staying compassionate : the birthday project

Have you guys heard of The Birthday Project? It’s an inspiring initiative started by Robyn Bomar, who set out to do 38 random acts of kindness on her 38th birthday. She explains a bit further in her blog post:

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago my birthday wish was to complete one Random Act of Kindness for every year of my life thus far, as well as asking friends, readers, Facebook fans and fellow Twitter-ers to each perform one Random Act of Kindness and to let me know about it throughout the day.

I planned out 38 things ahead of time just in case, but really was praying for opportunities to present themselves throughout the day. It was absolutely freezing and windy but we were not to be deterred!  My husband, three daughters and my husband’s parents joined me in the most favorite birthday of my life!

The things that she did weren’t elaborate or time consuming – and most of them were 100% free! I loved these:

11.  Gave a dozen hot doughnuts to a very cold crew working on the power lines.

16.  Tucked happy notes in car doors in parking lot wishing people a good day full of God’s blessings.

21.  Handed out water bottles to very appreciative nurses (who knew they were so thirsty?).

22.  Taped change to vending machines (I actually saw passersby stop and take pictures of the machines without taking the money).

26.  Phone card to young woman in need. (I asked the owner of a store I frequent if he knew of any customers who might need it and he got a big smile on his face.  He looked at the girl working there and told me she had just confided in him yesterday that she couldn’t afford her minutes on her cell phone to call her family back home.  It was a suuuper cool moment.)

29.  Gave coffee to a toll booth worker on our way home.  (He seemed the least affected or appreciative of the day.  I feel like he might have needed it the most of everyone.)

Aren’t those great ideas? And so easy!

The post definitely seems to have taken on a life of it’s own – so much so that a whole movement has developed! It’s called The Birthday Project, and their mission is to, “create a shift in the way people from all walks of life think about and celebrate their birthday (and other milestones).”

I seriously love this idea – and not just for birthdays! For every day! Aren’t they all worth celebrating? I love the idea of starting every day praying for opportunities to present themselves. It’s the kind of mindset that can set the course for an entire day of selfless, loving service.

Fellow New Yorkers, might I suggest that we start slow and simple? How about we just look at each other and smile when we pass on the street? Instead of intentionally avoiding any and all eye contact? We don’t have to go all Southern and do it with enthusiasm…but really, just a glance of acknowledgement would be a good start. We can do it!!!

Thank you, Robyn, for setting such a great example! I’m so excited to follow your lead!

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One thought on “staying compassionate : the birthday project

  1. Pingback: beka stays : june recap (and a blogging vacation) | beka stays

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