Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The NICE Bucket Challenge

I dropped the ball several months ago. The "Ice Bucket Challenge" was making the rounds, and my beau and one of my best friends both challenged me.  Unfortunately, between work and trying to complete the move and get my house ready to rent out, I managed to not complete the Challenge in timely fashion.  (And felt like a real schmuck for it, because excuses are just that.)  So, I resolved to make a donation to ALS.

But that didn't really feel like enough. An idea began to percolate in my brain...what if there were a way to take the viral concept of the Challenge and combine it with the "Pay it Forward" or "Random Acts of Kindness" concept?  Of course, if you know anything about me, you won't be surprised to learn that's about as far as it got.  Life has a funny way of elbowing grand ideas out of the way.

The idea didn't fade completely, though.  Some weeks later, a Facebook friend mentioned how much it had brightened her day when the person in front of her at the drive-thru had paid for her order. Inspired, I did the same for the gentleman behind me at McDonald's later that day.  Only to learn that he, bless his soul, had only ordered a soda.  I know it's the thought that counts, but "paying it forward" for only 99 cents or so seemed sort of like I'd done my good deed on the cheap.

Flash forward to this past weekend, as I contemplated topics for this week's episode of "Q With A View":  Seems like a lot of our focus lately has been on the negative. The past few months have felt particularly so, in light of the events in Ferguson and the fallout from same. So I decided it might be nice to do a show that featured nothing but good news.  I pitched it to my co-host, Jason, and solicited good news stories from friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Several friends were kind enough to share some links, including one comprised of several vignettes of "simple acts of kindness." And the idea again took form and nudged me -- perhaps now is the time.

So, here is my idea:  I would like to challenge everyone who reads this to find a way to perform three random acts of kindness within three days of reading it.  They don't have to be big, grandiose gestures -- it can be something as simple as holding a door for someone whose arms are full, or smiling and saying "Have a nice day!" to a stranger.  They can be as big or small a gesture as you'd like, but just a conscious gesture of good will toward your fellow man.

If you accept the challenge, I would ask that you, in turn, pass this blog along and ask others who read it to meet the challenge, as well.  This isn't a challenge that particularly lends itself to viral video clips, and I'll leave it to each of you as to whether you choose to share specifics regarding your good deeds, but in this day of pervasive social media, surely there is a way, via Facebook or Twitter, or even e-mail, to propel the "NICE Bucket Challenge" forward.  Are you game?

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