I started the Kindness for Karma year-long project for many reasons. The first and main one was of course to accomplish the actual acts in order to bring a little extra joy in some people’s lives. Seeing the reactions of my “victims” were always fun and encouraging, but I also liked the element of surprise behind it, which is why most of them were done anonymously. To receive something unexpectedly usually has more value or a very different kind of impact as when it is expected. It makes me happy to think that I was able to contribute to that effect, even in the simplest ways.
The Pay It Forward ripple effect was the project’s by-product, which was also something I was very interested to see unfold. I have come across some amazing people who have been not only saying that it had brought positivity in their lives, but also just plain awareness. Then I have had people who have been thoroughly inspired and have voluntarily jumped knee-deep into it with me. For this, I have a couple of special thanks to give. One goes out to Maxime Nicholas, who, for the last eight weeks, has been also doing one act of kindness per week and posted everything on Instagram and Facebook to share with her friends and family. Another special person who has been extremely involved is my friend Véronique Sylvain. She has been suggesting ideas since day 1 and I have her to thank for continuously motivating me. Marianne Denis, Sébastien St-Amour, Ashly Dick and the kind folks in my building are also amongst the other people who have actively helped me complete my project. Thank you as well to everyone else who’s been supportive, with my mom being my number one supporter and friend.
“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.”
- Eric Hoffer
On a personal level, I wanted to see how the project would affect me and me in relation to the world. Sure enough, within the first couple of weeks, I started to see a transformation in myself. By being aware of Kindness and its effects, I felt like I was progressively becoming naturally more kind to others. I felt more relaxed, accepting and patient with my peers and most of the time, I would get those same reactions in return. I also noticed that even if I had pre-written my fifty two acts, I ditched some ideas as I found bigger and better ones as the weeks progressed by exposing myself to positive energy. This was a great growing experience and has taught me things that will probably stick with me for a long time to come.
On a more technical side, the k4k project allowed me to get creative with my outputs and to use Social Media to my advantage, which, as a Communications Minor, was a very interesting domain to play with. I had fun with my Facebook and Instagram as I was able to share my project with my close friends and family and get instant feedback. I used Twitter to get in contact with external folks, such as Pay It Forward Saint John’s, who were the people who inspired me in the first place. I met up with one of the heads of the Organization, Nicole Paquet while she was in Ottawa on a business trip and we shared a ton of great ideas. We have been in touch throughout the whole year and they have shared my story to many, including doing an email blast to Xerox employees, a company with whom they have been working. Thanks to them, I also had the opportunity to have a Skype call with some students from River Valley Middle School, a middle school in New Brunswick who are also affiliated with PIFSJ and extremely dedicated to their initiative. Two radio interviews also came out of using these tools; one directed by a journalism student, Nicole Vair, from Fredericton University and another with Charlotte Bédard from Vague FM 88.1 in Penetanguishene. As for this blog, I found pleasure in seeing my numbers grow every week. My final statistics as of today are the following:
Just for Fun
The top three highest page views are the following:
1. Week Nineteen: Mother’s Day Card by Mail.
– 86 page views
2. Tie - Week Four: Wool Socks for a Homeless Person.
– 54 page views
Tie - Week Five: Scholarship Reference Letter for a Former Katimavik Volunteer.
– 54 page views
3. Week Eleven: Timmies Freebies for a Stranger.
– 50 page views
To sum everything up, this past year has been a great journey which has taught me a lot about kindness, myself and even human nature. As you have guessed, yes, I will sign off with one last cheesy quote. As William John Bennett said, “A kind and compassionate act is often its own reward” and I couldn’t agree more.
Have a great 2k14.