RAKtivist: John

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My name is John M. Sweeney. I’m the founder and Chief Kindness Officer of a worldwide social movement called Suspended Coffees. I’m a misfit, a Kindness Coach, I’m a storyteller and I’m a teacher of kindness. For me, kindness has not only changed my life, it's also saved it. Three years ago I was depressed, alone, thinking my life was worthless when I read about the simple idea of Suspended Coffees. Up until this point in my life, I’d been bullied almost everywhere I went and made to feel worthless. My teachers used to bully me, other kids bullied me to the point of it almost costing me my life. Yet since the day I was born all I’ve ever wanted to do was make people happy, make people smile, help people, be kind to others - it's always been my purpose in life.

Since the beginning of this movement, I've had a dream of connecting the world through kindness. Yes we’re all about buying coffee for others, but the real heart of the movement is connecting the world with kindness. See, kindness really does make the world a better place. There is no situation on this earth that it wouldn't improve. Kindness has changed my life and the lives of so many others. One such lady just emailed me yesterday, saying she has almost died three times in the last seven months, but she’s been able to laugh and smile because of the message we’re spreading. She’s learned to be kind to her doctors and nurses, which has resulted in them treating her with even more kindness. They actually look forward to coming in to see her. I know that has a positive impact on other patients as well, because when they leave her, they feel better. She’s one of many.

I believe the world needs more kindness, but also, we need to be kind to ourselves. It's the thing we struggle with the most, yet it's the most important part of our lives because our lives actually depend on it. During a recent interview I gave, I was asked how I measure the impact of all the kindness I put out into the world. My answer was simple - you can't, you can't measure the impact of a kind act because its reach is far greater than we can imagine, and it's more impactful than we ever dare to dream.

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