Rachel Scott has been on our minds a great deal in recent times . . .
Given the tragic events that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, it is, perhaps, inevitable.
Rachel, as our regular readers might recall, was murdered at Columbine High School, in another meaningless massacre in 1999. She left behind quite a legacy . . .
It's called Rachel's Challenge, a thriving non-profit organization that is inspiring students in schools and colleges all over the United States to be nicer to each other. This popular program was inspired by Rachel's remarkable writings, discovered after her death. In one journal, the 17-year-old had written, 'People will never know how far a little kindness can go.'
Here at OM HQ, it's our intention to find out.
If 2012 was the OM Year of Love, then 2013 has been decreed the OM Year of Kindness. In this, Rachel Scott is the spur, a guiding light showing us a path that more people ought, we believe, to be following. It's our plan to put Rachel's writings to the test and, to use her words, to 'start a chain reaction [of compassion]'. To us, it seems the time is ripe.
In Illinois, Ryan Garcia has just completed a quite remarkable quest. His good deeds drive lasted 12 magical months - the charitable Chicagoan contributing at least one act of kindness for every single day in 2012.
In his final blog post, written on New Year's Eve, Ryan noted that, 'These acts have allowed me to connect with people across the United States and the world and . . . made me realize that, while there is more kindness around us than I could ever have imagined, there are still more opportunities for us to make a positive impact in people's lives'.
It is an observation that, here in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, we've been certain to log.
Ryan's project is an extreme example but, as he points out, kindness is all around us. This we have noted, right here on our blog, where we've been proud to introduce people such as Lawrence DePrimo, Curtis Reliford and Bob Votruba in the last 12 months.
It's our hope that, in 2013, the good that such people are doing - day in, day out - will start to rub off on us all. That more of us will start to follow their lead and go out of our way to help others. This is the chain reaction that Rachel wrote about. This is our purpose for the next 12 months, the OM Year of Kindness.
'Imagine,' Bob Votruba once posited, 'if we hoped for the best towards every person we come into contact with during the day. If each one of us shared acts of kindness with those we know and those we don't. How would the world change? How would you change? How far would our kindness spread?'
It's time to find out, once and for all . . .
Let's harness the compassion that came to the fore following that dreadful morning in Newtown and the kindness that followed Hurricane Sandy's devastating appearance. Let's prove that we don't need something tragic to occur before we begin to connect with each other. Let's put the humanity back into being human.
Be nicer to a neighbor, help someone in need, share a smile, lend a hand. It's 2013, the OM Year of Kindness, and it's our belief that a little can go an awful long way . . .