A month ago I posted a story about an initiative to "re-boot" Valentine's Day as Generosity Day proposed by Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund and Katya Andresen of Network for Good. (See my February 14th post here.)
Their concept was to elevate the day beyond the rather benign commercialism of cards and candy and encourage more compassion and caring. In Sasha's words, "We wanted to reconnect (the day) to the core ideas of love and human connection."
The idea had its genesis in Sasha's Generosity Experiment -- a month in which he said "yes" to absolutely every request for help.
Last week he blogged about the results of this year's Generosity Day.
Here is some of the feedback he received.
One person shared that she approached an elderly woman on the street and gave her a rose, only to be told that this was the first Valentine's Day flower she'd ever received. Another woman finally had coffee with someone she'd long thought could be a new friend -- and she was right. A third person told an 80-year-old woman how beautiful she was and the woman shed a tear, saying that no one had told her that in years.
Much more than any statistics about the word spreading far and wide, it is these actions that made Generosity Day real, these actions that created innumerable moments of joy. We heard stories of anonymous acts of kindness, outrageous over-tipping and heartfelt thank you notes. We heard about people paying strangers' tolls on the parkway, folks passing out croissants to the morning-rush crowd, and loads of people who spent the day or night volunteering. We heard from people who were donating money, and those who were donating blood. We heard from so many people who made the day better for others and experienced the joy of generosity themselves.Oh, the bliss of giving and the blessings of generosity!
To further quote Sasha Dichter, You too can be part of this movement, today or any day. All it takes is the decision to say "yes".