Creating a Community of Kindness
Updated: Dec 2, 2019
With the new Mr. Rogers movie just released, it made me stop and reminisce on all the times I watched Mr. Rogers and on the incredible impact he had on me and millions of others! This blog post was inspired by his legacy and I hope it touches your heart just like his shows touched all of ours!
“Imagine what our neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered just one kind word to another person every day.” -Mr. Rogers
I want to share a story with you.
I started my blog almost a year ago and I still recall this moment every so often. I began writing as a sort of escape from my own insecurities and scary realities. I was always the girl who took on way too many projects, she never slowed down, she was constantly on edge and believed that her value was found in the hands of other people.
But, she always felt alone in this statement. She always felt like no one else was dealing with the same things she was facing; no one had the same negative thoughts spiraling in her head at night; no one else struggled like she did.
And with that, she felt defeated.
She decided to create an online journal for herself and her eyes only. She would dump her deepest fears, type all of her insecure emotions away, and she hoped it would help her recovery of healing and reflection.
She had no idea what was to come.
I emphasize that she created this blog for herself and herself only.
She was terrified to ever have another soul read it.
She felt that they would critique her, judge her, or worse of all, realize that she was not the perfect person she wanted others to believe her to be.
So, she kept it hidden and for about four months did not say a word to anyone about it.
‘Blogging?’ What was that? *followed by nervous laughter*
However, she began to notice something.
She noticed a shift around her.
She was faced with more and more people dealing with the exact same internal struggles that she had been dealing with.
More and more friends she knew began opening up to her. She felt called to action more times than she could count, but she was scared, the Internet is scary.
She didn’t care. She wanted to share what she had to say and empower others to do the same. She published her blog and… the Internet crashed! Kidding, but she felt like it might;)
She published her blog and at first got nothing back. No comments, no interest, no connections. She felt silly, stupid, and misguided in believing that people would care about what she had to say especially those who didn’t even know her!
She thought about deleting it and seriously considered throwing her computer away!
But, then, she got one message.
One message in her Inbox from a girl she had never met living on the other side of the country in a place she had never been before. A girl who had stumbled across her blog by accident. A girl who had read ALL of her posts and journaled about every prompt. A girl who needed those sentences more than the author herself.
And that was all this girl needed.
You cannot change the entire world, but small acts of kindness can change the entire world of someone else.
Since that day, I’ve told myself this statement below (each morning and evening)
“I have the ability to positively impact people both online and off. I will never take away the opportunity for someone to heal themselves because I’m caught up in my own head. I will never forget to put my heart, mind, and soul into the smallest acts throughout my day for that is where true success and purpose lies.”
You don’t know who is on the other end of that screen. You don’t know what they have or have never faced. You don’t know where they are in their own life journey or where they wish to be. You can’t feel their pain, joy, sadness, or excitement through typing a few words on your digital keyboard… or can you?
You have the power to impact people even when you feel there is no one to impact at all.
I think the disconnect found online is this, “If we cannot see it then it doesn’t exist.”
The problem is the Internet works in the opposite way.
It’s that silent viewer or reader or follower or subscriber that is watching you. They need you. You’re a role model for millions of people online, each and every day, whether you believe it or not. Whether you have a million friends or five, you matter to those people and it’s time to start treating them as such.
We have become a generation of all-or-nothing sprinkled with ‘what can this get me?’
We’re constantly so focused on the big picture that we forget the small sentences we type each day. The impact that our words in this world and our texts on our phones truly have on people is the same. It’s powerful. And with power comes great responsibility.
Imagine if we all took a step back and realized that each interaction we have through our screens is equal to the interactions we have with people in real life. Being online is not about showing off, tuning, trimming, following, smiling, or going viral… it’s about creating a community.
It’s about being kind to the people who need kindness.
It’s about being a light for the people in darkness.
It’s about showing up and speaking out about things that people need to hear.
They need to hear some love.
Mr. Rogers had a theory that if every single person in a community said one kind thing a day to someone else (with no expectation of anything in return) it could completely alter the speaker’s life and the dynamic of the town itself!
What would happen if we all reconnected with our power?
And said a genuine, kind and caring message to someone every day through our little light-up screens?
What would change in this world?
What would change in us?
I can tell you one thing, there needs to be a desperate change in the way we type.
Understand your power and impact and creativity! You have the power, with one sentence or emoji or DM to positively impact someone's moment, day, week, life.
And remember, with great power comes great responsibility and I would also argue, great kindness.
Be kind. Be caring. Be inclusive. Be compassionate.
Be a true community leader on and offline.
And understand that your little fingers can be the message that shines or shatters someone’s entire day.
Be good to people because you would love for people to be good to you back.
And if you can’t find the type of community you are looking for online, like the girl in this story, maybe you should create it!