“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.”
– Amelia Earhart
I must have been subconsciously thinking of ideas for my tornado-of-kindness campaign today, because I was doing something entirely different when this thought popped into my head completely out-of-the-blue. I remembered reading about a small pizza shop in Philadelphia last year that started a pay-it-forward program that gave its patrons the option to purchase an extra slice in advance for a person in need. That’s a tornado-of-kindness act for sure!
I decided to write about it, and was surprised to find that there are a lot of similar ideas out there with people doing things for the singular purpose of enriching a stranger’s life. In every story I read, the people doing the giving were touched by their own actions in a way that they didn’t expect. In some cases, the Universe showered them with more abundance that came out of their acts of kindness.
The story that sparked the idea for this post was of Rosa’s Pizza. This article shares a video of the owner describing how he started the pizzeria last year. Since then, his kindness seems to have circled the globe, and come back to shower him with gifts from the Universe for his act.
Rosa’s buy-a-slice-for-someone-in-need idea has become very successful, and so has the restaurant, but the owner didn’t stop there. When the Universe gave him an opportunity to take his desire to give back to the community to the next level, he jumped at it.
The pizza shop received a lot of media attention when the story broke last year, and all the extra attention tripled Rosa’s business, in turn, requiring the owner to seek additional help to keep up with demand. So he hired a homeless person to help him expand his business, while helping the new employee get back on his feet and be able to take care of his 3 year old son!
I came across another touching story of how a group of university students learned an invaluable lesson on the reach of a small act of kindness when one of the university’s administrators tested the theory that a concerted act of kindness done to one person can have a widespread effect.
The administrator ordered a couple of pizzas totaling $12.50, and asked the students to contribute to a collection basket with notes of appreciation. When the pizza delivery guy came to deliver the pizza, he was given a $1200 tip and thousands of inspirational messages. Of course, the delivery guy was bowled over with gratitude by this generous act, but what was even more incredible was that the students, overwhelmed with emotion themselves at witnessing how they could make a difference by a small act, were inspired to make this a life-long practice.
I don’t know what triggered my memory of Rosa’s pay-it-forward pizza program today, but I’m sure glad I remembered it. Maybe it will help all of us spread more kindness and create similar roots in our own communities.
All acts of kindness have ripple effects, even if you don’t see the results as directly as you do in these two cases. You just never know, even a smile could inspire someone to start a non-profit to help others. Here are a few ideas to add a little kindness to your world:
- Keep a small jar of treats in your office for your colleagues to indulge in every so often. Your little chocolate-of-kindness could make the difference between your co-worker having an awful day and feeling inspired to spend a little extra time with the kids after work.
- Acknowledge others on social media for an achievement or milestone. When people feel like their contributions are being recognized and appreciated, it makes them feel good, and when people feel good, they want to do things for others to make them feel good too.
- Pay-a-meal-forward in a restaurant or coffee shop you frequent. If they don’t have a program, tell them about Rosa’s and encourage them to start one.
- Donate your old computers to a local school or underprivileged child who would otherwise not have access to a laptop of their own. You might be helping the next great invention or discovery happen!
- Donate your old prescription glasses to a local organization – many organizations and businesses have a recycling program where they will give your old glasses to someone in need.
Kindness is the gift that keeps on giving. While your act of kindness helps others, it comes back to you in ways you can’t even imagine.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!