Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Kindness Project

Too often kindness is relegated to a random act performed only when we’re feeling good. But an even greater kindness (to ourselves and others) occurs when we reach out even when we aren't feeling entirely whole. It’s not easy, and no one is perfect. But we’ve decided it’s not impossible to brighten the world one smile, one kind word, one blog post at a time. To that end, a few of us writers have established The Kindness Project, starting with a series of inspirational posts.

Be the Someone You Need(ed)

Have you ever gotten to that point where everything starts to feel too big and your ability so small that it's tempting to hole up somewhere, maybe under the covers or behind a closed door and just stay there? Or maybe you go about your regular life there but not entirely present, mumbling an "mmm hmm" every time someone asks a question. Ever get to that point when the weight of every choice you've made and every choice you still have to make becomes so burdensome you think your lungs might just give out from the pressure? That point where the world seems entirely too unkind or too unfair or too apathetic? That point where it doesn't seem to matter what you do because the end result will always be the same anyway?

And all you really, truly want is for someone to tell you, "You don't have to worry. I've got this."

But you know that person, those words, may never come along. And even if they did, would you believe it?

It's a scary place to be. Like Dr. Seuss says, The Waiting Place.*

How many times have you been in that place, hoping and praying that something amazing would happen to show you you're worth more than what fate has dealt you, that you're worth more than the choices you've made? How many times have you wondered if maybe you really deserve to be where you are?

I've been there. I think we all have. Or will be. That's humanity for you, life sucking at least part of the time. If you luck out there will be people in your life who care. Or maybe just one person. That's all you really need anyway. But if you're really, truly lucky and you open your eyes--I'm talking all the way wide--you might realize that one person is you, and you will find a way to make you care enough about you. You might just be the person you need. "I've got this," you will say to yourself enough times that you start to believe it.

I've. got. this.

And then someday, when you're no longer in that waiting place, you might come across another person that reminds you of the old you. And when you look down you will see their feet still mired in the muck and filth of that dark, dark space. And you will remember what it felt like. You will feel it deep inside. How much it hurt. How scary it was. And the words will come tumbling out of you, "You don't have to worry. I've got this."

Perhaps you will be a little shaky and sound uncertain at first, because you're not sure you're really capable after all. But you'll say it anyway: "I'm here for you."

And you'll find you really mean it. Because you've been there.


Posting today for The Kindness Project:

Carolina M Valdez

Edit: Adding Christa DesirJessica Corra, and Alina Klein. Thanks for joining, Christa, Jessica and Alina!

Be sure to check them out :D We post the second Wednesday of every month. Want to join us? Grab our button and spread a little kindness.

*Dr. Seuss. Oh, the Places You'll Go!


  1. Lovely Carolina! I look at your pic to the sidebard of you in Haiti and I just well up! You are a lovely person!

    I think it's so important to be your own bestest cheerleader! Only you can dig deep to find the strength to come out of the doldrums and embrace yourself and all your flaws and insecurities and to move on to greater things!

    Take care

  2. Carol, you're such a graceful (full of grace), beautiful, deeply kind person. I feel so lucky to be setting off on this journey with you.

  3. This post brought tears to my eyes. You are so right that you don't have to be completely solid or confident to be the person someone needs in a specific moment. You just have to be willing to get outside of yourself and try. Thanks for the post and the project, Carol!

  4. Awesome Carolina. With my job challenges that I have to go through for the next two years, I can totally relate. Some days I'd love to hide under thee covers. What a great idea you have here. Looking forward to your posts.

  5. Yep, been there. And you know anytime you need me I'll say, "I've got this."

  6. It is a scary place to be. I think you've really put your finger on something here--kindness isn't just kindness toward others. Sometimes before you can help others you need to be kind to yourself, and that can be harder than anything else.

  7. I had one of those days yesterday, where I got home from work and just wanted to go right to sleep. It's crazy how the tiniest things can get all up in our grill sometimes.

    It makes such a huge difference to have friends like you, Carol. Thanks so much for coming up with this idea. I'm proud to be a part of it.

  8. You were the someone I needed, C. In a really rough situation, you were the one I knew I could call--and often did. The one who let me cry and vent into the phone. The one who's words I truly clung to when you said "by Christmas, you'll be okay." (And you were so right.)

    So thank you. I know this radical kindness idea is just kicking off, but you've been living it and pushing kindness out into the world for much, much longer.

  9. I love this post. It reminds me of my dad saying to help someone when they need it--as in "don't put off today..." And I love this project! We all must be sort of thinking the same thing b/c I jumped on another surprise, but I can't spill til Monday.

    I hope you're doing divine! :o) <3

  10. "How many times have you wondered if maybe you really deserve to be where you are?"

    Wow, I think we've all been sharing in the same brainwaves. Or, in reality, we've ALL experienced this before, and so we need to be the change in our own lives in order to help others.

    Thank you for this project, and rallying everyone together. I'm proud to be a part of it.

  11. Love this post, and love you Carol! You are amazing for putting this together. Thank you for being so wonderful and always an example of radical kindness. So glad we're in this together. :)

  12. I don't have to tell you that I'm tearing up right now. You know how to inspire. This is wonderful. Thank you for this.

  13. Yes to this.

    It's so important to open your eyes...all the way wide.

    To not just look. But to SEE.

    Only then can you truly believe.

    I've. Got. This.

    Yep. I needed to *see* this today so thanks for reminding me to open up my eyes...

  14. I love this project! It's such a wonderful idea, and thanks for this inspirational post. It's hard to be your own cheerleader, but that's what we should strive for, right?

  15. Yes. This. So much this. Every day I needed to be reminded of this. Because no matter where you are, it doesn't get any easier. Thanks for including me in this project. :)

  16. I can relate. Oh boy, can I relate. But it is all about reaching out a hand when you can. Sometimes no one knows you did, but you. But that's okay. You do it from a loving heart and on principle.

    Nice article, Carolina.


  17. This is a beautiful post, Carol. Ah, there are so many things I want to say about it, but it really all boils down to: YES.

    I'm so glad you thought of this idea. It really doesn't surprise me, though. You really are the kindness, most thoughtful person I know. I hope the next time you're feeling down I can be there to say, "Don't worry, I got this."

  18. :HUGS: A friend of mine went through this when we came back from Kenya. Thankfully she's able to sponsor the boy, so she still has a connection.

    This project is brilliant and I'm so happy to take part in it. <3

  19. I love this. So much! It's the little things like this - showing someone support, being the person you needed in a time that was rough for you, that can change a person's day . . .week. . . maybe life. I don't think we truly understand the impact we can have on another person, but we can always try to make our impact good. Thank you for sharing and I'll participate ongoing:)

  20. This is wonderful. This is actually the very reason I started my own project, the Empowerment Project, because of this exact thing. I remember that mired feeling of the waiting place all too clearly. I think this is one of the purest forms of kindness, recognizing someone's pain, validating it and saying "I've got this". Brilliant.

  21. What a great idea - I love it. And I loved your post. I am trying, at long last, to be my own best friend. To take care of myself first, so that I have something to give to others. It's working. Love the song, btw, I hadn't heard anything by this band but will def check out more songs. Thanks and looking forward to participating with this fab project.

  22. Oooh, what a nice concept! Way to go, guys!

  23. Carol, you continue to amaze and inspire me. <3

  24. Those days can really blindside you when you least expect it. Wonderful post. Reminds me that sending love out into the world is really why we're here.

  25. Awww, this is great. We could all use a little more kindness, eh? LOVE it!

  26. I can totally relate. Some days I'd love to hide under thee covers. What a great idea you have here.

  27. it's such a wonderful idea, and thanks for this inspirational post. It's hard to be your own cheerleader


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