One of the unexpected bonuses of working on a project like 500 Kindnesses is that not only do I get to see all of the wonderful pledges coming in, I begin to connect with kindness in other places as well. Now when friends see an inspiring article about something that someone did, they immediately share it with me. And so while I hear all of the same news and deal with life’s challenges and frustrations, I have a steady stream of positivity coming in.
Another thing that has happened since starting this is that I am discovering so many other people who are focusing part of their lives on promoting kindness. Maybe I read too much news but I am meeting far more people who make being kind and promoting kindness a part of their daily life. All of this really improves my outlook.
A few weeks ago I came across a few more of those people – the folks behind The Simple Good and I realized that I shouldn’t keep all of these positive people for myself. So I asked Priya Shah, co-founder of The Simple Good if she’d answer a few questions I could share with you:
Who are the folks behind The Simple Good?
Priya Shah (Co-Founder)
Jon Ofori-Amoah (Website developer – the man behind creating our beautiful website!)
Outside of The Simple Good, what do you do?
During the day, I am an analyst at Groupon. I previously was an Auditor at Ernst & Young, when The Simple Good was first founded and a year ago transitioned over to Groupon. Both companies were/have been very supportive of The Simple Good which is always very humbling.
What is The Simple Good’s mission?
Engaging communities and people from around the world to search for the every good in their lives through art and unique events.
How did your project start? Where did the idea come from?
A friend and I were searching for ideas on how we could do something more meaningful aside from our day jobs. Both of us had travelled the world and while looking through photos, we realized how the same forms of good were captured over and over again, no matter what country we were in. Whether it was a sunset, a smile, or an act of kindness – good was the same to all of us, no matter where we go in the world. The idea of The Simple Good was more of a realization which transformed into a photoblog which ended up catching on rapidly and we received participation from all over the world. We now do community engaging events, such as an art showcase and evening gatherings, to bring the idea of the simple good to life which has been received incredibly well here in Chicago.
Who inspires you?
My mother. She was the one that encouraged me to travel at a young age and pushed me to experience these opportunities over and over again. She exemplifies the simple good in life at every moment.
What is your favourite submission?
There are too many to choose from! The best submissions are not necessarily the submissions with the best photography but with the best story. Here is one of my favorites.
When we put so much of ourselves into a project, our projects can often change us. How has your project changed who you are?
It’s now become a habit (and job) for me to look for good in everything I do – even in the smallest ways. By doing this, I have become a lot more appreciative, forgiving and thoughtful in my day to day just through this simple practice. I hope to bring this realization to others in the world so that they can experience the same. The tough times are eased when you’re constantly reminded of all the great things you do have.
What is the next step with your project? What are your dreams for it?
I hope to make The Simple Good an outlet for good. By expanding mediums for sharing good whether through photography, stories, or media, there are many ways for people to express their good in their world and I hope to create a hub for it. I also aspire to make The Simple Good events on a grander scale in various cities to bring a great community engaging scene which brings light to good that surrounds us.
We at 500 Kindnesses talk a lot about *performing* acts of kindness but we spend less time talking about what it’s like to be on the receiving end. What is the most memorable act of kindness that you’ve ever been on the receiving end of?
Every photo submission and support I have received for The Simple Good has been the most humbling acts of kindness I have received during this entire journey. To have someone share the light in their life with us and the world is amazing and magnifies the kindness and sharing that does exist in our world.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Please submit photos of the good in your life to The Simple Good! Some may not realize it, but every ounce of good shared is a story and creates a ripple effect to our world – which is a very powerful thing to be a part of.