Two Millennials Create Kindness Experiment

Large jessica and tim
sign in to favorite this story

Realizing that we're two self-centered millennials, often focused on what’s ahead instead of what’s around us, we created a series of 12 steps as a way to become kinder, more empathetic people.

Based on 12-step programs designed to change behaviors, we took a vow to complete this 12-month resolution last January, one step per month. We’ve also designed the experiment so that others can participate too. It's sort of a modern day, non-religious way that any one can attempt to examine their lives and apathy and attempt to become kinder. There are many articles, books and beliefs on how to become kinder people, but how often do we really put these into practice? So we literally attempted to try many of the popular idioms. 

Quick run through of each step:

Step 1: Can I Help You?

Can we gain any empathy or perspective by talking to strangers with different situations? We went out and asked New Yorkers one simple question: "How can we help you?"

Step 2: Open Your Eyes

Bystander apathy is a phenomenon prevalent in NYC. We hung missing people signs and sat next to them. Did anyone notice? What if we did the same thing with a dog?

Step 3: Switch it Up  

There are always people who bother us and situations we try to avoid due to our selfishness. What if we had to do their job? Could we be kinder to them in the future?

Step 4: Don’t Beat Yourself Up

Jessie talks about mental health issues here and I talk about women's issues in the past. We all beat ourselves up for the way we've handled things in the past. We tried to forgive ourselves for these experiences by opening up about them.

Step 5: Forgive & Forget

I went in search for my biological father I've never met. We faced a very painful past experience with someone who hurt us deeply. Can we let go of the pain or misunderstanding we have? Can we gain compassion by confronting them?

Step 6: Face Yourself

Jessie confronts her fear of becoming a mother and I shave my head for my fear of going bald. Everyone has their own fears and insecurities and we often hide behind them by judging others. We took a major personal insecurity of ours and faced it head on.

Step 7: Kill Them With Kindness

They say the ultimate act of compassion is to learn to love your “enemies". We tried to better understand someone who we don’t get along with by doing something nice for them.

Step 8: Walk a Mile In Their Shoes

Jessie doesn't understand religion, so she went on an exploratory and participated in all kinds of practices: Catholicism, Buddhism, Scientology, etc. It’s easy to judge lifestyle decisions that we don’t like or understand. We participated in the liveliness of others as a way to learn more about them and their lifestyles.

Step 9: Go Big or Go Home

Tim drove home 8 hours on Thanksgiving to surprise his mother for dinner. Why do we always neglect the people who we are closest to? We picked one special person in our lives who we commonly neglect and did something nice for them.

Step 10: Pay it Forward

We left wallets all over NYC with money and a little note asking that the recipient do one kind thing with it. We also delivered random acts of kindness to people on the streets.

Step 11: Wear a Smile

For eight hours straight, we walked around NYC and smiled at every person we came across. Could we make them smile? Could we bring a moment of happiness to their life?

Step 12: Dive Deep 

For this last step we're going to dive deep into what we've learned and try to do something much larger than ourselves. We’ll open this platform to start a dialogue with micro websites bases on some global issues happening.

Check out Tim and Jessie's 12 Kinds of Kindness Project

 

Other stories you might like to read:

Thumb houston

RAKtivist: Houston

Kindness is a practice.

About 6 years ago, I was on a plane next to a woman who was relentlessly energetic and fidgety. I was tired and wanted to take a nap. But before I could go into “ignore mode,” she tapped me on the shoulder to introduce herself.

“Hi, my name is Helga!”

We got...

Read Story

9

A Good Deed

I bought a stranger some food after she had moved here from Florida after hurricane Harvey.

Read Story

Thumb img 1790

Starting My Last Year Off Right

This summer I decided to challenge myself. I decided to work on a project all by myself in hopes to spread kindness. With the help of two non-profit kindness organizations, I was able to spend my summer creating 670 goodie bags. Each bag consisted of candy, a pencil, a pack of gum, a motivational quote, and a kindness card. Anonymously, I...

Read Story

Thumb 1518450222

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Zayvion

His name is Midnight he's my dog . He makes me laugh all the time, and he does tons of stupid stuff. But my he's my dog.

Read Story

Thumb 1518454552 889d6fc6 07e7 4554 9701 ff9ce27852a0

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Alyssa Reed

My one is my best friend Brooke. She’s always been here for me when i was down, or needed a friend, or just wanted a friend to be with me. Sometimes she made me feel better and helped me even when she wasn’t aware that I was hurting and resend help. She makes me laugh until my stomach hurts, and...

Read Story

7

Wake-Up Call

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to a wonderfully great initiative called “Random Act of Kindness Week”. The name speaks for itself; it’s a call to action to show kindness, in some capacity, for 7 days. There is a foundation in Denver that spearheads this directive. Its charge is to take this week to step out of your...

Read Story

Thumb 1518808715 image1

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Amanda

My life partner always acts as fuel when my fire seems to be dimming. He always keeps me motivated and encourage. I never knew how impactful words of encouragement could be until I meet him. My job role is one of which I am look upon to encourage others. His guidance and kind words has help me tremendously with my...

Read Story

4

Working For Free

Mark was looking for work because he was down on his luck and was willing to work for any amount of payment. After I explained that I was unable to do it myself and didn't have money to pay him, he offered to do my yard work for free. I accepted his offer and let him get to work. When I...

Read Story

Thumb acts of kindness

My grandmother is Kind

My grandmother and I were grocery shopping and We were paying for our groceries. A young woman next to us was crying and swiping her credit card which was not working. My grandmother paid for all her groceries and told her that everything will be fine. We never saw the girl again but we walked out of that store feeling...

Read Story

Thumb fff0997d 7e53 4594 b698 5b2dd4c60da8

Loving Through Illness

I’ve been in and out of hospital since I was a kid because of chronic illness. My dad has always always dropped everything to help me. He has spent many late nights in emergency, up all night taking care of me, cooking for me when I couldn’t, and always making me laugh even when no one else can. My dad...

Read Story

Thumb 1518454230 1c0fd71c 36c3 44bc bc70 6497c4d06081

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Allyson

My boyfriend. He inspires me everyday to be the best person i can be. He believes in me no matter how much i dont believe in myself. Thanks to him, i have accomplished so much. I’m so thankful to have someone so supportive by my side

Read Story

6

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Carmen Clay

Dr. Haru Inouye, former CEO of the Shinnyo-en Foundation asked me, What do you need and how we can help you? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPQiPIfRtLU. Then, he put the whole power of his organization to support my small actions through pinwheels for peace to raise awareness of the International Day of Peace. I was of no significance, but somewhat he focused on my...

Read Story

14

Who's Your One?

Submitted by bella rasinski

my "one" is my mom. everybody loves her and everytime she walks into a room seh just lights it up with her attitude and even if she's mad at you or upset she will do anything in the world to make you smile.

Read Story

8

Raising Funds and Food

For about a year now, I've been helping out a Philadelphia soup kitchen called Grace Cafe. It's run by the Arch Street United Methodist Church in central Philly. I found out about it through a Philadelphia volunteering website. I was hooked on it from the first time I went. They give out around 200 meals every Sunday to those who...

Read Story

1

Awaiting the Train

I was waiting for the 11:52 train to Sandringham to see my doctor. I am an elderly bloke with a walking stick. I was trying to manage a very hot coffee, but wasn't successful and spilled it on my pants. A woman gave me a cute hand-towel with cup pictures, bowed, and smiled at me. She reinforced my faith in...

Read Story

4

Who's Your One?

Submitted by Olivia

My best friend, Abby, from my swim team. Comforted me when I was really upset about missing a cut time by four tenths of a second.

Read Story

See All Kindness Stories