Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Spreading Inspiration

     Today I had the opportunity both to inspire and to be inspired.  Let me explain further.
     Somewhat coincidentally, I had been scheduled to give two different talks about my kindness project today.  The first one was for a Rotary club in my hometown.  There were about 60 business and community leaders present, and I had the chance to explain what my project was about, tell some fun stories from my year of kindness, and then share some of my lessons learned.  A number of people came up to me afterwards, and some wrote to me as well, to let me know how my talk was inspiring to them and was motivating them to want to spread more kindness.  
     Later in the afternoon, I gave another similar talk to a group of students at a local high school.  While I'm told that I was an inspiring example to them as well, truth be told, I found the students themselves to be even more inspiring.
     The students are all part of a club based on a program called Rachel's Challenge.  Rachel Scott was the first student killed in the Columbine tragedy back in 1999.  Apparently, Rachel was a pretty amazing young woman who demonstrated kindness every day and who believed in the contagious power that kindness has to make a difference in our world.  In her memory and honor, and to keep her spirit and dream alive, Rachel's family created the concept of Rachel's Challenge.  It's a program to engage students, primarily at the high school level, in creating and spreading a culture of kindness in their schools and communities.  
     Hearing about the students' activities, and seeing their dedication and enthusiasm was inspiring to me.  It reminded me just how contagious this kindness thing can be.
     I was also reminded about this during a breakfast conversation with a friend this morning.  The friend is a subscriber to my blog and he told me today how reading my stories has increased his awareness of the opportunities for kindness that were all around him, and more importantly, how that greater awareness has translated into him doing acts of kindness that he likely wouldn't have done previously.  That's always great to hear.
     And one final kindness note for the day, I stopped on my way home today and picked up a nice bouquet of roses for my wife, just because.

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