I was up by 8 am this morning, slicing fresh Gala apples into my newly-decorated tupperware for Take One of the “Refresh Yourself” Project. I dressed for the occasion in colorful leggings, a flouncy skirt and a cute top – playful enough to be me, but neat enough not to scare off the perfect strangers that I was about to approach. And off I went to explore Ocean Beach!
Good morning! Would you like some fresh fruit? I just sliced it and it’s really refreshing…
I got some nos, but I also got a lot of yeses! By the end of the hour, I befriended a group of people in their 30s, a couple of senior citizens, a UPS guy, a homeless guy, a construction crew and a surfer, among others. I handed many of them a Smile card, saying nothing at all or “Do something nice for someone today” or teasingly “This is a game and you’re It” – a play on the card’s wording.
I was down to my last three apple slices when it became obvious to whom they would go. Down the street, I saw two Hispanic people in their 30s manually pushing a stalled car up the road toward a parking spot with a third person steering the car. You look like you could use some refreshment… And that was a wrap!
The project is almost as selfish as it is altruistic – I love meeting people, breaking down social barriers, building community and inducing smiles in others. But I have a feeling that most of the “refreshed” people started their day today with a little bit of an extra skip in their step, and that is awesome.
Who’s going to join me in performing an (anonymous or not) act of kindness for a stranger this week?
posted by ayo