“It’s a generosiTREE.. did you get it? TREEEEE…”
I heard a teenager explaining her surprise and excitement at the play of words to her younger sibling.
Couple of weekends ago, I had this simple idea of some random act of kindness in Herăstrău Park.
We had gone to the park as part of my husband’s team community run initiative and initially we hung the board on a tree where most of us had collected. It was great to see the excitement, both of adults and children.
Within our group everyone took one act to do either during their run or on their way back home. Later we went around the park with the board to offer them to everyone in the park and that’s when it hit me. We were very excited with what we had done and felt everyone will be open to it. But it was difficult to even have people listen to what the idea was… everyone thought we were out to sell something… We would approach asking if we can have a minute of their time… and the response will go like “I don’t speak English”; “No.. I don’t want to listen to you..”; “We are very tired, we can’t do this”
People who agreed to listen were an exception. Which is not difficult to understand because the world that we live in, we are all vary of strangers and strangers approaching with big smiles and a board with colourful post-its! “They are out to get something from me!”
Even those who listened, would ask, “okay so what’s the story? What are you promoting? What cause do you work for? What do I have to do after I do the ask? Where do I need to share it?” And when we said the story for us ended with them picking up an idea and they can choose to do it or not do it and then possibly pass it forward. They would be totally surprised. “That’s it! We just pick one act?”
“Yes! You just pick one act.”
And that’s when the frowns will turn into smiles! The best moment 🙂 “Wow! that’s a great idea!”
Slowly people who overheard, were interested when they realised that we didn’t belong to any organisation. One guy picked up “Turn off unused lights” and said that he and his wife were just talking about how to reduce their energy consumption! Another picked up “Give a group hug to a tree in public” They were a family of 3, with a toddler and they said their little daughter will love doing that act!
An elderly man was so touched that we came up and spoke with him that he was almost crying!
For us it was a joyous practice both when people took the notes and when they didn’t. The people who took, offered us a gift by receiving our idea and those who didn’t taught us humility and gave us reasons to step-it-up! 🙂
PS: If you wish to get all the ideas we had put up on the board, feel free to message me and I will email the to you!