“It’s her birthday? And she’s giving stuff away?”
These were the bewildered words of the last man we talked to on my birthday. We had just given him and his friend some mixed CDs I had made, and they were pretty pleasantly surprised. A perfect ending for a perfect day.
My name is Jada Rose, but a lot of you on here know me as thespiritualwarrior7. The idea to do 14 random acts of kindness for my 14th birthday came from a Project Inspired post on a man who, for his 22nd birthday, did 22 random acts of kindness. I liked the idea of it so much, I decided I wanted to do it for my birthday…and it turned out to be the best birthday I ever had.
Me, my mom, and four of my friends went to a bigger town than the one we live in to do it. The day before, my mom and I finished the list and made preparations. I spent a while praying over the list, just making sure everything was right. It was a long, sleepless night for me. Then, finally, the day dawned and it was time. Around noon, we picked up my friends and headed to the city.
The first order of business was Wal-Mart–we needed some things we couldn’t get where we live. My friends and I cruised in and picked up sidewalk chalk, then headed back out while my mom was still in shopping. We picked a wide expanse of pavement outside of Wal-Mart and chalked our quote: “If your elephant forgets, perhaps your aardvark knows the answer”–Cooper Edens. Sadly, they made us leave (something about private property).
Next, we headed downtown. This was where it got good. Armed with CDs, paper cranes, chalk, roses and quarters, we took the streets by storm.
The first man we met was older and on a bicycle. We gave him a rose, and my mom was behind us, readying the camera. He didn’t know she was with us, and, as he went past her on the street he grinned and said, “It smells good!”
We chalked quotes from our collective repertoire onto a couple of street corners and gave random people paper cranes, CDs, and roses. Oh, and the quarters. We were putting quarters everywhere: On the pavement, on ledges, on parking meters, in alleyways. The idea for that one came from the fact that it makes my day to find a quarter on the street.
As we were leaving downtown, we passed a woman standing outside a building screaming cuss words. Yikes. But I hopped out and gave her a rose.
Her voice got quieter. “I actually really needed that today.” she said.
And I felt like crying.
Next, we went to a park to eat, hang out and do chalk art. We also shared our table and food with a family of five girls (there’s four boys and two girls in my family). We spent a long while there, then went on to our last stop, the mall.
At the mall, we passed out more CDs, paper cranes, and then some seed packets, to represent spring and new beginnings. We scoured the entire mall, and got rid of all the rest of the stuff we had to give away. That was where we met the last people of the day.
They started out trying to sell my mom something, but once I saw her talking to them, I figured she probably had something in mind, so I headed over. CDs were what she had in mind, it turned out.
“How much do you want for them?” was the first thing they asked.
We laughed and told them it was free.
“That really touches me.” said the man, after learning the back story. “That really touches me.”
And so I learned that you get so much more out of giving than getting. It was definitely a God-inspired list and a God-touched day, and we had so much fun! It was a little hard at certain points (I don’t like talking to people), but the feeling was incredible.
I definitely recommend trying this. Maybe not necessarily for a birthday, but if you’re ever bored and sitting around, this was an amazing experience. And just imagine if we could start a movement! Imagine if someone on the street, who you’d never met before, gave you a rose. How awesome would that feel? If only this was a commonplace pastime, then the world would be a beautiful, more loving place.
My birthday gift was giving.
Written by PI Girl Jada Rose
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