2,974 Handshakes or Hugs

September 11th, 2011

9-11-11The Kindness Bicycle had an extreme makeover today. It was outfitted with some new signs just for this day. Having a scheduled day off to reflect on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I decided that having a day off wasn’t what I wanted. I hoped to ride The Kindness Bike from 9:11AM until 9:11PM in Salina, Kansas and try to get a handshake or hug for every victim of 9/11. I didn’t know what to expect, so I started early. After 3 hours of riding in the morning, I had only received 182 handshakes and hugs in this small town, I had to alter my plan. Salina has a few intersections with very long traffic lights; a perfect spot for a captive audience. I decided to add anyone stopped at the red light and would read the signs and acknowledge them in a positive manner. The response I received was huge! Many people pulled into the parking lot behind me to personally shake my hand or hug me. It was incredible! For fifteen hours I interacted with people in this town, going to a firefighter event in the morning and attending a ceremony at the KSU Salina campus. By days end I had received 2,790 positive gestures, including the 88 I received from my posting on Facebook.
A special thanks to Brenda, Wilma and Dick Gerleman for opening their home and helping with sign making expertise and hospitality.

Leave a Reply