The first time I was ever featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page I had written a post, two months ago, on the fly, about the Tipper and Al divorce. Just a quick little observation about my impressions of marriage, divorce and media attention. Hits to my blog sky-rocketed. And a whopping 61 comments. 61! I had never generated so much buzz.
Then, I go away for the weekend. Not wanting to let my blog sit dormant, I re-printed a post from December. Just a sweet, little post about my commitment (or lack thereof) to Random Acts of Kindness. Freshly Pressed picked me up again as a featured blog post.
The attention has been astounding.
And by astounding, I mean mind-boggling.
I’m standing here speechless. No, make that flummoxed.
The hits? Off the charts doesn’t even begin to describe. And the comments? 209 at last count. And that doesn’t even include all the spam or comments I deleted. (But will make for excellent post material at a later date. Stay tuned!)
A little post about how I tried to make someone’s day with an unexpected surprise. And how I felt guilty not doing it more. Or giving more in that particular moment.
People crawled out of the woodwork, threw down their lurker status and commented in droves. Or they commented on their own blogs and linked back here. Or they cut and paste my post and used it for their blog. (Which I’m still wrestling with the ethics of that, but again, a topic for another post.)
Or they criticized my actions. (But that, too, will be for another post.)
A simple, $3.18 gesture and I’m sitting high on the shoulders of my fellow bloggers and being paraded around Blog World.
And isn’t that a little sad? I’m glad a story about paying it forward garnered more attention than a high-profile divorce, don’t get me wrong. But the shock and awe of how a small act of kindness can make such a difference surprises me.
And makes me pause and think and wonder…what if I were more deliberate in my good deeds? What if I challenged myself to commit at least one RAOK a day, every day. How hard could it be?
So, forget about the challenge I posed to everyone about committing a random act of kindness over the weekend. I’m upping the ante. This isn’t going to be an “every once in a while thing” for me anymore. I’m going to challenge myself to commit a minimum of one RAOK each week. I will post about my successes and inevitable failures (because, contrary to popular opinion right now, I AM human) on a separate tab section of this blog. (No need to start another blog about this issue. There are plenty out there.)
You can join me. You can read and see what I do. You can be inspired all over again. Or, you can criticize what I deem a RAOK.
I don’t care.
I do know that whatever happens I will be a more fulfilled, positive force in this universe.
And a better example to my children.
And that’s all that matters.
Don’t forget! Write your post about blogging to help me celebrate my one year in Blog World. We’ll all meet back here in 3 days (August 13) to link, learn and maybe have a few laughs!
21 responses to “Al and Tipper? Old News. Apparently, RAOK Is All The Rage.”
Go for it! I think your RAOK post generated so much interest because it is the little things that make such a difference potentially to the life of another human being and yet people like me rarely think of doing such things despite them being so easy to do. You certainly made me think about this a whole lot more and I am acting on those thoughts too. So thank you again.
Well your blog success is, I think, proof that what goes around comes around. 🙂
I think your RAOK piece was so resonant is that people like “good news” pieces…that was certainly the case when I did a community newsletter for almost six years for the neighbourhood where we lived.
We can read bad news every day, but good news isn’t celebrated nearly enough!
Bravo for your RAOK, and everyone else’s!
Yay! I am all for doing the RAOK, too! I take your challenge. XD You’re so amazing Jane, and totally deserve to be featured all the time. Seriously.
Wow, congrats for being featured (AGAIN!) – how cool is that!? I commented on that post when there were only a handful of other comments so I didn’t realize what huge attention it gained! Good for you, Jane. And it was a really nice post that gives people something to think about. And it sounds like you ended up with a lot of material to write about, too. Can’t wait to read! 🙂
It was this post that made me start following you. And I happened to see it on the exact same day when me and my sisiter decided to start a project called “The Fairytale Project” which is about the whole world getting involved in writing a single story… it’s a bit too idealistic, but I don’t care. 🙂
I do believe that it’s the small things that make big difference. I have to say that I can’t pay for the next person myself because first, I’m not a driver and second, not so many people in Bulgaria (my country) buy food from such places.
And there’s one bad thing about Bulgarians – when someone does good to them they think they’re cheated. It’s been like this for centuries – we’ve forgotten how to believe in the good. But, you know, once in a while someone does something nice and it really really makes your day. That’s why I believe in small things. 🙂
I’m sorry for the long comment.
Your blog’s great and I’ll be following.
I’m so glad that post go so much attention because we NEED to think about that more…about what potential we have within us to touch lives. That’s a big part of what blogging can be! So glad for you!
I like this! I think I should try to go for it, too. And congratulations for being featured yet again :D!!! That’s wonderful and fun, and I can’t wait to hear about the a-holes whose comments you’ve deleted :P.
You can never have too much RAOK. 🙂 I may not always follow through, but I think about it. (My wife would punch me for saying it like this, but it’s the truth.) Reminders are good!
I’m trying to imagine what it feels like to be Freshly Pressed.
[squinting and grunting hard]
Nope. Just can’t do it. It is beyond my imagination. Epic fail. 🙂
I’ve so often wanted to but the coffee of the person behind me, but I always think, “What if they’re buying coffee for the whole office??” And now I say, “Who cares if they are? RAOK!” (And, anyway, surely the odds of that happening more than once are low.) =>
Thanks for the inspiration, Jane.
An admirable challenge! I will try – but first I must define an AOK – it’s much wider encompassing than buying a coffee, I think. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a wonderful act of kindness – I’m just thinking of other ways to be kind. Maybe I should watch “Pay It Forward” again.
I love your idea! I will admit that I don’t necessarily go out into the world daily, but I know what a difference random acts of kindness have made in my life.
As for freshly pressed – it’s pretty astonishing what being on that home page can do! And it speaks well, I think, of those who read, that a post on kindness drew so many to comment.
Here is me as Blanche: “Whoever you are, I have always depended on the kindness of strangers…”
You rock it, Jane. And I’ll take your challenge. Nothing speaks louder to our children then how we treat other people. I won’t be back in the blog world for real until my girls go back to school (not for another month) but I’ll be working on some RAOK in the meantime…
Jane, that’s awesome! Can’t think of anyone more deserving. I’m so on board, sweetie.
Jane! I am so happy for you! 🙂 Congrats on the big blogger status and I also think your new idea about the RAOK tab for the blog is great.
LOVE it! I’m with you. I’ll totally do it. I secretly hope I’ve already been doing it but my left hand didn’t notice what my right hand was doing, or however that goes.
But now I’m gonna catch me doing good deeds!
Thanks for the kick in the pants.
This is great. RAOK rocks!
A good start, but I challenge everyone reading this to do RAOKs throughout each and every day. If you set out to do this dilberately, and don’t let bad reactions influence you, It will eventually become a habit. And I can’t think of a better habit to have. You will be doing it all the time without even thinking about it. At first one does it for the temporary “high” that comes, after doing a good deed, but as the years go by that becomes less and less important, and one thinks about the larger goal of making the world a better place for everyone. Remember, RAOK for animals count too!
A RAOK challenge! What a great idea. And having a page dedicated to your successes will be a great addition to your already wonderful blog.
I know what you mean with the Freshly Pressed phenom. They’ve picked up a couple of mine as well and I’m still visiting the blogs of all those that commented. Both times it was a total surprise. Congrats x 2 for being noticed!
Exactly, Mary Ann. Strive for obsessive-compulsive RAOL disorder!