Random Acts of Kindness
Have you heard the phrase?
Have you seen it on a bumper sticker? A t-shirt?
This page has some information about the phrase, the man who created it and other sites you might want to visit.
In the spring of 1993, Professor Chuck Wall was teaching a human relations class at Bakersfield College. He was pondering his next class assignment and was half listening to the radio news when he heard: 'We have another random act of senseless violence to report.'
In the seconds that followed, he coined the phrase.
'I just took out the word "violence" and stuck in the word "kindness". All of a sudden I had a great phrase that turned a negative into a positive.'
Later that day he walked into his classroom, and told eighteen students, ranging in age from 18 to 67, to pick up their pens. The week's assignment: 'Today I will commit one random act of senseless kindness.'
Wall says that hands went up and the students seemed confused. One student complained: 'I don't know what I'm supposed to do.'
Wall explains: 'They wanted me to tell them what kindness was about. I insisted they figure it out for themselves.'
When the class met next, one week later, the students were the most animated that he had ever seen. Each had a story to tell.
Shane Gautreaux, 20, had distributed blankets he'd bought from the Salvation Army to a group of homeless people who lived under Bakersfield's Beale Street overpass.
Lisa Holiman, 28, had rescued a ragged stray collie, bathed and fed it, then put up posters trying to find the dog's owners. One day later, the collie was reclaimed.
Jo Marshall, 55 and recently divorced after 37 years of marriage, set aside her anger at her then-out-of-work former husband and counseled him on how to obtain an extension on his unemployment benefits.
And Jessica Fredericksen, 41, committed perhaps the ultimate act of generosity: Spying a harried motorist circling the student parking lot, she pulled out of the space she had just taken and waved him in.
Wall: 'What was important to me was the impact the assignment had on them personally."
The students began their own campaign. They printed bumper stickers: 'Today, I will commit one random act of senseless KINDNeSS . . . Will you?'
It was the beginning. The county sheriff (Carl Sparks) ordered 150 for his patrol cars. Businesses began to underwrite the printing costs and the students, now making a dollar on each sticker, began donating the proceeds to the Kern County Braille Center: Chuck Wall is blind.
Wall has copyrighted the kindness phrase and he licenses it a minimal rates to nonprofit groups.
Dr. Chuck Wall
Dr. Chuck Wall is a published author and lecturer in supervision, leadership, communications, and human relations issues, including "Random Acts of Kindness".
He received an Associate of Arts degree from Bakersfield College, a B.A. and an M.B.A. from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in educational Administration and Management from U.C.L.A.
He has co-authored a book on organizational renewal, written several scholarly articles, produced a multi-media look into the 21st Century for a White House conference, hosted his own television and radio programs, and with the Stroud Puppets, has published a 5 act video program entitled "Kindness for Kids."
In addition, he has just published his new book entitled "The Kindness Collection." Dr. Wall has headed two of his own firms, one in publishing and the other in manufacturing.
Dr. Wall is currently Professor of Management and Human Relations at Bakersfield College.
At this time, Dr. Wall is deeply involved in the "Random Acts of Kindness" project which has received international attention.
even though he is blind, he does not consider himself disabled, but merely must spend extra time dealing with one of life's little nuances
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