Ash Wednesday is when Christians are metaphorically reminded how brief this life is. We are made of dust and will one day return to dust. And while it may look silly to have the black mark of ash on your forehead today, this time of year is what it is all about. Sure, Christmas gets the lights and the presents and the hype — but Jesus’ 40 days the desert leading to Easter defines our faith. (As does the Easter story.)
40 days is both exceedingly long if you make lent about what you are “sacrificing” or a quick few weeks if you consider adding a new attitude. Calculated Acts of Kindness (CAOK) is a campaign I’ve led for the last few years to encourage others to use these 40 days as a time to give to others. Do it in huge, self-congratulatory ways. Do it anonymously. I don’t care. But make the next few weeks brighter for those around you. Practice kindness and love by picking up litter, donating to the food bank, complimenting the cranky admin assistant.
I’m doing it too. I promise.
There is no need to be of a specific faith, or have faith, to participate. If there is one thing all humans should be able to agree upon, it is that we could use some additional kindness in our world.
P.S. I’d love to hear how you participate!