Our country right now, in the aftermath of Newtown, is raw with unbelievable pain for the loss of those 20 dear sweet children and their heroic teaching staff. On so many levels it is still so difficult to wrap a mind around.
Yet a movement is floating in the wind. A contagious flow of positive energy as a means of healing the hurt. Inspired by Ann Curry across the twittersphere, a movement--one gaining momentum--has begun. She explains her initial tweet in detail over at NBCNews.com.
"After the experience in Newtown. I thought, “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.” So that’s what I tweeted. And guess what? People committed. I said in my tweet, “I’m in. RT if you’re in."
Following along on the hashtags #20acts and #26acts (which also includes the 6 teachers who died at Sandy Hook Elementary as well), you can definitely see that there are a lot of folks who are "in." What an ideal way to counter the pain and help heal our nation and the anger over this. I feel it's a wonderful way to renew both our faith in humankind, as well as the spirit and meaning of Christmas.
As I was reading of friends' and others' acts this morning, I had an overwhelming need to watch "Charlie Brown's Christmas," hearing the music of that traditional TV tale, and seeing that li'l scraggly tree all lit up with love at the end. Love is what heals. So too does taking that extra minute to reach out to someone who you wouldn't ordinarily. Perhaps it happens in the surprise gift or two you send to a far away friend that will be quite unexpected. It falls in the donation my family and I made on behalf of the teachers of our school to the Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica to help them get extra supplies. It's the warmth of heart you get knowing you have donated gifts to Toys For Tots or a local Angel Tree.
I especially felt it today at Payless Shoes when I was buying a replacement pair of work shoes for me (as my old ones have been battered by the mulch on our school playground during recess duty). After paying for my shoes, I bought an additional $5 gift card. Right there at the cashier stand, I wrote: "To You, From Me. This is in honor of the events in CT this past weekend in hopes that we can heal the hate as a nation. Please pay it forward any way you can to help heal our country from this sad loss."
I glanced around the store as I was ready to depart, and there in the li'l shoe aisle was a dad with his 4 year old blondie, trying on sparkly shoes. I handed this gift card to him with a simple "This is for you," and a swelling warmth in my chest. It reminded me of my own blondie daughter at that age and her delight in her own "ruby reds" (which is ironic now given her distaste now for anything that doesn't fall in the category of "Tomboy"). It nearly broke my heart thinking of all those lost sparkles in Connecticut. But it made me feel good, that my little random act of kindness put a smile on that daddy-n-daughter duo's face. It made me feel like I was helping perpetuate that positive energy--that feeling, that healing.
Given Ann Curry's inspiration, I now challenge you to go forth and do good. How many Random Acts of Kindness are you in for?
Looking for resources and ideas of ways you can make someone's day? Check out the Random Act of Kindness Website. Likewise, there are many great books out there on the subject!
http://pinterest.com/pin/394979829789004311/, Picture page http://pinterest.com/pin/49117452157831244/, Charilie Brown Christmas from http://abc.go.com/shows/a-charlie-brown-christmas, Payless gift card & shoes from http://www.payless.com/. Minor Myers, Jr. quote from http://amethystcat.blogspot.com/2012/04/graduation-gatefold.html