So today, thanks to Spur Cavendish, Cayden, his friend Veer and I received 25 Spur vouchers to hand out to children in the Cavendish shopping mall.
The plan was to have a fun, spontaneous handing out of vouchers to children we saw as we walked around the shopping mall and I must say I was not expecting it to be quiet as intimidating as it turned out to be.
I guess in this day and age we have been sadly so programmed to believe that there is no such thing as a free handout and that anything that a stranger wants to give you has got to have strings attached! Quiet a few parents turned us down point blank without us getting a chance to explain what we were trying to do.
The kids soon got quiet weary about walking up to strangers and offering them the vouchers they were so excited to hand out and they made me go up and talk while they hang back shyly behind me. I must say if I had just been me I would have given up after a few failed attempts! However the kids were desperate to hand the vouchers out so we kept at it for a good hour and a half to two hours.
All in all I was glad we stuck at it! For every two negative people we encountered there was at least one very kind, grateful person who took the time to listen to us explaining that this was a free voucher for them to use no strings attached and gave the children really kind words of thanks. By the end the kids lost their shyness and really enjoyed the process and kept asking really loudly after a person turned us down – why on earth do they not want the voucher! – lol.
The most interesting part of the experiment was that teenagers where so much more open, kind and willing to listen that the adults we encountered.
It is a good lesson in parenting that we should raise our children to see the good in other people and not just assume the worst!
Like the inspirational video depicts, if you search for what is good in this world you will find it!!
The Kindness Challenge took up quiet a lot of time and energy and I feel like I havnt yet had a proper chance to thank everyone involved for their input and time.
The emails and feedback from the people who took part really touched Cayden and I here are just a few excerpts that I would like to share:-
– Cheering up people is such fun!! Emily has now taken to hugging ANYone who looks like they might need it. 🙂
– I’m so thrilled you are spreading so much kindness – it can only cause a miracle in the world if everyone was to follow your example!
– Day 2 – smashed …. Granny G took delicious crunchies to a neighbour, Grandpa G and Granny G each phoned a friend they had not spoken to for a very long time!
– Good idea and thanks for challenging us this week. It has been fun and very worthwhile.
– Dear Cayden and Salz… My smile took me many places today.
– Lucy pinned this drawing on our wall this morning to remind us to keep smiling.. Even AFTER the smile challenge 😀
– We think we practice kindness but it helps to be reminded as you did in the week past. It made me more aware of what I do and more observant of what I could do.
– Just wanted to comment and say your Kindness Challenge was AWESOME!! So well thought out, great ideas for kids AND adults. So awesome that you focused on such a wide range of areas with manageable steps in each one. At the beginning of the week I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and almost wishing I hadn’t committed to fitting more things into my week but I quickly felt so rewarded doing the various things, loved how good it made us & others feel. Overall, just fabulous – well done you guys, you are changing the world!
DONT forget each and every one of you have the power to change the world!
Each small act of kindness has a ripple effect that goes on immeasurably! Be the change you want to see in the world, it does not have to be a grand time consuming gesture it can be as simple as a kind word or smile.
Starting Monday 29 July 2013…
Lets infect the world with Kindness!!
What a great week away in Knysna spending time with Cayden’s grandparents. I must say I was struck by the wonderful close knit community feel of this ‘small town’. People where so friendly and willing to help out.
We had quiet a few opportunities to share the kindness and a few ones stick out as particularly cool 🙂
On our last full day in Knysna we took Cayden to explore the caves by the Heads in Knysna. He was quiet excited and secretly hoping to find some hidden treasure (we had just been reading Enid Blyton’s Valley of Adventure which is about finding awesome treasure in hidden caves!). So he was super excited when he found a wallet which had fallen down into one of the narrow dark crevices in one of the caves. He excitedly showed us all when he came home and was happy to find that the owner of the wallet had put a piece of paper in it with his name and cell number on it.
We managed to get in contact with the owner and found out it was a young boy who had lost his wallet a short while ago and we made a plan to drop it off on our way back home the next day. The boy was so grateful to get his wallet back that he said Cayden should treat himself to an ice cream with some of the money in his wallet as a thank you for being so honest and giving it back to him.
So we met up with the boys brother on our way home yesterday and was amazed to hear that the day before (when Cayden found the wallet) the boy who the wallet belonged to had rubbed the Knysna’s good luck charm, Bondi’s, nose and wished for his wallet to be found. What a happy ending and we got to end the holiday on a high note!
There are so many people in this world who are lonely or going through a rough time right now.
If you can think of anyone like this (or anyone who would love to receive a letter) please send us their name and postal address as we would love to post them a picture Cayden has drawn together with an encouraging note.
Who would not love receiving some happy ‘snail mail’!
You can email us the details on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cant wait to hear from you 🙂
Man week one has passed and this journey is growing from strength to strength. We have been so touched by the comments and responses we have gotten from family, friends and strangers!
It is amazing how simple acts of kindness can really inspire and join people together 🙂
As Cayden says ‘two wrongs dont make a right but two rights make a lot of people happy’.
Yesterday the school holidays begun and in the afternoon it poured with rain for a couple of hours in Cape Town. This was a great opportunity to share the love. One very kind car guard braved the cold and rain and walked us to our car under his umbrella he very sweetly stood and waiting until both Cayden and I had got into the car so that we didnt have to get too wet and was genuinely super appreciative of the small change and motivational note we gave him in return.
We then started our drive home and spotted a homeless man not begging at the robots but just standing against the wall trying to get a small amount of shelter. We decided to pull over the car as soon as we could and ran out in the rain to give him a small amount of money for food. He was so surprised and happy to receive something unexpected it really made our day 🙂
So we headed on home and since we were already rather wet Cayden decided to make the most of it and jump in as many giant puddles as possible and run around like crazy in the rain… nothing like a small puddle to attract a child !
We then got to bundle indoors have a nice warm bath and put on some cosy dry clothes, we really appreciated the fact that we had a nice warm home and dry clothes to come home to – so much to be grateful for especially in these cold winter months!
What a special day!
It is always so magical to see how people respond to a little kindness. I made an appeal on Facebook for people to do one kind act for others and email us to let us know about it and I really appreciate each and everyone who took the time to share your act of kindness with us your stories were beautiful.
The response to our blog has been wonderful we have already had views in Australia, New Zealand, UK, Denmark, Korea to name a few. It has been such an eye opening experience for me and Cayden to see how kind deeds can ripple out across the world. We are planning to draw up a world map and map out the places our kind deeds have touched 🙂
So today to spread the love we printed out a bunch of motivational cards which we dropped off in post boxes, left on car windscreens and handed to people on the side of the road. People where so appreciative and astounded when we pulled the car over and Cayden politely said ‘ excuse me would you like a card’?. We caught one of our policemen walking to work along 1st Ave and he gave us such a heartwarming smile and thank you!
Then to end off this special day Cayden said such a sweet thing to me just before bedtime tonight, after we had finished up the prep for our kindness act for tomorrow (Pics to follow tomorrow). He said:- I really love doing kind things for people it makes me feel so good. Instead of two wrongs not making a right, two rights make lots of people happy. What wise words from such a young boy!