Kindness Ninjas

(4/25 UPDATE! Barry Thickk, my old partner in crime, pointed out this post on The Chive today.  Synchronicity?  Someone biting my rhyme?  A little of both?  No matter.  As long as people are getting the message!  Oh, and KCCO!!)

This particular blog is for the betterment of mankind.  Sort of.  I have, as usual, a jumble of thoughts rolling through my head and wanted to put them down on, uh…html? Anyway, my friend Kassi suggested via Twitter that I need to blog today instead of playing XBox.  She’s having a bad day, so I’ll indulge her.  BTW, Kassi is awesome, adorable, and a blogger in her own right. (And, ahem…single, fellas.)  BTW, I’m in a cursing sort of mood, so I apologize  in advance for the number of “fucks” that will likely end up in this post.

Kassi is hella cute. maybe TOO goddam cute...

I wanted to get away from the sci-fi/comicy geeky goodness that so often permeates my blog entries and get into some randomity.  The good kind!  I had a college professor named Gavin Whitsett.  He was a true hippie.  He didn’t go all tie-dye and Birkenstocks, but  when you saw his worn tweed jacket and long hair you knew who he was immediately.  Wire-rimmed glasses and a permanent smile completed the picture.  Anyway, Gavin had written a few books about “Guerrilla Kindness” and for a while in the mid-90’s you heard people saying things like “I practice random acts of kindness!”   He was great.  And for an author living in Evansville, IN his impact was huge. Dude was on Oprah, for God’s sake. He also ran a public radio station for a while.  Gavin knew how to communicate.  It is in his memory (RIP, sir) that I pass along some of things I try to do on a regular basis to make the world a little better.  And a word of warning:  if you’re doing nice things for people in the hopes that someone will notice and say “Wow!  You do nice things for people!” then you’re doing it wrong.  The acts of kindness must be anonymous.  Discreet.  You are a ninja of goodness.  Got it?

Get it? There's a Gorilla...and it's Guerrilla Kindness, so...aw, fuck it.

You know how you’re driving around the parking lot looking for a space close to the entrance?  Especially in the dead of winter or the heat of August?  Do everyone a favor and leave the good spots for someone else.  They’ll never know.  They’ll just turn up an aisle and go “Wow!  A spot two stalls away from the door!  And here am I with these twin babies that I must safely and warmly ferry inside!  What luck!”  But it isn’t luck.  It’s kindness.  Well done. Along those lines, carry some extra change in your car.  I love doing this one, but it can sort of backfire.  While doing a weekly radio event called “Bear on the Square” in downtown Ft. Wayne, I usually park in metered parking.  I pay up my maximum of two hours, then if I have any leftover change I’ll put it in the meters on either side (provided there’s a car parked there.  Otherwise you’ve just wasted fifty cents, asshole!)  The drawback is this: once, as I made to leave, I overheard a larger fellow mutter “Huh!  I walked all the way out here and somebody done fed the meter!”  He didn’t sound angry…but disappointed, either because he REALLY loves putting coins in that thing and I robbed him of his glory, or he hates walking.   At least he saved a few coins and got some exercise.  Double-win, if you ask me. You know another easy car-related piece of kindness?  Letting another driver merge.  Even (and this is the tough part) if said driver is being a douche.  There are two kinds of bad mergers: the asshat that knows the lane is about to close and he needs to get to the right but guns it as fast as he can to bypass everyone, hoping he gets in ahead and then there’s the old person who c r e e p s her car forward about ten centimeters at a time, terrified of the oncoming horde of metal and glass shrieking and honking her way.  You’ve encountered both of them.  Now and then, let ’em in anyway.  The first guy I mentioned is probably some date-rapist that reeks of Drakkar Noir.  But he could also be an undercover cop or have a wife delivering a baby in the passenger seat.  You never know.  Letting Captain Fuckstick in that one time might save a life.  Prolly not.  But it’s still a kindess. Here’s another simple idea:  say “Bless you” when someone sneezes.  Even if they never say “thanks” or even acknowledge your kindess.  Sometimes I’ll hear what I think is a sneeze and say “Bless you!” and the other person replies with “It was a COUGH you moron!”  Big fucking deal!  Cough, hicup, spasm, orgasm…I don’t care what the fuck caused your problem, buddy.  I’m being kind, so fuck you!  And bless you, while I’m at it!

However, if THIS happens, I'm calling you an ambulance.

And I guess that’s the real lesson here.  Gavin would shake his head and smile if he heard me talk like that.  But he’d be okay with it, because it proves that even the surliest, mangiest, tatted-up, swearing-like-a-sailor bastards and bitches can be good.  That guy with an eyepatch and septum piercing that just held the door for you?  He’s one of us.  That geek in the “Bazinga!” t-shirt that helped you track down the papers you just dropped to keep them from blowing across the quad?  He’s one of us, too.  He’s just wearing a stupid fucking t-shirt from the most awful show ever.  We’re kindess ninjas.  We’re usually unseen.  But we’re there…lurking…waiting to strike. There are literally thousands of little ways to make the world a little less sucky for others.  I can’t wait to see some of your ideas (hint!) in the comments section. In the meantime, have a great day, fuckers!

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36 responses to “Kindness Ninjas

  1. I jumped out of the car yesterday to close someone’s open gas cap three cars ahead of me…its not hard to be nice…I don’t understand why there are so many dickholes in the world…

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  2. Well thank you sir, I have been having a shit-ass coupe of days myself… I have always secretly wished I was a ninja and now I feel like I have officially been Knighted.. or should I say Ninjad?! I am definitely a Kindness Ninja, it brings me great pleasure in my daily life to go slightly out of my way to do silly little things to make someone’s day… Even if its something as little as sneaking a little ice into my patient’s warm Sprite even though it is contraindicated for them to have ice. Shh! 😉 Or telling them before I leave that I will be thinking of them and saying a little prayer for them, they always seem a little brighter after I say that which is a plus when you’re leaving someone sitting in a hospital bed. And yes I sometimes let the assholes merge, possibly because I am sometimes that very asshole .. ninjas unite!

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    • Yeah, he overdosed on pain pills in 1997, I think. Fought depression his whole life. I think he used his random acts of kindness to combat his own internal sadness. Tragic, because he was such a great dude.

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  3. I regularly practice the martial art of giving up the good parking spot. And while it may not seem like much to everybody else, I find myself not calling in for contests at your wonderful place of employment. I can, more often than not, afford the free tickets or free beer so I figure by not winning, someone who can’t afford the those things will be able to attend a show or get drunk.

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  4. i am most notorious to allow people to move ahead of me in line. I am the mom that feeds a family of 5 so my cart is always full….so i wait a little longer but i cant bare see someone waiting with one or only 5 things behind me. This is a great reminder thanks for sharing!

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  5. My favorite kind thing to do? NOT slap the bi-atch at work. Second best? Holding open doors for people with strollers. That was always the biggest PITA when my babies were small. ❤

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  6. While shopping in the dollar store yesterday i saw a lady trying to juggle too much in her arms so i went up front and got her a cart 🙂

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  7. i actually did a random act of kindness, and i thought of your ninjas. getting a cart at aldi’s and someone had left a quarter in it, so i took that cart. then i did the same thing….left the quarter in the cart for the next person. not a HUGE thing, but it’s a start, right?

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    • That IS huge if the next person is 25 cents short on their grocery bill! That’s another great subject: how often is sheer, dumb luck actually because of someone else’s kindness? Thanks!

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  8. Gavin was my neighbor for a few years before he died. He was kind. It was a hard time in my life, and we talked about our depressions a bit. I was not angry when he died, because I knew how very hard he’d tried. He really was kind.

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  9. Hi, Turner. I just stumbled on your post and I can’t tell you how happy i am to read your great words about my brother, Gavin. Just the other day, going through old boxes, I found a list he made giving examples of guerilla acts of kindness. And, you’re right…they must be covertly done! Thanks for this wonderful moment❤️rebecca whitsett

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