Did you know that over the past year and a half I’ve given out over 3,000 KRC Love and Kindness Buttons?
Many have been left anonymously. In airports, restaurants, stores, art galleries…any place I’ve been, I’ve left a button, along with a small slip of paper: “Plant Kindness. Grow Love”… “Practice Kindness” … “Choose Love”… “Help People. Improve the World”. I never know what happens to those buttons. Maybe people smile when they find them. Maybe they keep them or give them away to a friend or loved one. Maybe some are never found. Or maybe they’re thrown away. I’ll never know.
Sometimes I give a button as a “thank you” to someone I see treating another person kindly. Or to someone who’s treated me kindly! I know what happens with those. I’ve been treated to gate attendants at airports hopping over the counter to hug me in thanks! I’ve had people cry as they tell me their life story – or the current difficulty they’re facing – and thank me for the opportunity for connection that receiving the small button has given them. And I’ve had people who’ve connected with me later on to tell me how meaningful their small button is to them – for many, many reasons.
Sometimes I give buttons to people I see arguing or treating other people in a not so kind manner. I hope the surprise of silently being handed the button – and then reading the words on the slip of paper – will be enough of an interruption (and disruption) to end the dispute. Because really, when it comes right down to it, there is nothing (and yes, I really do mean nothing) worth treating anyone unkindly about.
And even though that seems like such a small and simple thing – like my buttons – or giving out one button at a time – for me, it’s unbelievably important. The basis of my personal and professional purpose and practice.
So, I keep giving out buttons. Because with each small button I give out, I’m deliberately creating the world that I want to live in. And the world that I want my children…and their children…and their children’s children to live in. A world in which each of us treats others with love and kindness – and is treated with love and kindness.
Often, I’ve found that many people feel that they’re passive acceptors of the world around them. And that even if they’re not happy with what they’re seeing, they think that who they are, and whatever they can do is – and will be – too small. That in today’s “bigger is always better” world, small can’t – and won’t – do anything. If it’s not ‘scalable’ (or a big money-maker), it’s not worth doing.
But that’s just simply wrong thinking. Every act of love and kindness counts. Every single effort to help someone, no matter what it is, counts. Everything you do to care for a customer or a team-member, to treat people, animals and the earth kindly, no matter how small it seems, counts. Both to the person receiving and the person giving the kindness. Because every single act of love and kindness, at work or at home, is never too small.
When I came up with the idea to create the buttons, a small voice inside my head said, “That’s a crazy idea. How could something so small possibly help?” But I said to myself, “Self, until you try it, you’ll never know.” And here I am, one and a half years and 3,000 buttons, 3,000 small acts of love and kindness, later. And every single one of them has counted.
So, here’s this week’s challenge. And, as you can imagine, it’s a ‘small’ one!
I give out buttons. That’s me. What “small” thing can you do to deliberately create a better world? No matter how ‘crazy’ the voice inside your head says it is! Because, I’ll remind you again, you don’t have to be a passive acceptor of the world as it is today. With each small choice you make, with each small act of love and kindness you choose to do, whatever form it takes, you can be an active creator of a better world, now and for the future.
So, what one small thing will you choose to do today?
Because every little bit (button) counts.
And, so do you.
(And, if you post a response of what you choose to do, I’ll be happy to send you a KRC Love and Kindness Button in return!)