Today’s column all began with a search for other blogs that write about kindness. As I gathered ideas for today’s blog entry, I eventually found myself here:
http://www.GenerateKindness.org gives away “generate kindness” stickers to anyone who asks (although you can download the PDF file and make your own, which is far more efficient). Once you have your stickers, you can stick them all over town to remind people to be kind. How easy is that? There’s even a place on Flickr for kind people to post photos of places where they’ve left their stickers. In fact, they would like more photos. Got your camera ready?
Once I got into the site, I was further reminded, not just of kindness, but of another source of inspiration that is absolutely wonderful: TED talks. (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. Find out more here: http://www.ted.com/) The Generate Kindness folks posted a link to a talk by religious scholar Karen Armstrong about her wish for a Charter for Compassion. She challenges people to focus on the Golden Rule, the common thread among all religion, as a way to celebrate what we all have in common. It’s the focus on differences, after all, that sparks nasty disagreement. As I watched Ms. Armstrong on video, I remembered how I first discovered TED talks online through an email from a friend. Why didn’t I check back with TED more often? The TED talks push people to think, really think beyond their usual boundaries.
Isn’t that what creativity is all about? And doesn’t using our creativity to think beyond our own experiences push us closer to kindness?
Anything I say beyond that would be nothing more than packing peanuts. Take the two above questions and run with them. See where you end up. Report back!