Before the days of Netflix and automatic streaming -- and even before the days of DVD's -- there existed in the land of entertainment: the video store, which specialized in renting VHS tapes of movies and the most annoying part of renting one of those movies, was putting it in and finding that it was at the end and had to be rewound. This led to video stores fining customers who didn't rewind and finally led one company -- Blockbuster -- to coin the phrase that now is used for so many other purposes -- "Be Kind - Rewind."
I had a friend who worked at a Blockbuster store and told me that after they started using that slogan -- making customers more conscious of rewinding as being a "kindness" for the next customer, rather than focusing on the penalties for not doing it -- he noticed more and more tapes coming back rewound. The reason why, I would suppose, is that most people hate being told what to do -- but they enjoy giving and receiving kindness.
But this goes beyond my supposition. There have been scientific studies showing that doing acts of kindness actually has a positive physical effect on your body. So not only do you feel good about what you are doing... you literally feel good! And anyone who has been the recipient of an unexpected act of kindness knows how wonderful it feels on the receiving end and how the shifting of your mood can cause you to want to share some of that good feeling with others.
Which was exactly the idea behind the "44 Days of Kindness." I have the pleasure of hosting a weekly radio show, Messages from Margaret, for Hay House that centers on angelic messages of love, hope and happiness. In the process of show planning for July and August, I remembered that there was a holiday coming up in August called "Be an Angel Day" which for 20 years had suggested utilizing the date to share random acts of kindness with your fellow man.
But what if, instead of just for a day, people began to think about doing acts of kindness every day? What if it became something that you wrote on your to-do list every day -- and what if it was something that gave you so much pleasure that you actually wanted to do it? What if it was something that was so much fun to do that you shared it with your close friends and family and you made plans to spread kindness together? What if they told their friends or shared it on social media?
The answer to that "what if" is that things that are done daily for more than 21 days are likely to become a habit, and when they involve doing good for others they WILL make you feel good, and if it something you can share with friends or family, then you will begin changing the energy around you and them.
And if you begin to share this through the power of social media -- if you post on Facebook, or Twitter or Pinterest or Instagram -- now you are participating in a MOVEMENT and if some of your friends are from other countries you now have a worldwide movement!
And that is what "44 Days of Kindness" is growing into. On the July 9th Hay House radio program we asked if all the radio listeners and everyone else that they could mobilize, could begin to do just one conscious act of kindness for their fellow man from that next day through August 22nd -- the day we are calling "International Kindness Day!" One kind act per day for 44 days. We also asked if they could share their acts and ideas for others on our Facebook page, or as part of our "Kindness E-Blast." The core group even started sharing ideas for creating a daily music soundtrack that we are calling the "Soundtrack to 44 Days of Kindness." In just the first few days over 10,000 people on Facebook found out about the movement and that number is growing every day. With the assistance of social media we are going from "Be-Kind Rewind" to the amazing speed of international voices saying "BE KIND AND FAST FORWARD THIS MESSAGE PLEASE!"
And that is what I am hoping that today's post will help to do. Every act of kindness is crucial and in a world that is charged with violence and misunderstood hatred and fear, there needs to be a force to counteract that energy -- a force for good that is staffed not by governments but by people just like you and me, who want nothing more than to live in a world of kindness and peace.
To para-phrase what John Lennon once said, you may say that I am a dreamer -- but 10,000 already sharing this message say I am not the only one. If you have ever wanted to change the world but not known how you could possibly do it -- this may be your chance.
Join in with people all over the world to commit to doing one simple act of kindness as a part of your day. Maybe you already show people kindness as often as you can, but what if this became part of your daily plan? Imagine the fun of thinking of things you could do to make your husband or wife happier. Imagine teaching your kids about planning kind acts for your friends, neighbors or strangers. Imagine thousands of people from all over the world, joined with you, for the same purpose every day. Imagine helping to create the "habit" of kindness. If you're in, or you think this sounds good but you need more info, just click here for more details.
Remember -- be kind -- and help us fast forward the kindness throughout the rest of the world.