Sunday, August 1, 2010

500 (HAPPY) Strangers

If there is anything I will not be able to forgive myself about, it is not doing anything meaningful in my life. This is the reason behind 500 StrangersThe idea came to me yesterday, amidst my plans of applying for a part-time job and establishing a small-scale business. Although I have confidence in pursuing those plans, 500 Strangers just seemed more beautiful and more meaningful a plan. Finding it hard to contend against beauty and meaning, a sense of urgency took over me with regards to continuing this project.

So, what is 500 Strangers?

500 Strangers is a campaign which hopes to advocate random acts of kindness through giving and sharing.

I will not be a hypocrite and say that I walk around with a halo floating above my head. I certainly do not. But I do recognize that kindness is an eternally essential ingredient in making this world a more habitable and wonderful place. And kindness would be a more powerful ingredient to this optimistic prospect if everyone would partake in emphasizing the goodness it brings.

Through 500 Strangers, I am inviting each and everyone of you to promote kindness. However, 500 Strangers is a challenge as much as it is a simple project. It is very easy to open a door, pick-up a pen for a stranger, and then walk away. 500 Strangers is for KINDNESS--with EFFORT. I know it sounds silly, but I think, this kind of kindness will deeply imbibe the spirit of kindness in people so it could really take root and grow in their hearts.
Whether or not I'm right, we'll see. By sharing with others how beautiful kindness is and that it is possible to bring happiness to hundreds of strangers in the short span of three months through random acts of kindness, I am hoping that more and more people would be moved enough to constantly be kind.

How does 500 Strangers work?
1. One who is neither a friend nor an acquaintance
Give and share whatever you want, however you want to do it, to a stranger--just make sure to put more effort than what is expected from you, stranger to that stranger. No one's limiting your creativity on this. (but please, no indecencies nor immoralities!) Just make someone feel the goodness kindness brings! Suggestions:

a) give a gift to a stranger
b) send out random thank you letters to your school janitors
c) treat a streetchild to breakfast/lunch/dinner
d) give a free MRT/LRT card to the person behind you
...Just. Be. Creative. Give. Share.

After doing your act/s of kindness, send in your story. You can include photos or a video to documenting your act to inspire others to do the same. (Pose with that stranger, take a photo of the gift you're about to give to a stranger, take a video showing your preparations for your random act of kindness etc.) Also, add a brief description accompanying your documentation. PHOTO/VIDEO DOCUMENTATION IS NOT REQUIRED. If documenting is too daunting or embarrassing for you, you can just send in your story about your random act/s of kindness. In your e-mail, also include your name/nickname and location (city and/or country). I will not be able to check whether or not you really gave and shared to a stranger, but why would you lie about it, right? If you gave/shared to a group of strangers, indicate the number of people lucky enough to experience your kindness. Honesty system. :)

I am hoping that at least 500 strangers would have already experienced a random act of kindness by November 30, 2010.
Cheers to a kinder world!

1. Please spread the word about this project
2. When this project ends and succeeds, let's do something bigger. :)

(EDIT: whatever happens...let's do something bigger and better to spread the word on KINDNESS!)


  1. This is an incredible project and I am very excited to help you reach 500 Strangers; count me in! I have no idea who my stranger will be or what I will do to help him/her, but I'm certain tomorrow (as it's currently 8:41 pm) will offer me a few opportunities.

    Thanks for making the world a better place and for inspiring others to do the same!

  2. thank you so much for your wonderful response! i really appreciate it! i'm so excited for your submission! <3


  3. Go Maaaaiks! You are so awesome! I'm posting a link in my Tumblr account. Ako rin, I hope to submit, soon! :D