The other day, someone tweeted that perhaps an atheist could speak about the shootings in Newton. I didn’t give the suggestion any thought then someone named Michael B. Dougherty, tweeted, “there isn’t an atheist view on loss, or the meaning of life.” It was so ugly and stupid and I felt a wave of despair about humanity. How do people get this damaged? I decided instead to focus on Ann Curry’s tweet:

“Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness for each child lost in Newtown. I’m in.” (It was later upgraded to 26 acts.) Since then I’ve been reading people tweet about their acts of kindness. If you search on #20Acts or #26Acts you can read them, too. A sample:

“I started with helping an elderly gentlemen with his groceries.”

“I bought 26 pairs of socks and am leaving for the patients being treated for radiation tomorrow.”

“Just visited a nursing home with my boy, my dogs, and some pies.”

“I fed a homeless man in Hollywood this morning.”

“Made donation for 6 year old girl in Indonesia to help get the heart surgery she needs.”

“I can’t help anyone financially, but took my sweet dog with me to visit with my blind next door neighbor.”

“Donating 26 toys to the active solders kids Christmas drive.”

I’ve been doing an act of kindness every day for the past seven years. It began as a way to get out of a very sad period, and I kept it up, well, for obvious reasons. You feel good and hopefully the other person does too, at least a little. My acts are more modest, generally, but now I’m feeling inspired to make more of an effort.

This is the view from The Writer’s Room. I was there for their annual Christmas party. If this were my view you’d find me at the window every night, hypnotized.

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

2 thoughts on “Kindness

  1. I think this is a wonderful idea. But personally, I’d like to put a rock through every car window in America with an NRA sticker on it.

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