A Promise to Kindness

Tom Maxwell wrote about his “Random Kindness Monday” on January 7th, 2013.

He hid 15 Starbucks gift cards, with thoughtful messages on the card sleeves, inside of women’s weight loss books at Chapters (a Canadian bookstore). Women who decide to leaf through those books, who in all likelihood do not feel comfortable with their own bodies, will stumble upon Tom’s kind gifts. Without a doubt, they’ll smile. Who wouldn’t love to find a Starbucks gift card with a note that professes your beauty or tells you, “You ARE loved” ? It’d make me smile.

From: http://simpletombornhigh.com/2013/01/07/random-kindness-monday-hid-starbucks-gift-cards-in-books-in-chapters/

The gift cards

As it turns out, this sort of thing is right up my alley. Reading Tom’s post has inspired me to pick my own random kindness day. I choose …. Friday  : )

I like the idea of random acts of kindness, but not all purported kindnesses are helpful. For example, a while ago I read an article  like this one on the dangers of the TOMS Buy One Give One (BOGO) donation/marketing model. Among the reasons for which BOGO isn’t actually helping is that TOMS ships in, “goods for free that outcompete local goods, it’s a short-term solution that could create long-term problems.” BOGO has a good chance of hurting those local economies, by outcompeting the local shoe markets.

From: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vhdk4CloaTQ/T8DWcZYTrwI/AAAAAAAAAyo/p7xOAq4I0m4/s1600/kindness1.jpg

We’ll ignore the fact that plants like rain 😛

Unfortunately, BOGO’s a bit like little Baldy in the above picture. Plants need rain to flourish and struggling economies need internal stimuli to grow. In all likelihood, we’re inadvertently stunting those economies. We don’t mean to, of course. We just mean to help, but that’s not what’s happening in the long run. TOMS has such powerful marketing that many people don’t consider this viewpoint. I wonder if TOMS thought through the implications of their BOGO model.

Anyway, there are some questions about the “green”-ness and conglomerate meanness of Starbucks, but I’ll leave that for another post. That aside, leaving a Starbucks gift card for someone to find is not going to hurt them, or our economy. It’ll simply spread a bit of joy and love to our neighbors. That is something I can get behind.



2 thoughts on “A Promise to Kindness

  1. Loren Riley says:

    This is such a beautiful idea. And it’s the one that sent me over the edge for following too. 🙂
    Random kindness act Fridays. That’s a great idea. I feel like your blog is only full of good things, and it makes me happy.

    • arunagee says:

      If you have any random kindness act idea I’d really love to hear them. I’m always on the lookout for new, interesting ideas 🙂

      And thank you for the follow!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s