Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Kindness of Strangers

Like Blanch Dubois in A Street Car Named Desire, I've always relied on the kindness of strangers. That's why I was so happy to stumble upon 366 Random Acts of Kindness. 366 Random Acts is a blog by Chicagoan, Ryan Garcia, chronicling his "journey to give back through random acts of kindness every day of the year." So far those acts have included everything from buying breakfast for a stranger, playing Free Rice (the online trivia game where you earn 10 grams of rice for the hungry with every question you get right), to donating blood and much more. Each act is like a little revolution, full of potential to change the lives of everyone they touch. 

Pacifist, A.J. Muste once said, "Joy and growth come from following our deepest impulses, however foolish they may seem to some, or dangerous, and even though the apparent outcome may be defeat." While Garcia is not always sure his random act of kindness will be accepted in the spirit it was given (like his free hugs, or  valentines to strangers on the street) he looks pretty happy in the pictures posted on his blog.

Although it's an inspiring journey, I know it's one I could never last through. So instead I've decided to do the short day trip version of the same. I'm going to engage in one random act of kindness a month. I'm sure I can handle the pace because I've already chalked up an act of kindness for this month. I became a follower of Garcia's blog and for every blog follower gained, he promises to donate 10 cents to charity. If there is one thing that fills my heart with joy, it's donating other people's money in my name. I feel like I'm ten feet tall now. I guess random acts of kindness can really transform people's lives.

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