Pledge #159 – Helping Neighbours Across the Country

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“I have adopted a Navajo elderly couple who live in Arizona. I send them as much as I can to make their life easier. They have no electricity nor running water and they cook and heat with wood. I pledge to spread the word about our Native Americans that are living in poverty to everyone that I can. My friends will be the first, as they can help with the cost of wood and food. This shall be my first priority every day. They need help.“

– Pledge #159, Louisville, Kentucky

photo: Neeta Lind

Pledge #157: A Gift of Life

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“I’ve always wanted to give blood, but because I’m anemic and take iron supplements, I don’t meet the requirements. So instead I joined OneMatch, the National Marrow & Stem Cell registry. It was very easy — just fill out a questionnaire, swab your mouth with a swab they provide, and then you’re on the list worldwide to potentially save a life. Everyone who is eligible should think about donating blood — but if you can’t, this is a really great way to potentially save the life of a stranger.

You can find out more at onematch.ca

– Pledge #157, Toronto, Ontario

photo: Kimli

Pledge #156 – Paying it Forward

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“I am so inspired by your blog and wonderful ride. this year I have decided to make my life meaningful one day at a time. it started out as a new year’s resolution of working towards becoming a better person, and soon turned into recognizing that how I spend my days will be the way i spend my year.

As a result, i perform meaningful acts on a daily basis that provide wonderful life lessons (and blog about the experience). many of these include daily acts of kindness. I am currently working on a random act of kindness project that I would like to pledge toward your project.

I pledge to finish making my random acts of kindness cards that I will distribute to my friends. the idea is that they will perform one act of kindness, leaving only the card behind that states, “this random act of kindness is to remind you that the world is a beautiful place, pay it forward.”

The goal is to give out one card a day. in hopes for one more kind act.” – Pledge #156, USA

photo: Joyelle Brandt

Pledge #155: More Coffee

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Yesterday morning I was in a pretty crappy mood. I slept really poorly and yet woke up almost 2 hours before my alarm. I had a lot of things due at work – likely the thought of that is what kept me from getting back to sleep, in fact.

So feeling sorry for myself I stopped to pick up a coffee. Despite it being about 6:30 AM there was a line nearly to the door. Still, I needed my coffee and so I waited and watched the line continue to grow behind me – many of the people in line looking to be in an even worse mood than I found myself in. Just before I got to the counter, though, I remembered The Power of the Unexpected and decided to give it a shot. After making my usual order for my coffee and bagel, I asked the woman behind the counter for 10 more coffees for the next 10 people in line. She was originally confused by what I was trying to accomplish but eventually we worked it out.

In the end my day was really busy but that gesture and the thought of 10 others being surprised by it made me happy.

Photo by Leolumix

The Power of the Unexpected

I suspect a lot of folks might not immediately see this as an act of kindness. Whether or not you do, it illustrates a lovely sort of act of kindness that I really adore and in fact think is pretty powerful and that is the unexpected gesture.

The woman taking the order in the video obviously expected to have an ordinary night at work, taking and filling orders. However the person in the video did something completely unexpected: he was incredibly nice in a way that came completely out of left field. You can hear as the video progresses the change it is making in her demeanour. And just as a particularly horrible interaction can ruin your mood for hours afterwards, an interaction like this has a similarly lasting effect. And that effect quite possibly goes beyond just the one person – likely to the others in the restaurant. Friends and other customers of the order-taker may also be impacted by the good mood that the woman taking the order gained from this simple act. And don’t forget the man giving the order. He’s having as awesome a time giving the order as she is taking it.

So never underestimate the power of a small but unexpected kind gesture. Whether it be a compliment, a coffee purchased for a stranger, or a free hug given on a street corner, those little acts create lasting ripples.