Kindness Day wrapped up just a couple of days ago... AND THE KINDEMIC WILL CONTINUE! Thanks to the kind donors who gave packs of free food, school supplies, accessories, and toys. To the volunteers, you are amazing! Thank you for participating!
Don't hesitate to send your stories! Also, please continue to drop by as I will soon be posting video clips from K-day.
So... What can I say about K-day?
Surely, we didn't know what we were supposed to do.
A lot of us heard the same warnings: we might get mobbed, we have to be careful about thieves, etc etc etc. Being aware that the city can be rough, I cannot but consider such warnings. They all got me worried--I don't know about you but I never had aspirations of getting mobbed nor getting robbed!
For sure, none of us present for K-day wanted anything of that--and rain!
We stood frozen in Q.C. Circle trying to figure out how we would would go about making Kindness Day happen as smoothly as possible. Apparently, all we needed was a sign that said: LIBRE ("Free").
The moment we put it up, we all knew: IT HAS BEGUN! KINDNESS DAY IS SO ON!
We went around holding up our "LIBRE" sign and started giving away the things we had prepared. Some strangers approached us for freebies, but most of them, we surprised. One of my friends, Karina, even had to run after a very serious man who didn't want a lollipop stick. She ended up giving him bread instead. Haha!
There was a lot of walking. A lot of perspiring. A lot of surprising. And, perhaps the best A LOT of all the A LOTs... there was a lot of smiling.
As many of you know, 500 Strangers started with a goal of making at least 500 strangers happy. I don't know how many strangers received freebies during K-day. But I realized, the counting has to stop. 500 Strangers is barely on its way to reaching its goal, but really, does it matter?
At the end of the day, this campaign is all about being kind.
500 Strangers is not about to become a failure. From the few submissions this campaign received, we can already say that it IS possible to exert a little bit more effort to do something kind even for someone we don't know. Believing that, having faith in that, and actually doing that can be a challenge. Some might even consider that a survival no-no. But I guess, we proved during K-day that humanity deserves a bit more credit. Because we did it. We made Kindness Day happen. We didn't get mobbed. No thieves grabbed anyone's bag. We went home perfectly okay.
It can be really hard to get out of your comfort zone and do something kind for someone you don't know. I have to say I was wrong when I said kindness is easy as if it's a fact that holds for everyone. It can be hard. It can be hard to be kind. Promises had been broken as there are people who promised to support the campaign but didn't--it was heartbreaking. For a while I was deeply disappointed in the lack of support I was getting. But along the way I learned that we all have different rhythms and I should respect that.
Still, I must say, all of us can do something kind. If not everyday, maybe more often than we usually do. It can take a lot of effort, but it will always be an effort worth exerting.
I pray that all of us be constantly disturbed so that we would have the sense to decenter and show concern not only to our relatives and friends, but even to strangers. I also hope this campaign has disturbed a number of you, readers. I hope, someday, you will feel a nagging need to respond to the person outside of your secure circle. I pray that soon, you will be able to make strangers happy, enough to make them feel that there is still hope for the world--and if they do, there will even be more anyone of us can hope for.
The Prayer of Sir Francis Drake
"Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst for the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life, we have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly, to venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back the horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future in strength, courage, hope, and love.
STAY TUNED FOR UPDATES ON HOW 500 STRANGERS' KINDNESS DAY WENT! :)
Also, please take time to read this beautiful story about a couple who gave away their lottery winnings...
The couple won the lottery money of $11.2 million back in July. They first made sure their family was taken care of, and then they decided which charities were going to get their money.
The Larges decided to hand deliver their winnings to the Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and local churches. They also decided to give some of their winnings to the hospitals that have helped Violet Large recover from cancer. (read more)
On November 20, we will be celebrating KINDNESS DAY. Kind-hearted individuals have already volunteered for the event! I also got messages from people saying they'll be donating special stuff we would need to make November 20 extra kind. :) I don't know if there is really such a thing as "Kindness Day", but believing that kindness is something worth spreading, we'll be celebrating it anyway! Heck, we should make each of our days a KINDNESS DAY!
This coming 20th of November, surely, we will have a lot of special things prepared for unsuspecting strangers!
On other note, remember Pin? Sender of the entry about bus drivers?(this entry) Once again, She's sharing her story! Read on. :)
Parking around Auckland City is very expensive (in fact, parking anywhere is expensive!), and really stressful if you can’t find a good spot right away. If you can’t walk to Uni, try catching a bus. The thing is, sometimes buses can be so unpredictable. They can leave you waiting for an entire hour before finally deciding to arrive and give you a lift to a class for which you’re already late!
There are parking spaces around campus, but I’ve learned that you’d only choose those conveniently near spots if you’ve got the moo-lah! Otherwise, you’d be paying an amount which could have been used for a fairly nice meal.
It was during those times that I rode with my boyfriend that I was able to observe an unwritten parking lot kindness system. Not everybody did it, and if you became a recipient of that kindness, then you’d consider yourself lucky.
People pay for a whole-day parking fee. If ever they leave early and manage to come across someone who is just entering the lot, they’d give their tickets to the next person. That person would either, out of courtesy, pay half of the original amount to the leaving driver (this way, both the drivers only had to pay for half the parking fee), or get the parking ticket for free.
I have observed my boyfriend do this on several occasions, and managed to see others give away their tickets as well. I just thought it was a nice thing that they had this unwritten system of not just helping themselves, but helping out others as well. I’m not aware if this kind of etiquette exists in other parking lots too. I know it’s just a small thing, but in days of recession where money is tight, who wouldn’t appreciate a stranger offering a half-priced or free parking? J
Thank you so much Pin! It's great that kindness abounds in Auckland! :)
Guys, keep on sending your entries! The KINDemic will continue to spread and infect more people. That I assure you. ;)
For now: Up next: Papercranes give-aways
and (hopefully) a BIGive
November's coming and we barely reached a hundred. Though my heart sinks because of this, the giving will not stop. No it will not.
As much as I want this to not sound like a white flag about to land on the floor, I must admit that as a dreamer and as the person who expected a downpour of support for 500 Strangers, the current status of the campaign is a bit heartbreaking given its goal. BUT 500 Strangers, whether it hits its target or not, is a good start for more wonderful things. It will serve as a prequel to a bigger and better planned project. It's a promise I made to myself. I recognize my mistakes and lapses and learned a few marketing tricks along the way. They shall be appropriately applied for another kindness campaign--at least an improved 500 Strangers. ;)
The campaign is coming to a close but please keep sending entries. It will make a difference. Any kind act will make a difference. The campaign's not over yet. And a part of me still believes that someone could just pop out be kind and creative enough to make at least 500 strangers happy through one kind act. That could be you. Or me. Or you and me. ;) Imagine that. Anything's possible.
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world You may say that I'm a dreamer But I'm not the only one I hope someday you'll join us And the world will live as one -Imagine by John Lennon