“Do your little bit of good where you are;
it's those little bits of good put together
that overwhelm the world.”
― Desmond Tutu
GROWING KINDNESS, STEM BY STEM
During the World Wars, the answer to our country’s food shortages and low morale was the Victory Garden: small gardens grown in backyards and city lots that enabled any one person to feed their family and their community. They were a real, tangible way to contribute.
Now a days we don’t worry so much about food shortage, and while it’s certainly arguable that many people still don’t have access to enough healthy food, I’d argue that we have an even more critical shortage these days: connection. Real, meaningful connection.
Our world is moving faster than it ever has, with more ways for us to connect than ever before. We’ve all got hundreds of friends online and are a member of more online groups than we can count. And yet we’re more disconnected than we’ve ever been. Social media is falsely filling our need to know, relate and interact with communities, neighbors, friends and even family.
We believe the answer to our current deficit is still found in a backyard garden. What would happen if we each grew a few flowers, simply for the purpose of sharing with others? What if we literally grew connection in our communities by walking across the street or down to the local retirement center to hand a neighbor a bunch of flowers? Growing up, my dad always told us, “Little by little, we go far.” (He still reminds me of that when I’m faced with a daunting task.) What if stem by stem, we had the chance to make a difference in others’ lives? To grow kindness and connection? That’s exactly what we’ve set out to accomplish with the Growing Kindness Project.