Emily Nelson
I’ve been afraid to turn on the news lately.  Well not so much afraid, as frustrated.  And disheartened.  I’m sure you feel it too.  It’s nothing new.  We’ve been feeling this way for some months.
I wrote this earlier this year, but I think the sentiment still holds…

I saw a snippet of a talk show right before the Inaugeration where a singer was sharing how she was invited to sing at the Inaugration and was excited to do so as her she felt “she got instructions from the Obama’s and Clintons (and Oprah) that it was a go ahead to have a cease fire for one day.” She wanted to use her ‘voice to be a healing and unifying forced for hope through music to help our deeply polarized country.” And then she decided to pull out for several reasons (she was being called names and getting death threats among others.) In her decision to pull out she said she forgot that  she was not doing America right now.” And the audience laughed….and applauded.  

American flag

This to me was such a gut punch. And so, so sad. I wanted to say to her, “Then what ARE you doing right now?” I’m so disheartened to realize those words echo the thoughts of many Americans who feel they ‘do not want to do America right now’. 

 
Warren Wong
But I plead with you…We all need to be doing America right now. More than ever. America needs us all to do our best, be our best. We need everyones’s ‘voice to be a healing, unifying force for hope’. We need to extend a hand instead of crossing our arms. We need to get beyond the tag lines and the head lines. Cross the frontline and battles lines. Step over the party lines, gender and racial lines. Banish the frostlines and the frown lines to foster love, justice, unity, kindness, and righteousness. No matter what comes out of the mouth of leaders or haters, we must act with all our might for these good things. We need to love our neighbors and ask God to ‘forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.’ To survive and thrive, we ALL need to be ‘doing America’ to the fullest.
 
Then I thought.  How do I do America right now?  How do I be a voice for healing?  And I’m sure you’re wondering the same thing.
 

As I was pondering this, an Instagram post and my angst collided and something beautiful emerged.

 Joanne Molan

I was scrolling through my IG feed and saw my husband’s cousin, Joanne Molan, sitting in front of several maps with the caption, “Driving all 48 states!!” Ah!  She’s going on a road trip!  Fun!  Then it hit me…

What if she she adopted this idea of fostering kindness, goodness and justice and became an ambassador of sorts, intentionally spreading kindness in all 48 states and my blog could follow her and we could encourage readers to live out the virtue of kindness in their own home state?  

I quickly gave her a call.  I expressed my forlornness over the state of the country and the state of Facebook with all its hostility and unfriending.  She said she felt exactly the same way.  So I mustered up my ask, “So Joanne, what if you….”  and she said, “Heck yeah!” and the Beyond Kindness: Love on Purpose was born!

 
Beyond Kindness is more than a random act. While random kind acts are great, our intention is to develop a kindness heart and mindset and that takes daily practice and mindfulness.  It is having a heart posture of serving people.  Beyond Kindness seeks to foster a relationship with those who are different from us. Ongoing kindness. Even when it is not returned.  Even when it is not received.  Beyond Kindness is being kind not only with our actions but with our thoughts as well.  Beyond Kindness treats people with dignity and respect whether strangers or enemies.  Its Love on Purpose. 
 
But what can two women do in the sea of unkindness?  Seems daunting that we can promote any healing. But what if we each recruited two friends, and they recruited two friends, and so on, and so on.  (It worked for Heather Locklear in her Faberge Shampoo Commercial in 1982!)   And what if you joined us and told two friends, and they told two friends and so on and so on!
 
Why then we’d have a movement!  A movement to build bridges instead of barriers!  That’s what Kindness can do!
If you feel this way too, then we want you with us!  If you want to be a model of kindness to the next generation, then we want you with us!  If you just want to be less negative and more kind, we want you with us!
 
Join us in the Beyond Kindness Tour as we follow Jack and Joanne Molan criss-cross the country and do our own Beyond Kindness tour right in our own hometown.  No car required!
 
Get more deets and sign up at Beyond Kindness

Launching September 15.

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