In a couple of weeks, a friend of BikingToronto is embarking on a 1,700 km bicycle trip with his son.
Instead of raising monetary funds for a cause, Todd and his son are riding to raise kindness. They are encouraging people to do kind things for one another with the goal of collecting 500 Kindness Pledges.
Their press release is below. I’ll be thinking of ways to do kind things for others the next 2 weeks to help Todd and his son reach their 500 Kindnesses goal. Check out the Random Acts of Kindness website for ideas if you want to take part.
Toronto Father and Son Undertake a 1,700 KM Tandem Bicycle Journey to Encourage Kindness
On July 1, 41 year old Pharmaceutical Regulatory Compliance Consultant, Todd O’Reilly and his thirteen year old son will be leaving on a 1,700 kilometre journey from their home in Toronto, Ontario, what some believe to be the coldest and most selfish city in Canada to New York City, a city that shares this reputation in the US. Having lived in one of those cities for many years, and having visited the other numerous times, they know that the reputation is completely undeserved. So they’ll be setting out by tandem bicycle, a vehicle that lets us see the world at a human pace and interact with people as they go, to see this first hand. Along the way they’ll be staying with strangers where they can (through couchsurfing.org), and camping or using hotels where they can’t. To have the opportunity to meet more people along the way they’ve decided to take a less direct route. This route will take them from Toronto to Montreal, through Vermont (where Todd grew up), then down to Boston, by Ferry to Provincetown, and finally onward to New York City.
Just as they believe that the cities’ reputations are undeserved, they believe that our culture’s reputation as being relentlessly selfish and uncaring is equally undeserved. Looking only a little ways beyond the media they can see that this is true. And furthermore, they think that most people have ideas that they often don’t act on, of how they can be even more kind than they already are. This can be as small as thinking to one’s self “Wouldn’t it be nice to just buy a coffee for the person behind me in line at the cafe” to one of Todd’s larger intentions that he held for many years but only recently acted on: “Wouldn’t it be great to be an adult literacy tutor.” Their hope in starting the 500 Kindnesses project is that they can encourage people to act on these ideas instead of just holding them in. To be mindful of their good intentions and to act on them, if you will. And so, they’ve set a target that they want to ‘raise’ 500 pledges of acts of kindness – of any size between now and when they leave in July. So far the response has been very good and they’ve topped the 300 mark. If you’d like more information, you can see the site at http://www.500kindnesses.com.
If you’d like more information on this project or to schedule an interview with Todd O’Reilly, he may be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.