I was once asked what my life’s aspirations are.
“That’s easy” I replied, “I want to hang out committing acts of kindness, speaking, writing and learning to surf.”
“So, you want to be a beach bum?” the person asked.
Several years later, here I am: speaking, writing and I learned how to surf.
I have also fallen head over heels in love with committing acts of kindness.
What began as holding doors open and buying coffee for someone on a cold day has exploded into a full-on daily giving mission.
A couple years ago, my good friend Dave Waldman (of B2B Video Solutions) asked how many acts of kindness I thought we could commit in an hour.
“I don’t know…let’s find out.”
With Dave in tow, camera rolling, we hit the streets and had a blast!
Here is the video he created: BeachBum Philanthropy on the Road
The purpose was two-fold: show people how easy it can be to commit acts of kindness, and to give ideas of what they can do.
What happened after that?
My phone was ringing, and the e-mails were dinging my inbox.
“How can we do that?”
“What do you need?”
“Can I come out with you next time?”
One of those people was my friend Ruth. One of her many cool talents is writing. She is a reporter.
She asked: “How many acts of kindness do you think we could commit in a day?”
Several weeks later, we decided to find out.
According to her article, the total was fifty.
I was exhausted…and smiling.
The best part?
We met the coolest people during our day-long journey, who taught US some really cool ways to help others!
As the BeachBum Philanthropy mission has grown, more and more people have come on board to be part of the giving.
The more the merrier!
Some people have been critical that we give so much attention to promoting acts of kindness. One very religious person commented (on a Facebook page dedicated to a day of goodness) that people who commit kind acts and post them are bragging, and that most of us are a**holes the other 364 days of the year. He even said he ‘hated’ the whole idea of us posting them.
Yes, he actually used those words.
The mission was to share ideas which could inspire others to commit acts of their own, not to promote ourselves as ‘better than anyone else’. I also added that Jesus was a wonderful giver who probably didn’t call people a**holes when they did good things to help his people.
That was the end of that. J
Since then, more than two dozen ‘Honorary BeachBums’ have become part of our team. They are reaching out to family and friends, and friends of friends, and meeting me in parking lots with bags of clothing, food, personal care supplies, outdoor gear for the homeless and more!
Every day, I am pleasantly surprised and encouraged by every gesture.
One person recently said “I wish I could be more.”
After posting what she’d given, others stepped up with the same items, saying “We didn’t know you needed these, we have a bunch of them!”
Well, my dear BeachBum friend, you DID give more….you inspired others to give.
And that is awesome.
How can YOU be a BeachBum today?
We’ve compiled a whole big list of ways, right here:http://SteveGamlin.com/giving