The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people — including 20 children — were gunned down, sent shockwaves around the world.
People were angry, upset, devastated. They cried, they hugged their children, they called for stricter gun control laws.
And then people started to do something.
They started to give back.
“Imagine if we all committed to 20 acts of kindness for each child lost in Newtown? I’m in.”
I’m in, too.
This online campaign called “26 Acts of Kindness” has spurred thousands of random acts of generosity, altruism and compassion. People are leaving cash with notes on car windshields or vending machines. People are feeding expired parking meters and paying for strangers’ groceries.
It’s a revolution!
The whole concept is pretty interesting. It’s too bad it takes a tragedy like this for people to be nice to each other. But apparently, that’s the world we live in, where we have to consciously be kind to each other.
I thought about this when I walked to my car the other day and noticed someone had smashed my back bumper and failed to leave a note. Instead of a random act of kindness, I got a random act of quite the opposite. Yet, an off-duty police officer walked over — he was on his way to the bank — and explained to me what I needed to do. He even gave me a blank police report with instructions on what to do.
Out of something terrible came something kind — a stranger came to help.
So it’s important to be nice to others, and it’s equally important to recognize the niceness that surrounds us all the time.
Life is too short to flip off the guy who cut you off on the highway or trample other shoppers to get that $100 flat-screen TV.
Because at the end of the day, what does it achieve?
So do something nice today. In fact, do 26 nice things for every victim of the Newtown shooting. Feed an expired meter. Open a door for someone. Donate books to the library. Take cookies to the fire station. Thank a teacher. Hug your parents. It’s not hard — and the impact will be lasting. Trust me.
Want to get involved? Post your acts of kindness on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #26acts — and inspire others!