Friday, December 7, 2007

Make It A “Good” Friday

In November 2001, a comedic hopeful named Danny Wallace placed an ad in a British free paper that read simply, “Join Me.” Interested parties were asked to send a passport-size photo to a P.O. box; Wallace provided no other information on who or what they were joining. The photos arrived not in a trickle but by the hundreds, and Wallace found himself the unexpected leader of a new “cult,” but with no idea what on earth to do with his eager recruits.

After a lot of thought “and a few pints,” Wallace decided to give his followers a simple assignment: "Make an old man happy.” Buy a “random old man a cup of tea [or] pay for his bus fare,” the specifics were up to the individuals. Soon Wallace’s Karma Army branched out beyond buying pints for pensioners and developed a special emphasis on “Good” Fridays, with the aim to “be nice, at least once a week, to someone else, for absolutely no personal gain whatsoever.” The only stipulation: “Whatever it is you decide to do, it has to be random, unexpected, and ... well ... kind.”

Wallace’s group, now dubbed Join Me, started as a publicity stunt but has morphed into many random, sometimes silly, acts of kindness. Good Fridays, indeed!

Today’s mitzvah: Make it a “Good Friday” and extend a lighthearted and unexpected kindness.

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