Wednesday, November 24, 2010


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.

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