In late December I wrapped up 26 copies of my book with silly notes about sharing laughter and I gave them to strangers. It was just a handful at a time but after the Newtown shooting, I knew 26 copies was the right number. Free laughter for 26 people because the world needs to laugh.
It was just a little thing and I had fun doing it even though it turns out people look at you like you're a nutter if you walk up to them and hand them a present. But I quickly learned that the looks grew even more suspicious when I spoke (stuttered) so mostly I handed them to people silently and walked away.
My friend Mary read about my Santa-bombing and liked the idea of performing 26 acts of kindness as well. She's more talented and less offensive than I am, so instead of handing out raunchy books on the street, she's knitting 26 baby hats for a nearby children's cancer center.
Today Mark and I went to the post office to drop off a present for Misty Mason, who won my first blog giveaway of 2013 and when we returned home, I found a present waiting for me.
Mary made me a hat, too, and you know what? I'm thankful she's my friend, I'm happy about the cute lid and I'm so grateful I'm not a kid in a cancer ward. Incidentally I needed that reminder because it's been a rough week.
It's the little things, guys. I like living in a world where people give presents to strangers and knit hats for each other. What could you do 26 times this year to be nice to other people?
I read somewhere that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so committing to do something kind 26 times could in theory change your outlook and therefore your world.
What if we all did this?
I'm not wearing a tie-dyed shirt or driving a VW bus but there's something really, really hopeful about the idea of a world ruled by small acts kindness and love. Even if they are rejected at times or people look at you funny, you might make just one person's day.
Isn't that worth it?