The past few days I've been busy. Busy thinking about the different ways that people are creative. "Putting something new into the world" I called it in an earlier post.
I found a blog yesterday called http://kindnessgirl.com and it really made me sit up and think. Being creative is about making something new. A ring, a scarf, a picture. But it could also be about making a new feeling. Giving someone a reason to smile. Creating a way for someone to have a few minutes of ease.
Patience Salgado, the wonderful lady behind http://kindnessgirl.com , creates ways to practise what she calls Guerilla Goodness. She and her children spend time in and around their hometown anonymously doing things to bring pleasure and kindness to strangers.
They have written notes and cards with meaningful messages that they've then slipped into random library books, for people thumbing through the shelves to find. They have picked sunflowers, knocked on doors, and left the flowers on the step for people to find, with notes that said "This is a random act of kindness. Have a beautiful day." They have filled the slots in the machines at the launderette, so that the next person to use the machines has a few minutes paid for.
Patience and her children spend time each day creating ways that they can have an impact on the lives of the people that live near them that they do not know.
Early in the morning on the first day of the school term this year, Patience, her children and some friends, took pieces of chalk and wrote messages of encouragement to the children starting school. "Your new shoes look great!", "Have a fantastic school year!", "You are brilliant!", were some of the messages written on the pavement for nervous wee children, and their more nervous parents, to see on their way into school.
Reading about Patience and her family and their random acts of Guerilla Goodness got me pondering...
What random acts of kindness could I perform to make a difference to a stranger's day?
Would I be forcibly removed from the library if I were found loitering with intent to be kind, in amongst the aisles, slipping snippets of notes on paper into books?
Can you get arrested for chalking on pavements outside schools?
Would people in my local shops think I was being sarcastic if I smiled broadly at them and handed them a note saying "I appreciate you. Have a great day." Followed by a flower.
How do people respond?
Are people open to receiving these kindnesses, or suspicious of them?
Have we distanced ourselves from people so much that we have fewer opportunities to share kindnesses?
Am I really this cynical?
I'm still thinking about this. I'm considering ways in which I could start a mini Mimi and Tilly movement of random acts of kindness. I've been thinking of the different people in my neighbourhood, and how I could show more than the usual kindness courtesies that I share with them. I smile, chat, give cups of sugar, slices of bread, and exchange pleasantries.
But guerilla goodness seems to me to be about more than that. It seems to be about really putting a little anonymous piece of yourself out there. It's about sharing a little bit of your heart with complete strangers.
That to me seems very brave. And very creative.
I think Patience and her family are very brave. And very creative.
Visit http://kindnessgirl.com/ to read more about Guerilla Goodness. Patience writes a very uplifting and life-affirming blog.
And I think, in lieu of my cynical questioning, I must, immediately if not sooner, embark on a mini Mimi and Tilly movement of creative Guerilla Goodness.