Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

AOK Wednesday…sort of

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by JEL

I was in the mood for something positive, something kind to share with everyone. I haven’t done an Act of Kindness (AOK) Thursday post in a while, so I started foraging for stories about people being kind to one another and came across this.

There’s this company called eFoods Global that has introduced Acts of Kindness (AoK) Currency, and the press release certainly sounds like people can get free “money” for food simply by being kind to their fellow humans. And I believe that they can. Awesome, right?! Except the only kindness that qualifies is referring other humans to eFoods Global’s products.

Go to their website and view the video on the Home page. They make storable food, the kind you put in your bunker, bomb shelter, or basement in case of crisis. Their business model relies on network marketing, meaning people referring people who refer people who refer people. It’s a powerful model, good business, and their video has all the polish of a Saturday afternoon infomercial.

But, really, is it kindness–or commerce?

AOK Thursday: Daily Interactions

Thursday, March 10th, 2011 by JEL

I think a lot of people view “being kind” as taking on some sort of project. They need to brainstorm what to do, bounce it off a couple friends, plan it out, practice, and then execute. Well, that may be effective for big-whopper acts of kindness, but what about your daily interactions with people you see every day? These are certainly more frequent opportunities for kindness and may yield more benefit.

This Amanda Marrazzo column was well done. Think about how you treat the people you see the most…

“So, think about the guy who gives you coffee in the morning, the garbage man, waiter or waitress, anyone who is doing anything that makes your life a bit better. We are all of equal value sharing this earth for a short time, working hard to make a better life. Each interaction presents an opportunity to leave the world a little warmer or a lot colder.”

As Only Kurt Could Say

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011 by JEL

I rarely re-read books, but last summer I pulled Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle off the shelf and was blown away (again) by the story, the writing, and the expression of eyes-wide-open wisdom. I’ve always been a fan, which is why this article jumped out of the stream of bits and bytes and slapped me in the face this morning. It’s called “15 Things Kurt Vonnegut Said Better Than Anyone Else Ever Has or Will.”

I especially like #4 which comes from his novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. It’s part of a speech a character plans to give at the baptism of his neighbors’ twins:

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies—God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.”

AOK Thursday: Kindness Research

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by JEL

The Dalai Lama created a minor splash in the news yesterday when he announce he is donating $50,000 from his personal trust to help fund kindness research at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Center will use the funds to continue its exploration “into how healthy qualities of mind such as kindness, empathy and compassion develop and might be nurtured.”

Pretty interesting. If you take a look around you, I’m sure you’ll agree that not everyone is kind. Or at least that some people are kinder than others. Maybe it’s genes, maybe it’s upbringing. But maybe, kindness can be taught.

AOK Thursday: “It’s harder to be kind than clever”

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010 by JEL

Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of, was this year’s commencement speaker at Princeton. In his address he tells the story of his summers in Texas on his grandparent’s ranch and the lesson he (painfully) learned about the difference between being clever and kind.

“What I want to talk to you about today is the difference between gifts and choices. Cleverness is a gift, kindness is a choice. Gifts are easy — they’re given after all. Choices can be hard. You can seduce yourself with your gifts if you’re not careful, and if you do, it’ll probably be to the detriment of your choices.”

It’s a wonderful speech, and I highly encourage you to read the whole thing.