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Monday, August 15, 2011

28 Days

I'm currently taking part in a social experiment/challenge that involves 28 days of good deeds. I was told in jest by a few of my friends that I really don't need to do such a challenge-the "kidney thing" should make me exempt from "needing" to do anything good for awhile. But I thought it would be something interesting to try-I think most people could stand to stop and think about their day to day behaviour a little more. Most of us are good people but we don't always stop to think about others and how the smallest gestures can turn someone's day around. I'm on day 8 of the challenge and I can honestly say making a conscious effort to do something nice for someone else EVERYDAY is harder than it looks/sounds. It's about taking the high road and/or opportunity spotting and/or putting in extra effort. EVERYDAY.

I was on the receiving end of a random good deed over the weekend and it really put things into perspective for me. I've signed up to be crew for the upcoming Kidney March here in Alberta. Ideally I'd have liked to march but I'd need to raise $2000 in the next few weeks to be able to walk it (you don't get donation credits for kidneys I'm afraid.) To crew it's $300 plus the registration fee I've already paid. So I'm shooting for the $300, aiming for the $2000 if I get lucky. I hate asking for sponsors for events. Especially this because it is a lot of money (if I were to walk the event). I did do a blog post about it a) to promote the Kidney March in general because I think it's an awesome and inspiring event and b) because I do need some help with sponsorship. Within a couple of hours of my post, I had my first donation-from a complete stranger. I've never met her but she's someone whose life has been impacted by kidney disease. She herself is flying in from across the country for the Kidney March and is attempting to raise money for her own participation. But she read my blog and took the time to pledge me.

I was overwhelmed by her generosity towards someone she didn't even know. It made my day and actually brought me to tears. It wasn't about the money-it was about the random act of kindness, a show of support for another human being. When I thanked her she told me she donated it because of my choice to give my kidney to a stranger. "Lauren, if I could donate the full $2200, I would, just so I could walk beside you".

I am humbled. And even more resolved to not only do some great things with what is left of the 28 day challenge, but continue to pay it forward. Good deeds go beyond the days you do them...they leave a legacy that fuels people to do better, to try harder, to fight when they are feeling like they need to give up. I really think when you are on the receiving end of an act of kindness it makes you a better person. Which is pretty powerful.

Because that's what kindness is.  It's not doing something for someone else because they can't, but because you can.  ~Andrew Iskander

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