By Amber Montgomery, Glenvar High School
We’ve all seen that commercial. One person holds the door for someone, who then picks up an item for someone who dropped it, and the chain reaction of kindness starts from there.
This concept has recently begun trending on social media with the Twitter hash tag #26acts, spurred on by the Dec. 14, 2012, shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
People around the United States are setting a goal throughout the year to perform 26 random acts of kindness, one for each victim in the shootings, although many aim to go above and beyond that number.
A key figure head for this movement is NBC journalist Ann Curry. Twitter users who follow the journalist can see her daily re-tweets as hundreds of ordinary people perform these good deeds. Oftentimes, Curry tweets about her own experiences of kindness, which she has both given and received. Typical acts include refreshing parking meters, holding doors, or even just smiling. Others buy groceries for other people standing in line, or pay for a stranger’s meal at a restaurant. All of these things not only honor those involved in the Sandy Hook tragedy, but also make the world a better place in general.
I recently was the recipient of one of the 26 acts. It started on a Friday morning as I waited in the Starbucks drive-thru for my favorite drink. I was next in line, so I pulled up to the window with money in hand — but the barista wouldn’t take it. The car ahead of me had already paid for my drink. It felt good to be thought of, and it felt even better knowing there was someone out there doing good deeds at random. A few weeks later, I reciprocated the deed.
What if we went beyond the 26 acts? What if we made a goal, as a society, to do good deeds all the time? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place?