Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Connection Through Kindness (A #1000Speak Post)

May 20th marks month four of 1000 Voices for Compassion, an amazing movement of bloggers coming together to flood the blogosphere with posts dedicated to compassion. The kickoff in February was simply themed "Compassion," March was "Building Beyond Bullying," and April was "Nurture." May's theme is "Connection" and you can read all of the beautiful pieces by visiting the 1000 Speak link up. We post on the 20th of every month so if becoming a part of our community is something that interests you, please keep in touch and join us with your own post in June.

Once again, my 1000 Speak post will be directly connected to my own special project: B(e) Kind 366. In 2016, I'll be doing a Random (or not) Act of Kindess every day of the year to raise funds for charity. Throughout the month of April I blogged A to Z, listing Random Acts of Kindess that begin with each letter of the alphabet. It was a blast!

Today I want to talk about the connections that RAKing, and really just kindness in general, creates. On June 13th I'll be participating in the Canadian Cancer Society's Relay for Life with my husband, best friend, and a group of her friends some of whom I've met and some whom I have not. We've all connected through our dedication to a cause that touches us all in some way.

One year, at my place of employment at the time, instead of purchasing gifts for one another like we usually did, my colleagues and I decided to adopt a family through Christmas Cheer. We connected over the purchase of food and gifts and shared in the delight of the family when we arrived with "Christmas" at their door.

A few years ago, my Mom and I spent Christmas Day serving turkey dinner to the community with Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner. It was one of the best Christmases, and days in general, that I've ever had and I connected in a very special way with my Mom.

Just today, I put an ideas from my "Random Acts of Kindness beginning with P" list into motion. I mailed a Purple Box of Power to my closest friend from grad school. I met her during the first week and as soon as I found out that she was a Canadian prairie girl like me, we were connected for life! It's been two months since I moved back to Manitoba and she stayed in New Brunswick. While we were in the same city, we were each others' support system. I just know that this collection of purple "power" items will be a much appreciated surprise.


Nearly every day after I come home from work, I take my small dog, Memphis, for a walk. Since I've returned home from school my husband and I joke that we should change Memphis' name to Velcro because it is rare that he is not attached to me. I have a special connection with my little Pom-Chi and the best part is that our mutual love calms our anxiety (yes, Memphis and I both battle anxiety on a daily basis).

Random acts of kindness like leaving an extra generous tip for your server at a restaurant, telling a parent in the grocery store how well-behaved their children are, complimenting a stranger on their coat/hat/shoes, holding a door open for the person behind you, or even just smiling at someone you pass on the street all create, at the very least, fleeting, but often lasting connections with the recipients of your kindness. Those people are highly likely to tell a co-worker, friend, family member about "that nice thing that happened to them today," creating a chain of connections and inspiration to pay that kindness forward, through one simple act!

Go forth and be kind! The connections you will make in the process are truly invaluable!

18 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. Sometimes people give me a hard time because I talk to strangers in the store, compliment them in some manner. They act like I'm weird for doing that, but it's amazing how you really can connect with someone. I'm curious though how you turn your acts of kindness into raising funds for charity? Keep spread the good word...I do think there's too much negativity in the world, not less good, it's just people don't see good on the tv etc.

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    1. It'll mostly be reaching out to my networks as I complete the acts. I'm also planning to take on a number of challenges like shaving my head, running a half marathon, and others to hopefully entice people to donate!

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  2. Hi Brandy, I agree with you that simple acts of kindness can go a long way. And your project about kindness sounds fabulous! I'd love to be a part of it! ;) Shelah

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    1. I really hope you will be in some way!

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    1. I packaged it in a raisin bran box, wrapped it in purple paper, and taped it with purple duct tape!

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  4. I love the idea of a purple parcel! As for RAKs - I agree and do try for those small acts daily. A little moment of conscious kindness - I think it not only helps someone else, but helps us get out of our selves for a moment and become more conscious of the world around us. - Best, Louise

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    1. I agree completely! Being kind to others is a worthy form of self-help as well.

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  5. Velcro - that's funny.
    My work has adopted a family for Christmas before. It was a fulfilling endeavor.

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    1. That's so nice to hear. Adopting a family is a nice way for colleagues to come together.

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  6. Random acts of kindness can be catching, too! When I lived in the Twin Cities og Minnesota, a Christian radio station encouraged random acts of kindness through the "drive-thru difference" on the first Friday of each month. The idea was to pay for the order of the car behind you. I used to do this every time I went to Starbucks on the way to work. It spread throughout the region and fabulous stories came out of those acts and how some people were at wits end and needed to know that another human cared. Great post!

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    1. How lovely! It is my hope that writing about them and performing them will catch on :)

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  7. You're taking on an amazing project next year. You also sound like one very busy girl. It's really impressive when people take specific time out of their lives to be so helpful to others. You seem like a very giving, loving, and special lady. I wish you the best of luck next year! Thank you for visiting me so that I had the opportunity to see the wonderful things you're doing for the world! Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie

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    1. Thanks for visiting back and for the very kind words.

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  8. Popping in to say hi, hope all is well with you.

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    1. Thanks for popping in regularly, Sandy! I'll try and get something new up here for you soon.

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  9. Back in the day we just called many of those things being courteous or well-mannered. Our parents, pastors and teachers expected us to act that way all the time, everywhere we went. To share, to give, to think of others. And while the whole random acts of kindness thing is a nice thing, a good thing, it's such a shame to me that so many of these smaller gestures have become uncommon enough to need an initiative like random acts.

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    1. I agree, Barbara. It is a shame, but maybe if we all do it a little more often it'll become common place again. We can hope!

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