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Today was a feel great day! We took six of our Daring Boys (and one extra daring 4-year-old) on a long walk. Along our walk, we performed random acts of kindness. We also talked about compliments, how to approach people and how it feels when people are kind for no reason. It brought out the best in all of us!Our acts of kindness included leaving bus fare at multiple bus stops around the neighborhood, distributing small tire patch kits to bicyclists and giving away large homemade chocolate chip cookies. It took the boys a few block and 2 bus stops to really understand what we were trying to accomplish.
We had a hard time getting started. Folks were resistant to accept our offerings. We had to adjust our approach. We tried yelling and ambushing people and quietly offering our goodies as they rode by on their bikes, but those didn’t work out well. Gretchen explained that being confident and using a preface (rather than accosting people) would probably do the trick. While we worked on our technique we stopped at bike racks on the U of O campus leaving tire patch kits along the way.
We tried to deliver some of our cookies to the local firehouse, but no one was home. Gretchen had the wonderful idea to head over to student financial services, so we could cheer up students paying their bills. Unfortunately, we still faced resistance. It was our extra daring 4-year-old who had the most success at first. It seemed illogical to him for anyone to refuse a cookie.
Once the boys perfected their approach we gave away about 30 cookies in a 3 block walk across the campus. The boys gained a lot of confidence and it made me very proud of each of them. Luckily, they were still goofy enough to keep us from getting too sentimental.
When our walk was over (about 2.5 miles, by my calculations), the boys sat down to write a letter of thanks or recognition to someone they knew. Two of our boys wanted to say thank you to LaMichael James for scoring touchdowns, but Gretchen and I limited it to people who actually knew the boys. We’re always the party poopers!
To Br: (From Gretchen) Thank you for being such a good big brother figure to the extra daring 4-year-old. You really watched out for him and were sweet and helpful. (From Caitlin) I saw how hard it was for you to approach people at first, but you didn’t shy away from the task. By the end of our walk you were a master!
As: (From Gretchen) I love your charming sense of humor. (From Caitlin) You were a great listener. Your energy was contagious and you never complained once.
Be: (From Gretchen)You were very conscientious and focused on the activity. Also, I really appreciate how you offered to help me on multiple occasions. (From Caitlin) As always, you were respectful, helpful and enthusiastic.
K: (From Gretchen) Thank you for being a good listener and giving eye contact and knowing how to approach people in a manner that doesn’t overwhelm them. Also, you have really lovely handwriting. (From Caitlin) I loved how well you approached people, even though I know you were nervous. You kept your eyes open for opportunities.
Ai: (From Gretchen) I was really impressed that you did not whine at all about having your big backpack along for the whole journey. And you didn’t even ask anyone else to carry it, very responsible of you. (From Caitlin) You were full of energy, outgoing and entertaining. I was impressed by how your approach to people mellowed and you gave away so many cookies!
N: (From Gretchen) I was proud of how polite you were to people you approached and for focusing on writing a quality letter. (From Caitlin) I know you struggled with the rejections, but you bounced back and gave away tons of cookies. I’m proud that you didn’t let the small setbacks stifle your enthusiasm.