28 days of kindness for Newtown…are you in?By Jennifer Sage On December 16, 2012 Under Misc
Not a soul on this earth isn’t affected by the horrible and senseless tragedy in Newtown, CT yesterday. While my own beliefs are that our nation must address gun control and improving access to mental health care sooner than later, the most immediate and personal issue for all of us is “what can I do“? Nowhere have I seen a more beautiful response to this question than on a post by a friend of mine on Facebook today. Krista Leopold is a passionate and caring Spinning coach and fitness instructor at Charleston Ride, a Spinning studio in Charleston, South Carolina. Here is Krista’s Facebook message to the world:
I keep seeing the Mr. Rogers “look for the helpers” quote passed around. I love it, but I encourage you to BE the helper. Seriously, that devilish fiend didn’t get that way all by himself and had a few more “helpers” been part of his life we might not be having these conversations. We don’t need the government to bar us from having arms as much as we need friends to step in and say, “whatcha planning to do with that?” We don’t need preachers screaming about how sinful he was as much as we need to demonstrate the power of forgiveness to melt the hardened angry heart. Yes, you have an opinion about what could have prevented this, but we all do. So, I ask you please, if you really want to do something to help in the wake of this tragedy, start by making sure you aren’t contributing to the next psycho losing it. Consider giving up sarcasm, snark, vitriol and sharp remarks in favor of kindness, consolation and sincerity. Just curb your tongue for 28 days – one for each of the victims (that we know so far) and see how quickly the world starts to change. I love you guys and I don’t want to go through this again.
It occurred to me that it be wonderful if this went viral, if the entire world decided to devote 28 days to being kind. Can you imagine the collective and transformational power of the loving energy of thousands, tens of thousands of people? I’m not sure how to make something go “viral” other than telling everyone I know and hoping they’ll do the same. Krista has given me permission to post this and spread the word. Please help us do just that – read this, and then Tweet, FB and email the heck out of it. Send this link to your local newspapers. Tweet it directly to journalists, television stations, politicians, celebrities, and let’s see if we can harness the power of their large fan base to harness the power of love. Use the hashtag #28daysforNewtown on Twitter and let’s see if we can make this trend.
I would add one thing to Krista’s challenge: make sure to include an act of kindness every day to someone you don’t know. It might be while driving your car and letting someone in front of you in traffic, or at the grocery store or post office, or walking down the street to work, or in school or while waiting in line at the coffee shop. No act of kindness, no matter how small, goes unnoticed.
Don’t think you can personally do anything? Think again…
Let’s kill the world with kindness for 28 days in honor of each of the victims.
Why 28 you ask? Why include the murderer in the total? Let that be your 28th day—it will be the hardest one. Do it to realize the need for better mental health care in this country and to acknowledge that perhaps some act of kindness in the days or hours before he stole the lives of those children and teachers (or any other would-be criminal or murderer contemplating something awful), might have stopped or delayed him. Sure, some cynics might blast me for even suggesting that, but there are many tales of acts of kindness that stopped a person from committing suicide, so you just never know the effect you might have on someone.
Can’t commit to 28 days? Don’t let that stop you – just do it today!
My favorite quote is very apropos here:
What you say, what you do, what you are, may help others in ways you’ll never know. Your influence, like your shadow, extends where you may never be. ~Unknown.
Need some ideas? Watch this video! #28daysforNewtown
If you’re with us, please leave a comment, and let us know who you’ve spread the word to! I’m also posting this on my Facebook page, so if you’re on FB, please share this post directly from FB to help spread the message even more.
If you start December 16, that’s until January 13th. Just adjust the days if you start later. And hey, you know what they say, it takes 21 days to change a habit! This just might be the start to a nicer world! 😉
With love and hope,