Thanks so much for sharing that emfilmgeek! Very powerful and thought provoking. I could relate to what she was saying in so many ways. And yes, although I wasn’t able to see kindness as a gift for a very long time (in fact I thought it was the opposite) I definitely do now! You really do have to let go of the expectations of other people and just listen to your own instincts.

    Reply

  128. Photography & Design: MAKE AN OFFER ON ARTWORKS
    Jul 25, 2011 @ 13:34:32

    VERY INSPIRING!

    Reply

  129. 5 Minute Strangers
    Jul 26, 2011 @ 08:49:13

    Thank you Happydancecat! I was pulled to your blog. Maybe, you might be pulled toward mine.
    Hope so, and if so–Enjoy!

    I truly believe that the smallest acts of kindness are the ones we rarely forget, and it is these acts that feed us most of what is most needed–Love.

    Again, thank you.

    Reply

  130. happydancecat
    Jul 26, 2011 @ 23:03:53

    Very true, the best things come in small packages after all! And all we need is love. I’m glad you were pulled to this blog so I could be pulled to yours, you have an amazing way with words. 🙂

    Reply

  131. God Loves Teenagers!
    Aug 01, 2011 @ 10:47:30

    This is fantastic! I’m so glad to have found you! I’ll be subscribing now! It truly is sad to realize how people simply are not used to a little love/kindness in their lives. Thanks for this call to action!

    Reply

  132. Patty
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 15:08:39

    That’s just beautiful. While I was in university, I used to smile at random students I met, whether I knew them or not. Some smiled back and said hi , others paused to check if they’d been in a class with me, some gave safe, phony grins, and a few lifted their eyebrows. But it hardly ever failed to cheer me up. It was a different kind of high.

    I work at home now, and I rarely meet new people. Your post makes me want to get out of the house as much as I can and make an effort to reach out. Thank you for this. I hope you’ll continue touch more and more people online and in the real world.

    Reply

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