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Life Arts    H1'ed 12/25/12

"26 Random Acts of Kindness" Goes Viral

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Like so many others, I got inspired by the idea of turning grief into an action that felt good. For each of my 26 random acts, I enclosed a note in an envelope with a little gift.

I had intended to leave them on windshields of cars parked at the mall one evening, but it was drizzling rain, so I drove around the parking lot, looking for people returning to their cars. I drove close enough to tell them, "Hello!  I am doing Random Acts of Kindness this season and I have a little gift for you!"

Most everyone was a little hesitant at first, but then broke into a smile and thanks when what I said registered, as I handed them the envelope.

All except the 8th person, my last gift on that first evening. He was a slightly rough looking guy, and was missing a couple of teeth. He was just backing his car out in a restaurant parking lot.

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When I handed him the envelope, his eyes narrowed as he looked at me warily, and asked, "So, is this going to blow up in my face when I open it?"

I smiled, and said, "No - it is a gift to remind you that there is still good left in the world."

I was surprised at my words, they were not the kind of phrasing I would typically use. But they must have been right for his ears, because hIs face completely changed, and his quiet "wow" sounded like it came from a nearly forgotten place in his soul, as he suddenly started to cradle the envelope in his hands. When he looked up at me, I could see his spirit through his eyes, and part of me just wanted to hug him like I was his mama! But I just smiled and said, "Enjoy the season," and drove off.

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When I looked back, his car was still paused in the middle of the parking lot, and he was opening the envelope.

The gift was a tiny personal keyring flashlight with a red beam. (Made in the USA.)

(Image by Meryl Ann Butler)
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And the note said:

This gift is for you, from the heart!
I am honoring the bright lives of the 26 students and teachers who died at the Sandy Hook school, by doing 26 Random Acts of Kindness.
I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to do, and then I discovered these sweet little flashlights.
They reminded me of the words in Neil Diamond's song, "Heartlight":

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"Turn on your heartlight,
Let it shine wherever you go
Let it make a happy glow
For all the world to see."

I love the idea that it only takes one tiny light to dispel the darkness.

I hope you enjoy your gift!

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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