Saturday, December 22, 2012

#6: Where It All Started

"26 acts of kindness","26 acts", "random acts of kindness","#26acts" Last Monday I was inspired to pay it forward because a stranger paid my toll on GA 400 (an interstate connecting the northern suburbs and the city of Atlanta.  Today I drove on that highway again, so I decided to repeat the stranger's act of kindness as my #6.  The toll is $0.50.  I gave the cashier $5 and told her to use it to pay my toll and the next 9 cars behind me.  She was stunned, then told me "God bless you.  Merry Christmas!".  As I was driving away, I saw her shoo away the next driver's hand with money and lifted the gate for him to go on.  That was me last time.  I hope that at least a few of those nine drivers decide to pay it forward like I did.

Apparently word is spreading about the "26 Acts of Kindness", which is not surprising considering how exponential it is.  If one person touches 26 others, and those 26 are inspired to perform 26 new acts of kindness, all of a sudden there are 676 acts of kindness going on.  No wonder it is spreading fast!

When I decided to take on the 26 Acts challenge, I was unsure if I should start a blog or tell people what I was up to.  One on hand, the purpose is to do something kind for someone else without expecting anything in return.  On the other hand, if I let people know what I'm doing, I can inspire more people to follow this awesome trend.  So I decided to blog about the experience, partially to inspire readers and partially to hold myself accountable so I won't quit when it is no longer exciting.  I am trying to stay anonymous to the recipients because I don't want them to think they need to "pay me back" in any way.  I would like for them to pay it forward to someone else.

The most rewarding part of this experience is seeing that I am inspiring others.  Two of my friends, Lauren and Rachel, are also blogging and posting on Facebook about their 26 Acts experiences so far.  Another friend, Hilly, paid for 26 people's meals at Waffle House.  My dad called me this morning to tell me that he was on the way to the hospital to deliver 26 doughnuts to the ICU nurses.  

It's also fun to hear about my friends and family talk about their experiences being on the receiving end of strangers' kind acts.  My brother told me that his coffee was paid for at Starbucks this morning by someone ahead of him in line.  The cashier told him that most of the purchases so far today were made by strangers paying for others in line!

Please share in the comments section: Have you done any acts of kindness lately, or have you been on the receiving end?


  1. Wow! You're doing such a great job. I love that you did what inspired you to start 26 Acts. That's amazing! Caden's having a play date later, and we're going to write letters to soldiers during it (inspired by you!).

    1. Feel free to take all my ideas. I am taking most of them from others! Its so much fun to see how this is spreading.

  2. I helped a guy pay for stocking stuffers for his grandkids today because he was short on cash and we were at a cash only place.