Monday, August 23, 2010

Random Acts Of Kindness Tend To Spread

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one." — Mother Theresa

Founded in 1995, The Random Acts Of Kindness Foundation is a privately funded nonprofit organization that doesn't do something most nonprofits do. It doesn't accept donations, grants, or membership dues. What it does instead is inspire people to practice kindness and to “pass it on” to others.

On its Web site, the foundation provides a variety of materials such as activity ideas, lesson plans, project plans, teacher guides, and other resources that help ordinary people find the tools they need to be effective, responsible, and beneficial to their communities. It's a refreshing change of pace within the nonprofit sector.

The Next World Kindness Day Is November 13 Or Any Day.

While the organization encourages acts of kindness to happen any time, there is an official World Kindness Day, which began in Tokyo, Japan. The purpose of World Kindness Day is to look beyond ourselves, the boundaries of our country, our culture, our race, and religion. And, for just a moment, appreciate that we are all citizens of the world.

Originally, this seemed to be the intent. World Kindness Day was meant to encourage people to reflect on beliefs or actions that caused separations. But over the years, as World Kindness Day took shape, varied organizations placed more emphasis on finding ways that people could join people together and make a difference in their communities, countries, and the world.

The result was an eclectic mix of kind happenings. In Idaho (U.S.), one teacher gave her students winter gloves to pass on to someone in need. In Singapore, 45,000 flowers were handed out. And Grammy-winning filmmaker Mark Johnson organized "Playing For Change", which brings together the performances of more than 100 musicians from Tibet to Zimbabwe (hat tip: Tony Berkman).

Since, Playing For Change has grown into a foundation responsible for continued multimedia movement events that aim to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music. The resulting journeys are always remarkable.

Mari-Lyn Harris, a gourmet pie maker, philanthropist, and blogger, is embarking on a similar effort. Using, she is working to bring hundreds of bloggers together on World Kindness Day, challenging them to perform random acts of kindness and then write about it much like site organizers did in 2007.

World Kindness Day Is A Liquid Hip Goodwill Pick.

At least once a month, Liquid [Hip] highlights goodwill efforts undertaken by courageous people with big hearts. We don’t score them. That belongs to you.

There are hundreds of ideas how anyone can share a random act of kindness any time they feel inspired. The size and scope of the action is always up to the individual, but the outcome is always the same. Kindness tends to spread. Share some today.
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