BE THE CHANGE – Do Your Homework

In 2002 as Bojan and I were only a few months into our first decade here in Boston we both had the exact same feeling as we worked to get to know Boston; the city isn’t very friendly. I remember calls back home to my brother DG in Madison where I’d say just that, “Boston isn’t very kind.” Both Bojan and I were on scholarships for making boats move for the Northeastern University Huskies so we had no choice to go anywhere else. Looking back, this was a very good thing as we had to work harder to make new friends. Over the years this city has opened up as we continued to interact with people we didn’t know, high-five unsuspecting runners during our river loops, and crack mid-level jokes at bars, bike racks, and even urinals/bathroom stalls hoping to get a laugh or even a smirk out of those serious faces.

Fast forward to 2013 and we have come to a place where November Project, the hugging, racing, and community building tribe, is ON FIRE. The good vibes that kept us warm during Boston Nor’easters, Madison winters, and San Francisco cold rains, are undeniable. The friendly faces and interactions that have taken place around our many workouts, events, and races are unparalleled. But then last Friday for a brief moment I lost my faith in what I/We are doing when my most valuable personal belonging was stolen as I was moving into my new apartment. And man, was I pissed… at the person that did it… the whole city of Boston… the world. But then I decided that instead of focusing on negatives I will make a positive change. Guide this act of evil into an act of kindness. And this is where your homework comes in to play…

REQUIRED HOMEWORK: (not for an extra credit, this is for your final grade)

In the next 7 days, yes 7 days, you need to complete at least one random act of kindness. But not just any random act of kindness, it must be an UNSUSPECTING RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS. Holding doors, giving up your seat for the elderly, and picking up trash on the street does not count as completed homework. You should do those things all the time! An example of a UNSUSPECTING RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS could be paying the toll for the vehicle behind you, picking up a round of coffee for people you always see in the morning on the way to work, or giving your jacket to a runner that looks cold during early morning hours. But please do not Tweet, post, or brag about anything you do for this homework assignment. Bragging about doing nice things defeats the purpose of that very same act. If you would like to post on our wall or send us a tweet with a simple “Homework Complete” note – that’s cool but only two people will know the exact details of what you did and that’s YOU and the person that you surprised. Now go make your city and the world a better place!

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3 Replies to “BE THE CHANGE – Do Your Homework”

  1. bravo. karma yoga. It works.It was a pleasure to join you all in the Hills Reps on Fri. Good for my next races here in the Italian Alps. Catch you soon . Namasté

  2. If you’re feeling generous, check with some local public schools – particularly elementary schools – about book donations. School libraries and classroom libraries often are underfunded and books go missing or, particularly in well-loved titles, fall apart. Many schools have “honor a teacher” programs where people can buy a book in honor of a teacher.

    I also encourage everyone to think about tutoring kids. Many communities need volunteer tutors, particularly in math, to help those kids that are struggling but families can’t afford the additional help. Those one-on-one mentorships, even for a few months, make a huge difference in the life of a kid that goes far far beyond the initial tutoring.

    Yeah… that’s more of term paper than an assignment but it’s really cool when you take a kid from struggling in math to feeling confident in their math skills. 🙂

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