We’re very grateful and excited to have Diane Lynn at Gratitude Letters join us in a 30-day Kindness Campaign Chain! Starting June 1st, you can head over to her site to read all about her experiences.
Last week I started a 30-Day Kindness Campaign to try to help spread more compliments and kindness around my little world. You can read more about where the idea came from in The Kindness Campaign.
As it turned out, the week was full of a few twists and turns that I hadn’t expected:
Day 1: The first thing I noticed was that I immediately shifted to what I told a fellow blogger was my “Attitude A-Game”. What I mean by this is that I realized that each chance I had at being kind might be the only opportunity that day, and I didn’t want to miss it. The second thing I noticed was that it felt so good to be consciously kind that I was immediately hooked.
My Main Monday Act of Kindness: When a fellow online entrepreneur was feeling down about low sales, it popped into my head that I could use a resource I have to help, namely my Hootesuite scheduling software. Since it automates messages across social media, I simply added their cause to our bulk message upload to help them generate some sales.
The most heartening aspects of this act? Two other people offered to help them as well AND they were so appreciative that they returned the favor and passed one of our business ventures onto a friend who was interested. But what had me sobbing – in a good way – was when so many fellow writers expressed interest in joining the Kindness Campaign along with me.
Day 2 – Tuesday: I gave a glowing complement to the 4th person I was transferred to at my telephone company for her innovative way of handling my issue. I was proud of this because I had to fight through my growing frustration at being transferred around and repeating myself, and instead refocus on the good effort she was making. It was worth it to hear her laugh with happiness when I half-jokingly told her she should probably be in charge of our country’s financial institutions.
Day 3 – Wednesday: I sent a message to the admins at one of my favorite animal activist groups, thanking them for working tirelessly for circus and zoo reform. Thinking about how much flack these activists sometimes receive for attempting to help reminded me that they could probably use more kind words for their amazing efforts.
Day 4- Thursday: Well, today was the day I discovered from a fellow social media contact that the person I had helped on Day 1 was misrepresenting themselves. I did a little of my own digging and found out that this was true.
Admittedly, this brought me down a little bit. The cliche “No good deed goes unpunished” popped into my head. But then I realized that the only reason I even knew about this misrepresentation in the first place was due to the kindness of a someone else online having my back. And I realized something else: this was an opportunity for me to apply the idea that giving isn’t about being tied to the outcome. It’s about sending out loving kindness, even if that kindness is only planting a seed. Seeds eventually grow into beautiful flowers and nourishing plants that beautify and feed the world.
My kind deed for today was to myself: I gave myself kudos for not allowing this tough news to bring me down, and for letting it go.
Day 5 – Friday: I complimented my friend on her natural beauty after she informed me that she was not going to put on any makeup for the concert we were going to because “it’ll just melt off my face in this heat” (We live in Humid City, Ohio).
On a side note, I was tired and crabby this day, but because I’d been consciously focused on kindness all week I noticed something: I was the recipient of kindness when I received a nice compliment on the work I do. I’m not sure if I would have picked up on the compliment if I hadn’t been concentrating on upping my own loving kindness game. But because I was looking out for opportunities to give compassion, I was better able to receive it.
Day 6 – Saturday: I sent my sister an e-card congratulating her on a professional milestone she achieved this week. I’m notoriously late on sending out cards (even e-cards!) for friends’ and family’s happy events, so I definitely credit my on-time delivery to The Kindness Campaign.
Day 7 – Sunday: Today, I was a good listener to a few people who needed to talk.
My Week 1 takeaways:
- I can see the benefits of choosing to go forward every day, not just for 30 days, with a conscious goal of doing one act of kindness. These first 7 days have made me less selfish and more aware of other people’s needs, and my own capacity for affecting positive change.
- I feel much more connected to people online now as people first, and as business people second.
- I’ve learned to be better at not being tied to the outcome of giving.
- There are a lot more kind, loving, and giving people in this world than there are selfish ones. Yes, I had the one negative experience. Yet seven people offered to join the Kindness Campaign and give what they could to a person who seemed to be struggling. One to seven – that’s a safe bet that we live in a world full of Loving Kindness.
“Compassion brings us to a stop, and for a moment we rise above ourselves.” – Mason Cooley
You can view The Kindness Campaign: Week 2 here.