Saturday, November 23, 2013

Get Your Kindness On

One of the things I love about Facebook is that it connects me to people that I probably would have fallen out of touch with otherwise.

I mean, duh, right? That's the whole point of Facebook.

But it's still pretty amazing that because of this tool we can pick up those threads of friendship that would have likely fallen away in earlier generations. It has been 20 years since I was in college. In the pre-Facebook world, it would be hard for someone like me, who has moved many times, and lived in different states and countries, to stay in touch with people from that era. It's something that just wasn't possible in the past-- or at least not in the same way.

It was through the miracle of Facebook that I was able to learn from my friend Allison about something pretty incredible that happened recently.

A girl named Kara (who I've not met) wanted for her 22nd birthday for her friends and family to perform a Random Act of Kindness in her honor. They created the hashtag #HAPPYbdayKara and then made a video of all the things they did.

As my son said after watching the video:
"Get it, mom? Her name is Kara. CARE- ah. Because she cares!"

They delivered coffee and candy, sent flowers, made donations to MANY organizations, put change in parking meters, paid for meals for others, and much, much more.

Can you imagine-- at 22-- being that selfless and thoughtful? What a fabulous idea!

And what I LOVE MOST about this is the ripple effect.

Someone far away has a great idea.

They act on it.

They spread kindness.

Their friends spread kindness, and it grows.

And it keeps growing...

Until someone seven states away shows a video to her kids and explains to them that a girl in South Carolina didn't want presents for her birthday this year, she wanted something bigger.

That's pretty incredible.

So, get your kindness on this week.
Do it for Kara.
Do it for yourself.
Do it for someone that inspires you.
Just do it.

Katharine Owens is a writer, professor, printmaker, mom, environmentalist, amateur naturalist, and lover of all things bug.


  1. Indeed kindness always extended to everyone. But not everyone welcomed it enthusiastically and not-for-profit. Everyone has to be good for us but also those who take advantage of our kindness to do bad things

  2. Beautiful. This is what I'd like to do with my family each Christmas. To make the season something bigger than simply gifts.

  3. I agree Barbara-- it's SO HARD to fight through all of the consumer stuff to find the important things in holidays. :0)

  4. This is amazing! Love seeing things like this. What a beautiful soul!

  5. I have learned a lot from this post, thank