Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bump Experiment

Yesterday, while scouring the internet for a cool video to show you guys I came across The Bump Experiment.  And it is the coolest thing.  The young man who created this phenomenon did so because he was on the receiving end of a terribly generous act of kindness.  The local postmaster in his small hometown anonymously (at the time) gave him $17,000 to put towards his college education.  That postmaster, whose name just happened to be Bump, passed away recently and so The Bump Experiment was enacted. 
If you want more information, or a much better explanation, please follow the link above.  But the basic premise is this: during the week of November 2-8, 2009 everyone should do something nice for a friend, stranger, charity, whomever without expecting anything in return.  You know that friend you have, or that person you know, about whom everyone always says "I wish there were more people in the world like that person?"  The idea is that during that week everyone acts like that person.  Hold open a door for the person behind you.  Pick up some pieces of trash off the sidewalk as you make your way downtown.  Help a stranded motorist change their flat tire.  Give your friend a ride to the airport.  Watch your brother's kids so he and his wife can go have a romantic dinner alone.  Just do something to help or aid people and expect nothing in return.  It's so simple.
Many of us do this on a daily basis, and that is wonderful.  For us it should be a pretty easy week.  But we all act selfishly sometimes.  So all of us should attempt to kick it up a notch during The Bump Experiment because the results will be incredible.  And it doesn't have to be just during that week.  Any time you have an opportunity go for it.  Because it will make the world an infinitely better place.  Giving a stranger a quarter to feed their parking meter may not ease the tensions in the Middle East but it will certainly ease the tensions in that strangers life.  Taking your cousin (not on a date you pervert!) out to a movie might not help eliminate poverty in Ecuador but it will probably make your cousin's day.  And by spreading acts of kindness you can only make the world a better place.
Now, a very important part of The Bump Experiment is being able to accept being bumped.  I can't do something nice for you if you won't let me.  And you can't spread an act of kindness if I am dead set on paying you back.  Sometimes you just have to accept a nice gesture and take it.  So keep that in mind.  Just because I help you roof your house doesn't mean that you have to fix my lawn mower.  But it does mean that you should do something selfless for someone.  This is a concept that is not too far from the idea of the movie Pay It Forward except that it's a little more general.  It's broader.  It works less like a line moving forward and more like a tree spreading outward.  Just do nice things for people.
Please, please, please follow the link and read about this phenomenal idea.  There is a YouTube video that you can watch, a blog you can read (only after you are done reading this one) and a way to link it to your mySpace.  And then take the idea and spread it.  Tell your family in England about it.  Tell your co-workers.  Send the link to your college roommate who lives in Seattle.  Give the heads up to your father-in-law in Nebraska.  This is very much a grass roots thing and the only way that it is going to spread is through word of mouth.  We have over a year before The Bump Experiment goes live Novemeber 2-8, 2009 all around the world.  Let's work to be nice to each other.  Let's work to raise the collective consciousness.  Let's work to make the world a more pleasant place.  Let's work to make The Bump Experiment a success.  Nothing but good can come of it.

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