Hi I'm Megan Snedden: the mischief maker behind the Kind Effect.
The Kind Effect is a positive video series about the impact of kindness.
My intention is to create authentic moments of joy and compassion, then share them in order to pay forward kindness that was shown to me during a time of my life when I needed it the most.
But why the grand gestures?
I've been a quirky, spontaneous person my whole life.
When I was a younger, I used to pull off elaborate heists to celebrate friends and family: planning surprise parties for my parents on every single milestone (including Mother's and Father's Day, anniversaries, and holidays); kidnapping people from my dance team at 4 a.m. to celebrate their birthdays; filling people's rooms with notes of gratitude hidden in every drawer and coat pocket I could find. So while I could just leave dollar bills in random books at the library, I find it more meaningful to create experiences that are designed to make someone feel special, one person at a time.
For more on the impact of kindness, please read below.
ON GRIEF, COMPASSION, AND WHY I'M REALLY DOING THIS (Part 1)
I didn't realize the true impact of good deeds until I went through tragedy and relied on the kindness of others to feel whole again.
In 2011 when I received the unexpected news that my father's plane had fatally crashed in the Sierra Mountains, the incident tore my life apart. In losing him I felt I lost a part of myself, and the grief wasn't the only hard part. On top of planning a funeral, dealing with the NTSB (a government wing that investigates plane crashes), I had to suddenly leave behind behind my career ambitions in New York City and fly home to California to help my mom run my dad's construction business, plus deal with all the legal stuff that goes with that. Luckily my mom and I are a tight unit, so we helped each other a lot.
In the aftermath of the loss, I felt broken. However, through all that mess, people I hardly knew stepped up to help me in so many ways. A few girls in New York packed up my apartment in the City and kept my belongings safe while also helping line up a sublessor, so I didn't have to pay rent while back in California. A friend's uncle helped out with our construction project. A friend from elementary school fixed our broken toilet. And in the years after the loss, strangers saw me at my absolute worst, but chose to be my friends and love me anyway, despite all the tears and emotional ups and downs.
There were times I honestly thought the grief would kill me, but the kindness of strangers (plus the support of my mom) got me through it. So now, I just want to pay that forward by doing for others what others did for me.
THE CALLING FOR MORE GOOD NEWS AND WHY I'M REALLY DOING THIS (PART 2)
I've noticed this year that moral in the United States is at an all-time low. The news churns with negative stories that provoke anxiety, depression, and helplessness, and it's been disheartening to witness just how upset it makes people.
The Kind Effect is my way of reminding others that simple good things happen every day. And honestly, I just want to share stories that make people laugh, feel connected to their hearts, and become more optimistic about their potential do good in the world despite all the challenges on the planet today.
Let's start by creating some good news for each other.
WHAT CAN THE IMPACT OF KINDNESS LOOK LIKE?
When motivational speaker Tony Robbins was 11 years-old, a stranger showed up at his doorstep with bags full of food on Thanksgiving. Tony's family didn't have enough money for a meal that day, let alone other days of the year.
Tony never forgot that simple, yet impactful kind gesture. Inspired by what this stranger did for his family, as an adult Robbins partnered with Feeding America and its nationwide network of food banks to feed millions of families. In 2016, his 100 Million More Meals Challenge elicited 101.6 million meals for children, families, and seniors across the US. All this because someone decided to invest a small portion of their time and money to help Tony when he needed it the most.
You never know how something either negative or positive that you do will influence someone else's life. Tony's story inspires me because I'd like to think that the deeds performed through the Kind Effect on an individual level, could go on to positively impact millions of others.