About Year of Kindness

Year of Kindness was my personal experiment into the power of being kind. Before starting this project I had been growing more and more frustrated with the general sense of disconnectedness and lack of compassion I saw all around me. One day, I thought about this in relation to Gandhi’s motto: “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I decided that instead of feeling helpless and focusing on the problem, I would empower myself to become part of the solution. I committed myself to perform one kind act every day from April 2011-April 2012. The kindness could be for a stranger, friend or mother nature and I blogged about my experiences.

I am now living and volunteering in Jamaica and you can read about my adventures here: www.yearofjamaica.wordpress.com.

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76 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Future Focused
    Apr 23, 2011 @ 08:36:12

    What a powerful experiment! I look forward to seeing more of your stories. Be well.

    Reply

  2. Helena
    May 02, 2011 @ 13:19:46

    Wonderful idea for a blog! I will definitely be following your journey!

    Reply

  3. Bree and Tash
    May 03, 2011 @ 11:03:48

    Hey, we are students from wodonga middle years college and Cara is our teacher. We think your blog is a great idea and very inspirational.

    Reply

  4. Natalie
    May 03, 2011 @ 11:06:45

    I totally love your blog. Your such an inspiration 🙂

    Reply

  5. Maria
    May 15, 2011 @ 05:01:05

    Hi,

    Just stumbled upon your blog while randomly checking posts on WordPress. An amazing thought!! Your idea enforced my belief in the power of good people. Do Keep Up!!!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      May 15, 2011 @ 22:35:15

      Thankyou so much Maria, I really appreciate it. The whole point of this project was really to confirm my own belief in the power of good, and its amazing to discover just how much good there is in the world when you start looking!

      Cat

      Reply

  6. stevepmoore
    May 23, 2011 @ 09:24:08

    A wonderful project, Cat! I’m loving reading your blog. Kindness is a much underestimated force, I believe, but it has the power to transform people’s lives. Steve

    Reply

  7. informationforager
    May 31, 2011 @ 22:09:49

    Thanks for the “like”. I’ve looked over you site and it’s a Grand Idea. Your posts are pretty good. I’ll be back. Keep Blogging. Keep Writing.

    Reply

  8. jacobsandry
    Jun 04, 2011 @ 17:06:16

    Like your blog 🙂 thanks for commenting on mine as well!

    Reply

  9. Trackback: Post-Christmas Resolution, Day 170 – Self-Consciousness Impairs Our Ability To Listen | Resolve To Give
  10. Reed
    Jun 25, 2011 @ 07:30:52

    Congratulations on your year-long endeavor! It’s refreshing seeing someone investing in kindness and sharing. – Reed

    Reply

  11. carlaat
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 12:58:02

    What a lovely and important idea! With all of these small daily acts, we really to become the change we wish to see. Cheers!

    Reply

  12. Paprika Furstenburg
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 01:05:30

    What an amazing undertaking for you and for those whose lives you are touching in the process. I’m sure there are great rewards, but this takes a lot of courage! Kudos to you.

    Reply

  13. 12 Novels in 12 Months
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:40:00

    This is an amazing decision! Kudos 🙂 I may have just found your blog but I look forward to checking it out often for a little extra dose of happiness in my life!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful experiences.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 23:28:37

      Thankyou, I’m happy it makes you happy! Are you writing twelve novels in twelve months or reading them? I suppose I will have to check it out for myself! Either way it sounds like an interesting adventure!

      Reply

  14. kspring
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 03:59:25

    This is so wonderful! I too look for ways to cultivate kindness, and I find that taking the time to appreciate the beauty and small interactions between myself, another person, and the environment creates a peace within that can extend out to others. Thank you for sharing this, I look forward to reading more!

    Reply

  15. Susie
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:10:44

    You are awesome. It helps to know there are nice, caring people in this world. You are inspiring. Keep it up!

    Reply

  16. Andy Smallman
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 04:55:49

    Love it! Would you consider authoring a guest post on my Kind Living blog (http://kindliving.wordpress.com)? You can learn more about my project there. And this link (http://tinyurl.com/KL-OdeC) shows the kind of PR it’s been getting, much to my excitement and delight.

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 23:37:00

      Great blog, Andy! Always awesome to find someone on their own kindness journey. Would love to do a guest post and have you do one for this site too. Send me an email (yearofkindness@gmail.com) and we can discuss!

      Reply

  17. enermazing
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 05:09:01

    Hello,

    I saw your post on “Freshly Pressed” – Congratulations! 🙂

    Kindness is one of the greatest powers as it transforms ourselves and others, opens doors where there are no other keys.

    What a wonderful idea to dedicate a whole blog to “Kindness”!

    Thank you!

    Maria

    Reply

  18. Low Carb Jo
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:34:25

    I love that you are doing this. Its a great idea and its inspiring to me. I have been learning about the law of attraction for the last couple of years. Have you experienced positive changes in your own life through doing this?

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 23:47:39

      I’m a big believer in the law of attraction myself Jo but I also think that it doesnt necessarily happen instantly or in quite the way we might expect. I am certainly a lot happier within myself for doing this project and many positive things have come my way that can be almost directly linked to it. There have been real challenges and moments of self-doubt, setback, complete discouragement…and these moments taught me amazing life lessons that will no doubt increase my future happiness also.

      Reply

  19. blinksofbliss
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 06:58:19

    What an inspiration and such a brilliant blog – amazing!

    Reply

  20. themolesworthdiarist
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 10:33:59

    This is brilliant – I’m at work right now so only time for a quick look around – but I look forward to having a more in-depth browse 🙂

    Reply

  21. mkeeffer
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:27:45

    This is a wonderful blog – all of us can do with giving out more kindness. Thank you for your inspiring ideas…glad you were Pressed!

    Reply

  22. Mollee
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 14:32:30

    This is incredible! I read your blog for the first time today. I feel like I try to do nice things for people but I also know there are many, many times where I could do something to help another person (stranger or not) and I don’t. You’ve inspired me to try to be a better person. Thanks 🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 15, 2011 @ 23:55:39

      Wow, Mollee, I’m a little speechless. It’s not easy to grab every kindness opportunity that presents itself but it sounds like you have already been making a conscious effort to be kind and you should be very proud of that. Every kindness counts!

      Reply

  23. Jess
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 20:40:44

    You and your blog are such an inspiration! I can’t wait to read more. 🙂

    Reply

  24. smceuen
    Jul 13, 2011 @ 23:46:25

    I so very glad your blog was featured so I could be fortunate enough to stumble upon it.

    You inspire me to do good work and to be grateful, which was the inspiration for my blog.

    Thank you for being you.

    Reply

  25. amonikabyanyuvva
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 00:26:28

    Keep it up! You are right that the world needs all the compassion we can throw at it. It is a truism that we ;all need to keep in the forefront of our minds. Gandhis statement ‘ Be the change you want to b in the world’ must have touched thousands of lives. And will continue to. Stay firm, and stay compassionate. Then go and look at my blog, you will see it is a favourite theme of mine!

    Reply

  26. nicolefilosa
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 04:33:44

    what an amazing and inspiring endeavor! thanks for sharing this with the world. I hope that it inspires the rest of us to act in kindness when we are called to and to accept kindness from strangers when they offer.

    You are a bright light in this world, keep shining!

    Reply

  27. Jac
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 04:49:56

    Cat, when I read your blog and the comments from people that have seen your blog, apart from being SUPER proud of you, I am reminded of the story abut how the little boy is throwing back into the ocean a star fish that has been washed onto the beach. When someone asked the child why they are doing it when there are hundreds of other starfish washed up on the beach and it is too hard a job to really make any kind of difference, the child responds “well, made a difference to that one!”. This is you – never doubt the power of love and kindness. Big hugs!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Jul 24, 2011 @ 22:25:57

      Thanks, Jac! The crazy places Lucca takes us, huh? I adore that story about the starfish, I only heard it very recently and could relate to it so, so much. My faith in small kindnesses grows steadily every day. Hugs back at ya! Keep living your beautiful intent! 🙂

      Reply

  28. kaitlyn
    Jul 24, 2011 @ 23:56:10

    I will definitely be following your blog, it’s quite inspiring. I will be looking forward to your kindness stories

    Reply

  29. Trackback: I have come into new work! « lifeingingerseyes
  30. JokeL
    Jul 31, 2011 @ 00:40:52

    hi! I just stumbled upon your post while checking on some random posts on WordPress.com.. I like your blog! 🙂

    I also believe that “people are really good at heart”.. 🙂

    Reply

  31. Trackback: “Have faith that whatever you are offering to the world…” | Pocket Perspectives
  32. veggieatlas
    Sep 14, 2011 @ 09:51:55

    Hi Cat, How have you been?

    Just thought I’d send you this in case you hadn’t seen it – I couldn’t see an email to send it to – http://vimeo.com/28878406 Some more kindness in your home town 🙂
    Hope you’re well
    Jacq

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Sep 15, 2011 @ 10:28:08

      Hey Jacq,

      That’s funny because a couple of days ago I thought I really should put my email on the about page. Must have known you had something to send!

      I loved that video so much I think I may be replicating it for my very last kindness of the year – since it will be on my birthday it makes sense!

      Thanks so much for sharing, I love that another sydneysider got on the kindness bandwagon!

      Cat

      Reply

  33. brittany220
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 05:19:44

    Wow, cool! What a great idea! I saw a link to your site from a blogger Pocket Perspectives who commented on one of my posts, and it got my interest! I just read your high five post and thought that was neat, and it made me smile looking at the pictures of the people’s reactions. 🙂 Keep it up! I’m looking forward to catching up on all the posts I’ve missed! You’re making the world a better place every day!

    Reply

  34. Pat Cegan
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 22:22:35

    I have awarded you and your wonderful blog the Versatile Blogger award. Check out my post to see the rules for accepting and giving the award to others. Keep shinning your Light. Hugs, pat

    Reply

  35. jacquelincangro
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 04:59:45

    Hello Cat,
    I came to your blog from a recommendation of someone on my blog. She’d seen this post I had from a guest blogger on kindness and thought of you.

    http://jacquelincangro.wordpress.com/2011/10/03/shine-kindness-changes-everything-by-patience-delgado/

    So I wanted to take this opportunity to say hello.
    Yours in kindness,
    Jackie 🙂

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Oct 09, 2011 @ 20:43:12

      Hi Jackie,

      I absolutely love Patience’s blog, she is spreading kindness in such beautiful and creative ways. We are actually toying with the idea of some kind of international synchronised kindness sometime. It sure is a small blogging world! Your blog is fantastic, the shine section is such an interesting idea. And I adore that Thoreau quote. I definitely wanted to run away and live in the forest after reading those words!

      Thanks so much for stopping by and saying hi. 🙂

      Cat

      Reply

  36. leonardairinc0
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 12:54:14

    I love blogs like yours. So realistically inspiring. Keep writing and spreading more goodness, please. And thanks for sharing!

    ~Leo

    Reply

  37. kindstranger6
    Dec 10, 2011 @ 08:21:31

    It is such a wonderful turn of fate that I ran across this website! I
    have the fortune to be working on an amazing documentary project
    called American Bear that is also in the same vein as this and is
    simply a beautiful exploration of the kindness that strangers exhibit
    in this country. The two students who made the project went around the
    country for 60 days relying on the kindness of strangers for shelter
    each night and documented their experience. The insight that they shed
    on this underexposed subject is so powerful! Check out the website
    here: AmericanBearFilm.com
    There is also a section on the
    site where you can submit your stories:
    http://americanbearfilm.com/your_voice

    Reply

  38. 12 Novels in 12 Months
    Mar 14, 2012 @ 03:04:38

    I wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! I love your blog, keep at it!

    Reply

    • happydancecat
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 21:58:37

      Oh thankyou honey, thats so sweet of you! The year is almost over now, can hardly believe it. But I am starting a new and very different blogging adventure. 🙂

      Reply

  39. social
    May 06, 2012 @ 05:57:12

    Is it alright to place a portion of this in my personal blog if I publish a reference point to this web-site?

    Reply

  40. Trackback: One Lovely Blog Award | Testify!
  41. Hope Rays
    May 31, 2013 @ 03:41:31

    Hello! I hope all is going well! I’m nominating you for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. The rules are posted on my blog in the link below.
    Wishing you all the best!
    http://knittingraysofhope.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/the-super-sweet-blogging-award/

    Reply

  42. Trackback: The Unlearning of Softness | Year of Jamaica
  43. Alisha Boyd
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 03:59:14

    wow. I was thinking about doing the same thing yesterday! I decided I want to make it my college project and get as many people to join as possible, and everyone keep a journal about what they did, how it was received, and how it impacted them, as well. It’s cool to see someone else had the same idea!

    Reply

  44. Annie Farrow
    Jul 12, 2014 @ 19:51:40

    Hello! I just discovered your blog today- it is incredible! Well done! I am currently half way through a year of kindness too http://www.kindnessmovement.blogspot.co.uk and I am looking for inspiration for my next stage – challenging acts of kindness. Your blog is inspiring me!

    Reply

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