The Selfishness of Kindness

I have written a lot about it this year, but losing my dad has forever changed me.  It has been nine months since I lost him and going home over Christmas and him not being there was weird.  I miss his stories that he used to tell, that seemed to make no sense, and were so bad that they were good.  He is an awesome man.

Struggling to deal with this and feeling in a very dark place, I tried a little experiment, and it all started on October 7th with a tweet.

 

Since that day, I have woke up almost every morning (with a couple of exceptions), and tweeted about someone who has made an impact on me in some way, big or small.  It started with one of my best friends in the world, Michelle Baldwin:

What I had hoped is that by starting every day with saying something positive about someone else, and sharing it with the world, I would feel better myself.  To be honest…it has helped more than I have ever thought it would.

I think that “Follow Friday” is a nice idea and it has been a mainstay on Twitter for a long time, but I guess I decided that I need to try to do that every day in a little way and in a meaningful way.  To me, it goes beyond, “this person is great to follow on Twitter”, to “this person is great and I was blessed enough to meet them.”

Would I love for this idea to spread?  Of course.  Not because it would ever bring me attention, but because doing something good, even as small as tweeting once a day about someone who has made an impact on me, can make someone else and myself feel good, even it is for a moment.

I plan to continue this project until I run out of people that have made an impact on me.  Consider it to be indefinite.

Take some time to check out the #365greattweeps hashtag and follow some of these awesome people.  I am lucky to have met all of them in person.

12 thoughts on “The Selfishness of Kindness

  1. Zoe Bettess

    George, I am loving your #365greattweeps tweets. It is such a simple yet powerful and heart-warming idea. Being recognized on Twitter (or in person) by others always brings a smile to my face as I am sure it does to the tweeps you are acknowledging. It is such a simple form of feedback that I find lacking from my co-workers so receiving and giving acknowledgement or feedback on Twitter and hopefully my blog (slow process to get blogging regularly) is helping me with that void at work. I look forward to you future #365greattweeps.
    On another note my thoughts are with you at this time-your father sounds like he was an amazing man!

    Zoe

    1. George Post author

      Thank you Zoe :) I really appreciate it! Hopefully you can come visit #PSD70 soon as I know you have connected a great deal with many of our teachers.

  2. Elisa Carlson

    I am touched by this post. I love what you chose to do in response to your loss. My dad passed on December 13th after his long, incapacitating and bitter struggle with Alzheimer’s. Why doesn’t the whole word stop when things of this significance happen? Now all of my siblings are taking turns being with my mom as she pleaded, “Please, I don’t want to be alone.” Sixty-seven years of marriage was a long time to live with someone. Now we are providing vigil to her as Parkinson’s takes her away bit by bit. The doctor doesn’t anticipate she will live longer than two weeks. I have started to tweet out bits, sayings and quotes about gratitude. It may need to be my word for the coming year.

    1. George Post author

      You know that I am always a text, phone call, email, or tweet away. Thinking of you in this tough time.

  3. Brianne Koletsos

    George, the #365greatweeps hash tag and the idea behind it has
    to be my favourite of all your ideas so far.
    I love that you acknowledge who the person is, how you met, or the impact
    they have had on you! This is an excellent
    way to reflect on the connections made and the relationships cultivated from
    online to the real world. You continue
    to lead by example and inspire us all; I am thankful to have met you (even if I did
    only speak five words) last year.

    1. George Post author

      Thanks Bri :) I really appreciate that and I am expecting at least 7 words the next time we connect :P

  4. Jan Iwase

    George, I, too, am feeling the loss of my Dad who passed away on August 20 this year. I am sure it is more difficult for my Mom; they were married for 64 years and his death was unexpected. Blogging about the impact my Dad had on me helped me tremendously to realize that although he is no longer with us in person, he lives on in his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who all adored him

    I will definitely check out your #365greatweeps hashtag.

    Thank you for sharing and for inspiring us to make a difference to others.

  5. barry saide

    George, what a creatively brilliant and thoughtful idea. You are open with your feelings and emotions, encourgaging others to do the same. Your positivity extends further than any hashtag will show. Best, Barry.

  6. Scott Allison

    This is wonderful, George. I just lost my sister to cancer, and I can’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to spread kindness to others each day. Many thanks to you.

  7. Jon Harper

    What a wonderful idea and what an awesome tribute to your father. Thank you for sharing and being so open with your words and thoughts. I enjoy your posts and enjoy reading your blog entries. Take care and have a great day.

  8. Jon Samuelson

    George, I was very honored to be one of the 365 mentioned. Especially since I credit you for being one of the people who brought me in to Twitter. I enjoy your blog and admire how you keep churning out great posts. Your dad is looking down on you and your brother proudly. You both do so much for education.

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