11:13 AM

Two years ago, I lived in a house full of dreamers who had big dreams for themselves, but also big dreams for humanity. A few weeks ago, one of those housemates, Erin Miller, had an idea. With one instagram post, she started a challenge to be #deliberatelykind to someone, to post it on social media and then to challenge 2 people to do the same. My friend Lindsey sent me the challenge. I looked at it, and thought, 

“That is a cute idea, but I have to write a research paper”.

But laying on my bed that night, as I was searching through my research sources, I realized how often I reject my innate desire to impact change because I think I’m too “busy”. I easily forget to just do kind things for people. 

I talk to college students every day, and every once in a while I will see a spark, a sign of a closet dreamer. But what happens when you want to change the world, but you have to finish that research paper? How do you do both? Here it was in front of me, a simple invitation to engage in a movement, and just like that, I went from observer to participant. Something I believe wholeheartedly in is this concept of joining the parade. There is no reason to be left behind when the world needs your participation. I joined the instagram parade, and I did something kind. It did not take long, and I can not say it was much of a sacrifice, but it mattered nonetheless.

I asked Erin why she did this? She sent me this.

“You see, the week I had to work on this application marked the 7 year anniversary of the shooting at Virginia Tech. For many of those 7 years, I have returned to two thoughts on the anniversary: could a culture of kindness (instead of bullying, etc) or one intentionally kind act have changed the outcome? And the generosity of strangers who sent gifts to Virginia Tech - over 90,000 - which were displayed in our student center. I used to go there in between classes when I would be frustrated, upset, or overwhelmed to remind myself that so many strangers took time out of their days to show they cared. Some of them  just signed a banner, but how many times do we pass by those moments, sometimes thinking they don't mean much? Well it meant so much to me. So much so, that I reflect on it every year. Since then, I have wanted to spur some type of moment around being kind to one another.”

Now kindness occurs everyday and I like to believe that my life might speak a story of kindness. But being deliberately kind, now that impacts.

Deliberately: in a careful and unhurried way // consciously and intentionally, on purpose

It started with Erin buying pizza for a group of friends, which turned into flowers, turned into healing phone conversations, turned into prayer, turned into more pizza. And who doesn’t want more pizza?

Here is what I have learned: 
Actions, developed out of raw kindness, multiplies
And finally, you’re never too busy to be kind. 

And since I’m a fan of invitations, here is one personally addressed to you. I do not know too many people who would reject an invitation like that one. But tomorrow, or even today, with the energy you have left, even if you have to write a research paper, will you consciously, intentionally, purposefully, carefully, unhurriedly be kind. Half the excitement is participating and the other half is watching it multiply. So why not jump in? 

If you accept, here’s how it works.
Step One: Be kind to someone or something, Be intentional. 
Step Two: Take a photo
Step Three: Post it on social media with the hashtag #deliberatelykind
Step Four: Challenge 2 other people to be deliberately kind in the next 24 hours, to post it on social media, and to challenge two other people.

It’s that easy. Pizza for everyone.

Hoping you’ll accept the challenge and join me in this benevolent revolution. I promise you’ll be blessed by the journey. Thank you for this, Erin Miller, and thank you for the ways you continue to impact the world.

Track the revolution under the hashtag #deliberatelykind

My #deliberatelykind act was flowers for my friend, Ms. Sylvia. She's watched me grow for the past 4 years and in a few weeks, I will graduate and leave her. But now, she has something else to watch grow.

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