Small moments of kindness sometimes stick with you even longer than the big things. Like that day you forgot your wallet in line for coffee and the stranger behind you offered to pick up the tab. Or that time your grocery bag broke while walking home and a neighbor you’d never met, stopped and offered to help you get everything home. You carry those little bits of positive energy through your day, your week, your life — often resolving to help others as they did for you. And then those people are inspired to help other people and… you get the picture.
For RAKE (Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere) founder, Ricky Smith, that moment of realization of the power of small kindnesses came during one of the lowest parts of his life. Recently divorced, he had just moved to Los Angeles and was in dire straits financially. He had 20 dollars left in his bank account and figured that wouldn’t do him much good. So, he decided, why not use that money to just make a few other people happy?
He bought a couple of pizzas and started handing out slices on the street to the homeless. With their permission, he took photos, tagged them, and, to his surprise, they took off. Other people started buying pizzas — tagging pics doing the same thing. His small kindness became a movement. And it led him to start a whole organization around that concept.
“RAKE is simply caring about somebody or something else That you wouldn’t on an everyday basis,” he tells Uproxx.
It’s about spreading positivity — even if it doesn’t directly benefit you. And that positivity can be as small as what (and how) you post to social media.
“How cool would it be if I used social media to inspire and motivate people to simply care about other people,” he says.
That’s what they do, create kind acts in the hopes that it will motivate others to care. And whether they’re handing out umbrellas to people who are stuck in the rain or staging a prom in a retirement home, RAKE isn’t fixing every social issue, but they are making somebody’s day just a little better. And ultimately, if we all strive to make someone else’s day a little bit better, all our days will be brighter.
Watch the video above to learn more about Smith’s story and the work RAKE is doing to incrementally change the world through positive energy.