Archive for September, 2011

Sow Only Seeds of Love

Friday, September 30th, 2011

9-30-11The groundwork for One Million Acts Of Kindness started long ago; soon after the events of 9/11. My children were young at that time and I felt like every other parent in the world; the world was now a very scary place to raise kids. I decided to put my own personal message on stickers and started to pass them out in a grassroots fashion. They spread across the globe. The message on the very bottom of the stickers now reads; “Let this sticker forever remind you to spread love and kindness to others as often as you can.” It doesn’t get much simpler than that. There have been over 250,000 of these stickers handed to those who asked over the past ten years.
Recently, while in Boulder, I saw, on a SUV with Colorado plates, this 2nd generation sticker, which makes it about 6 years old. Think how many people this simple sticker has inspired during its life.

Attention, All Predators and Future Predators!

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

“Don’t let anyone else get hurt,” this girl of maybe 12 years of age, said to me when she hugged me, as her case worker looked on. A girl who should have many more years of innocence left to her life, but no, you took that from her long ago. I don’t know who you are, but you have caused a lifetime of recovery to this very precious girl. There are millions of you predators out there, you are training millions more by your despicable actions. By writing this, I am hoping you will realize the damage you are causing by your self-serving actions. These are children, in many cases, your own children. Anyone who ever would consider causing such harm to a child needs to realize the lifetime of pain, grief and shame they are causing. If you are a predator, stop today!! Get the help you need by calling a health care professional in your area immediately, so you never touch another child in your life and “don’t let anyone else get hurt.”
The words this young girl said to me were very powerful. The fact that this girl has lived through these terrible horrors and yet she is concerned for other children being hurt, shows me what a caring individual she is. It also tells me that what she lived through was so traumatic, that she knows no other child should have to live through the same pain.

New Addition to the Kindness Bicycle

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

9-28-11Words can be healing and they can also be informative, I love when they are both. With 3 messages already in place on The Kindness Bicycle, I decided to add a 4th. The 3 existing messages are informative with statements which address not acting out in a particular manner. I decided to add a positive message which suggests acting in a caring way.
Recently I posted a 16 word statement on Facebook, which gained a remarkable amount of positive responses I have yet to see from any previous statement. “Respect for women is one of the greatest gifts a father can show to a son,” were the words. The Kindness Bicycle is being photographed by a huge amount of people, with this new sign being the center of attention.
This new message is very basic information for boys and men of all ages. With the shocking numbers of Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse cases in the country, this sign needs to be viewed by the everyone.

SPAN

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

9-27-11Stopping for a visit at Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence in Boulder, Colorado, I met a very knowledgeable woman who is in charge of fund raising for this agency. Chelsea O’Neil is a former social worker, and having this background is perfect for connecting with prospective benefactors. She and I brainstormed some ideas for expanding the reach of The Kindness Bicycle Tour, now and in the long term. She came up with some great ideas for the One Million Acts Of Kindness website to help those who would like to volunteer and for those in need with an added feature of a “Do Something” and a “Need Help?” page. ¬†She also had some great thoughts on the curriculum they use in schools to educate through a youth violence prevention course. All of this is part of the Safe House Alliance which can be accessed at; www.safehousealliance.org It was also recommended that I visit MESA to learn about their Peers Building Justice program. What a wonderful wealth of information Chelsea was for the future of my travels. Thank you Chelsea!
Today I met a beautiful, young family from Denmark; Peter, Annika and daughter Sally who are traveling in the US for the next month. Annika is an educator, specializing in teaching students with ADHD and Azperger’s syndrome. She loved the idea of having a goal of kindness in one’s life and was thrilled to learn of The Kindness Certificates on the website.

Blue Sky Bridge

Monday, September 26th, 2011

9-26-11Setting the tone for this morning’s visit to Blue Sky Bridge Child and Family Advocacy Center, a mom, Kristen, paced The Kindness Bicycle with her car as I labored up a small incline, she would have given The Kindness Bicycle a “standing o” if she could have. With her young son in the back seat and now stopped at a red light she verbally praised the message of the signs including the new addition which reads, “Respect for women is the greatest gift a father can show to a son.”
Greeted by Nia and Katie at the door to Blue Sky Bridge, we had just found our seats in a meeting room and started to discuss our missions. Sounds of jubilation echoed from the foyer where I had parked The Kindness Bicycle. Executive Director, Judy Toran Cousin was captivated by the sight and then expressed her thoughts about The Kindness Bicycle’s potential. This Advocacy Center is doing incredible work for the residents of Boulder County, Colorado. Children who are powerless to the actions of adults, are comforted and helped to start healing by these wonderful workers at this facility.
At meeting’s end, I was invited to The Blue Sky Bridge “Champion for Children” awards banquet next week. Of course I RSVPd with an affirmative.

100 Miles to Honor Frank Shorter

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

9-25-11Lorraine Moller trains trainers of elite olympic athletes. She is one of the founding members of the Lydiard Foundation. I met her in line at a local coffee shop during a break in my ride for the day. She was intrigued by The Kindness Bicycle and was wondering what I was doing in Boulder, Colorado.
She is a personal friend of Frank Shorter who settled I Boulder a couple of decades ago. Frank Shorter was the 1972 Olympic Gold Medal winner in the marathon in Munich, Germany.
Frank just went public with his early childhood life and the incredible abuse which took place to him and his siblings at the hands of their father. The October 2011 issue of Runner’s World is a must read of Frank’s story. It is an unbelievably moving and powerful recount of this family’s internal devastation.
Thank you Frank for going public and for helping the countless victims of Domestic Violence and Childhood Sexual Abuse by ending your decades of silence. It is for your bravery in going public that I dedicate this century ride on The Kindness Bicycle.

Early Morning Kids Ride

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

9-24-11This morning came early after a late night with throngs of people on Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado. The conversations and interest in The Kindness Bicycle/Bus Tour was incredible.
Kids getting involved in their passion for issues before their teen years always amazes me. Learning to lead with their hearts and doing what they believe is right, for groups of people, the environment and scores of other issues teaches them the skills needed to work with others for the common good. The early morning kid’s ride today was for environmental issues.
Robin, a first mom to be, of twins, was particularly interested in the meaning behind my mission. You could just see the love and concern she has for the future of her soon to be born twins.
The Farmer’s Market in Boulder was the perfect spot to visit on The Kindness Bicycle as thousands packed the streets, making this a captive audience mecca. Chris, a consultant who helps those in the sexual assault field was extremely interested in The Kindness Bicycle mission. People just seem to have a way of finding me. Taking a break from my short 25 mile ride to talk to this group was also a way of stocking up The Kindness Bus with fresh produce. I love Boulder!