What Do 26 and 31 Have in Common?

Technically nothing, except that they are numbers representative of things bigger than I am, especially the 26.
See that 26 Acts of Kindness badge? After performing 4 Acts of Kindness, I can finally tell people about it without crying. Being kind to others shouldn't be difficult, but when it's done in the name of 26 innocent people killed in Newtown, CT there is an entirely new level of emotion involved.
I first heard of Ann Curry's 26 Acts from my sister who practically lives on Facebook and kept seeing posts from friends. I was completely unaware of what Ms. Curry started, but as my sister read the FB posts to me, I had chills. I performed my first act on December 24, and cried my way through it.
I was in our local bookstore, Watchung Booksellers, picking up a book I had ordered for my daughter. The store was PACKED with last minute shoppers. Behind me in the very long line was a dad with his two sons.  One of them was perusing the lenticular bookmarks at the same time as I was. My purchase was only $6.99 (crazy reasonable for a book!) so I picked out two bookmarks and paid for them. I asked Margot to give them to the boys behind me, but not until after I left and asked her to not tell them who they were from. I probably scared the daylights out of the dad. Margot looked at me like I was crazy and when I tried to explain what I was doing I couldn't even speak, but I had never felt so good. Since then, I had not followed up with additional acts, but then I saw this on the Indie Exchange blog. I signed up and have so far completed an act for each day since starting on Janurary 5. The first was an anonymous donation of a mouth guard to the lacrosse team where my daughter is playing. Trust me, some day someone will forget one. The second was taking my neighbor's garbage cans from the curb to her driveway near the bin that holds them. The third was that I bought 90% of a car wash for hte person behind me. By then, I was able to tell the cashier what I wanted to do without crying and I heard the guy behind me express his surprise and another's generosity. I felt good. I have no idea what the next 23 will be.
Sadly, 26 Acts will not bring back those who were lost. Ever. But in the names of Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, and Rachel Davino, I hope that these small acts and all others that follow will remind us to help one another, not judge, and take a moment to be kind.
So, that's the 26.
The 31, is for a challenge on Katia Raina's blog to write for 31 minutes every day in January. The purpose is to make yourself better at what you do and reach your goals by practicing every day. For me, that includes learning about the craft. So in my 31 minutes, I've editied, blogged, written in a different style from my usual, and read about how to write. See, for me, writing started as a way to express myself, with no thought to the technique of the craft. I'm learning from others, making plenty of mistakes on my own, but most of all, keeping up with it every day. Thanks Katia for the inspiration.


  1. Tracy, this is one of the most beautiful ideas and acts I've ever heard of. You made me tear up just reading this. I'm honored you've shared this with us. Is this an ongoing challenge? Can I spread the word?

  2. This is beautiful Tracy. Keep up the good work writing and kinding.

  3. Hi Tracy --

    I am writing from Newtown, CT and noticed through a google search that you posted about doing random acts of kindness in honor of the victims. I am doing an act of kindness for some friends here in Newtown who launched Newtown Kindness, a non-profit organization which fosters kindness in children through the Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Awards. The organization and program was founded in memory of their friends' daughter, Charlotte Bacon, a victim in the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy. I was hoping you might consider doing a follow-up post about Newtown Kindness as we are trying to foster kindness in children everywhere!

    Children are encouraged to tell their act of kindness story in writing or by drawing a picture for a chance to be recognized with a Charlotte Bacon Act of Kindness Award. Award winners will be chosen by a committee made up of Newtown residents, including the Carlson and Bacon families. The first annual awards will be announced on February 22, 2013, which is Charlotte's birthday.

    Thanks for listening and keeping my community in your heart!

    Jodie Adolfson
    for more information visit www.newtownkindness.org

  4. Jodie, thank you so much for posting this comment. I will absolutely post a follow up piece and encourage people to spread the word about fostering kindness in children through the Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Award.

  5. New follower here, as an A to Z co-host. Nice to meet you!


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