An Experiment in Kindness

temple wall signFrom July 3-12, at a converted Filipino-American community center in Los Angeles, we created a space where everyone could connect with the better angels of our nature. We created a space of Namaste – where you are at your best and I am at my best. We created a place where every person who walked through the door was family, not a potential revenue stream. We conducted a grand experiment in kindness.

The Better Angels Festival is an idea around which a community formed. Our thought was: Generosity makes everyone feel good, and when we’re generous with the very best of ourselves we spontaneously create something wonderful – so what would happen if a whole bunch of big-hearted folks came together in one place and shared the best they had to offer to anyone who wished to receive it?

What happens, we learned, is healing. The literal kind was administered from 10AM-5PM every day, when physical therapists, reiki practitioners, acupuncturists and all sorts of other holistic healers shared their gifts with strangers and friends who needed love. The figurative healing happened all day and all night and into eternity. When the main goal is taking care of each other, goodness occurs.Temple Mural

The young woman who likes to feed people cooked fresh meals from donated ingredients. The young man who likes to paint made a majestic mural. The spoken word artists recited. The carpenter constructed. The videographers made videos. Dancers danced. Musicians played. Classes were given and lessons received. Wellness was granted.

We had a Wall of Kindness. On it was painted the Abraham Lincoln quote that reminded us to connect with “the better angels of our nature.” And so were the words “I Mural 3pledge to bring kindness into the world.” Beneath it dozens of the better angels of Los Angeles inscribed their name.

Many appreciative visitors wondered how the Better Angels Festival is funded. The answer is it’s not. Everything is donated. Everything is volunteered. Everyone who is there wants to be there. Everyone who is there should be there.

We managed to serve and to thrive for 10 days. Which means that, theoretically, it should be possible to do it for 11 days. Or 12. And then what might happen?

We hope one day you’ll join us on this beautiful path. It’s hard work. It’s good work. It’s the best work we’ve ever done.

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