In January 2017 I launched the “unconditional January”. A facebook-event, location independent, free to attend by anyone in the world.
Every day, for the whole month, we would set a little “unconditional challenge” where hundreds of people would do an act of kindness – each day a different one – without expecting anything in return from anyone. The creativity didn’t seem to have any boundaries: Some people wrote wishes on post it notes and left them in the tram-seats. Some others left some change in the vending machine. Some others paid their coffee forward for the next person. Some people even gathered in groups to cook food for the homeless. Some others donated their unused clothes. Some simply wrote a letter to a loved one. Made a call to an old friend. Sent a postcard. Said “I love you” to their closest ones.
It was as if a ripple of joy and inspiration had overcome us. After already a few days, we felt to have some kind of a community. My facebook group “Sam Ryter’s Secret Circle” filled itself up with more than a hundred and fifty people who joined those daily acts of kindness.
Originally, I started this experiment, because I believed that unconditional giving was a key for happiness and fulfillment – for just a good life. It seemed that, helping another person filled us up with joy – a joy that can’t be bought with money. It’s a joy that somehow goes beyond words. It’s beyond greed, beyond profit, but in the realms of compassion and care.
I sometimes feel, that we forgot to do such acts of kindness. Too caught up we are with our daily business. We have the blinders on. Don’t look left and right. Determined to fill in the high expectations we placed on ourselves in this fast paced society.
The result: A greater sense of separation. Sometimes loneliness. Feeling disconnected. Misunderstood. And we hide behind the phone. And instead of experiencing “real connections”, we’re (at least) connected to the internet.
It’s sad. But it’s reality in many, many parts of our world. Especially in the “wealthy” countries. The leading countries. Where everything seems to flow in abundance.
I believe we can make a difference. I believe it’s time to remove that “modern-conditioning”. I believe it is possible to spare a bit of time, everyday for someone else. Just a little. Just shortly put our worries and own expectations aside.
And I know it can work wonders. If not for the sake of others, then for the sake of our own lives. If nothing comes to mind on how to “give”. there’s always the option to make a prayer for someone. I’m not a religious person, but I do believe that our good thoughts alone have an effect on others. Even science proves. Stop, just for a few seconds. Pick a person, or two or three or more and wish them the best. It’s free, doesn’t cost you a dime but a few seconds and notice what happens within you.
In my early twenties I wanted to “change the world” or save it at least. It’s easily said – empty talk. I learned, and I believe, it really starts with our small daily actions. Living it.
How do we choose to show up to others? How do we choose to treat and respect others? How present are we with the people around us? I believe that’s the practice. That’s the new conditioning that brings us another step forward. Not against each other, but together – for each other. Because the power of “unconditional giving” affects others – even if you are just “giving” your genuine attention to someone who is talking to you. It is as if our actions give others the permission to do the same.
I perhaps, already wrote way too much for today. 🙂 I’m almost finished. What’s left is the question of; how much does it cost us to take 5 minutes every day? 5 minutes less of Instagram or Facebook… or – the news. 5 minutes that we donate – to a good cause. To someone. Anyone. Without expecting anything in return. Not for trade. But for genuine help. This is how we can make a change for our own little lives, our relationships, and even for the world (no matter how big that world is).
If it’s appreciated I can start a new event for September too. And we can create a change together. Let me know, I’ll be more than glad to launch a free, open, worldwide event. It’s needed. Please share this post if you think this is great. Even this may already make a little difference. Let’s start today. With just a small, little act of kindness. Doesn’t have to cost anything. And let me know your ideas below. ❤️
Thank you for reading 🙂