If you know me, at the beginning of each year I decide on a theme for the next 12 months that applies both professionally and personally. Last year, that intention was Make Good Trouble, in honor of the late civil rights activist and congressman John Lewis.
And we got into some exceptionally Good Trouble in 2021!
This year, 2022, my intention is that Kindness is Our Mission. You’ll notice that this is not just for me—it is Our Mission. In fact, I’m looking for one million people to also decide that this year Kindness is Our Mission.
Why Choose Kindness?
I grew up on a farm. One of my most cherished memories is from when I was about 6 years old. That makes it 64ish years ago. My grandfather took me outside, and we planted an acorn tree. Even though I’ll never see that acorn tree again, I know it’s there, tall, and strong, and glorious.
It’s the same with kindness. While we may not see many results right now, acts of kindness are immortal. They will continue to make good differences—large and small—for forever.
Start with Yourself
If you’re going to join me in a year of kindness, you must start with yourself. You can’t give away what you don’t have. Be kind to yourself first. Be kind to yourself every day.
10 Million Random Acts of Kindness in 2022
Here’s where I start to get very excited! My dear friend and Social Entrepreneur Crystal Flaman has recently developed 10millionactsofkindness.com. It’s so elegantly simple, and yet so powerful. If 1 million of us commit to just 10 random (or not so random) acts of kindness this year, then we will have given 10 million random acts of kindness in 2022!
Now, I know many of you who are reading this. And I know for certain that you will go far beyond 10 acts of kindness this year. I’ll be joining you!
This may be the only time I quote Wikipedia, but here’s what it says about kindness:
Kindness is a type of behavior marked by acts of generosity, consideration, or concern for others, without expecting praise or reward. Wikipedia
The Ripple Effect
The Story of the Ripple Effect
Back in 1982, a visionary named Ann Herbert penned a very special phrase: “Practice random kindness & senseless acts of beauty.” From this moment, a subtle movement started, the world began to practice random acts of kindness, people began to “pay it forward” & a ripple effect was created! Sharing a simple smile, helping someone in need or offering a random act of kindness can and does make a difference in the world!
It costs us nothing to be kind. Of course, if you want to use money to spread kindness, you can. But kindness with intention is free and powerful. I’m asking you to decide with full awareness that you will practice kindness throughout 2022. As we all do so, the ripple effect will be profound.
You can’t have ¾ of a ripple! Every ripple is 360°, a full, expanding circle.
On the 10 Million Acts of Kindness website, you can order cards to include with every act of kindness. This is a great way to help increase the ripples in our world and to invite others to join our kindness movement. But you don’t need cards, or even a plan. Simply determine that you will be kind to someone today and go do it.
I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many of you over the past few years. It has been a hard go. And it continues to be so hard for so many. I believe kindness is the antidote to the hardness of life. Making Kindness our Mission in 2022 will transform us, no matter what happens in the world. And I believe it will transform our world, too.
I deeply appreciate you.