So, I had hoped to kick-off 2008 with an unbelievable amount of amazing writing. I am a little slower to start than I had planned. However, here I go anyways and my goal is to continue to write & post regularly.
My friend Elizabeth, the life coach, did an amazing thing for the month of February. As part of her work she created “29 Days of Pink” – essentially a campaign to encourage others to commit a Random Act of Kindness for each day during the month of February. I accepted the challenge to participate in small part because I felt it was such a worthwhile endeavor and I wanted to support her, but in larger part because I think that sometimes we all need to be reminded to be a little more kind and respectful of others.
Our lives get moving so fast and we get into such a hurried routine that it becomes so easy to overlook the people that pass us each day – the cashier at the coffee shop, the teller at the bank, the crossing guard we pass outside the school, our neighbors walking to their cars. It becomes easier to find ways to get through our day than to take the time to stop and acknowledge everyone and everything that impacts our lives – either directly or indirectly. Elizabeth’s “29 Days of Pink” was a reminder to do exactly that – acknowledge others.
I took on her project as both a personal and professional challenge. For myself, I created a journal, fed parking meters while shopping with my sister, gave large tips to waitstaff, donated clothing and sent cards to people I had lost touch with or hadn’t seen in a while. At work, I encouraged my youth center participants to take part as well. We held a teddy bear drive and donated the bears to children in crisis, created “Kindness Boxes”, made a bulletin board, and talked about the importance of being nice to everyone from the person who serves lunch to the principal to the student next to you.
For myself, I have promised to continue to focus on kindness and respect with a renewed awareness and energy and in my programs, the kids have created initiatives that will continue throughout the remainder of the school year. My hope is that by continuing to focus on kindness and respect, we can find a way to get out of the rut that can come from being in our everyday hurried routine. After all, life is a journey, not a destination and we might as well find ways to stop and enjoy the ride!