Little birdie

For the last few years, I’ve promoted doing calculated acts of kindness during Lent. Today is Ash Wednesday, and so the fun and secrecy of COAK begins.


The idea behind COAK is to spread anonymous kindness in your community. This may start with family and friends and spread to previously unknown neighbors, strangers, etc. There have been some pretty amazing CAOK projects in the past and I’m certain this year will be no different.


I’ve received some pretty horrendous email and comments about COAK in the past, if you can imagine. Some folk seem to find the project a lame attempt at self-glorification. Needless to say, secretly doing good acts to brighten someone else’s day does make me feel good. Actually, it makes me feel incredibly powerful and really, really happy to be bringing someone else joy — no matter how minor the act may be. Talking about those acts here is a way of encouraging others to hold the door open, put a few extra coins in a needy meter, leaving a hefty tip at the coffee shop and writing a love letter or two to your aging grandparents.

If that’s selfish, so be it. I absolutely love the clean slate Lent brings, giving us a chance to take a closer look at how we can be better versions of ourselves and providing a perfect opportunity to do so. I have a lengthy list of changes being made and kind acts being calculated. I’d be honored if you came along for the journey.