- How did you come up with the idea for Secret Blue Butterfly, and the name as well?
One day my daughter and I went out for a bike ride. During our ride through a park we came upon a beautiful chalk drawing on the cement of the bike path. The drawing was so beautiful it caused us both to stop and read what was written on the sidewalk.
“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
This well-known quote by Mark Twain became the foundation for the project we were soon to start. We began talking about the idea of kindness; specifically, random acts of kindness.
“Who do you think drew this?” my daughter asked.
“I don’t know who did it, but whoever did this should be proud. This is a beautiful gesture. Just think how it brightened our day.”
Sometimes the wisdom of children supersedes what adults know. My daughter went on to tell me that maybe it’s best that we don’t know who drew the picture with the quote because when we get to know the messenger too well we let our own biases about the person change the inherent message. I was impressed with my daughter’s insight on this.
Thus began the conversation. We wondered what would happen if once a day we did one random act of kindness and we left something as a symbol of that act but we never told anyone who actually did the act. We could spread love and kindness without the need for personal recognition and hope it would touch others to do the same. Thus, committing a chain of kindness that might one day spread around the world. One small act can transform the world. This became our clarion call for the Secret Blue Butterfly.
“We could leave something behind to let others know they have been visited by a secret admirer,” I suggested to my daughter.
“What should we leave?” She asked.
I reminded my daughter of the time we visited Costa Rica on a vacation and we were up in the rain forest and we saw a beautiful Blue Morpho butterfly. Since the blue butterfly is the symbol of transformation we decided that this would be our trademark that accompanied our kind acts. Our goal was to have these beautiful blue butterflies become the symbol of pollinating the world with kindness and love.
We were both excited about the idea as we rode our bikes home. Once we got home I immediately got online and secured the domain name www.secretbluebutterfly.com and the next day we began our journey. This has become the single most rewarding experience that I share with my children. Each day I am allowed to illustrate the impact we are able to make with one kind act. More than 60 countries have Secret Blue Butterflies fluttering about sprinkling kindness everywhere they go and the number keeps spreading.
We are the love we seek and the only requirement we have is to take the first step to a more loving and kind world.
- Was it just you at first doing these small acts of kindness and how did it grow (you now have over 16K followers on Twitter)?
My daughter and I started with one kind act a day that we would post through social media. I always tell her, it is our job to take the first step to a more loving and kind world so each day we would take that step together. If we walk long enough alone eventually someone will follow and that is what happened for us. Over time people requested cards and then they took their first step. If enough people take the first step we can and will change the world.
I also think people are looking for more kindness in the world and the Sb2 Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages grew out of that desire. I always tell people who write in, “Keep being kind even when there is no evidence it is working because it is always working. We just have to keep shining the light of love.”
- You ask that those who download the butterfly cards and donate keep their gifts/names a secret – what’s important about that?
If kindness has a name and a face it has an owner. We call all be kind. Everyone can do it. The Secret Blue Butterfly wishes for nothing more than spreading love and kindness in the world. Where this comes from matters not because one kind act can change the world so let us all manifest that kind act. At some point in everyone’s life we have all desired and needed an act of kindness to give us hope. There will come a time when our spirit will be low and we will need a lift so with this knowledge it is important to offer that very lift when things in our life are going well. This is the compassion that is at the root of all love and since love is our essence it is our mutual goal to be kind and loving to one another. Love is simply all there is.
For some reason people have been told it is impolite or improper to take credit for doing kind acts. I have never been able to recognize why it is okay to gossip and put people down and do so very vocally but it is impolite to talk about doing something kind for someone. In our society this is perceived as braggadocio however it is the very thing we need the most. We need teachers to illustrate what kindness looks like so that we can show the world the compassion we all seek. I do believe the time has come when we need more people celebrating their acts of kindness because it will illustrate to the disenfranchised that there are kind people in the world and there is hope.
The Secret Blue Butterfly gives people the opportunity to do kind acts in an anonymous way in the hopes that more people participate. Maybe one day it will be considered cool to be kind and we will celebrate those that are kind.
- What are some of the most moving acts of kindness you’ve heard about?
The most loving act we can offer to another human being is simply listening. We all long to be heard so if we can move to the space of listening we have given the gift that our greatest spiritual teachers have challenged us to achieve; the gift of presence. We all long to be heard, we all long to be seen and this is an act of kindness everyone can give.
- Can you tell us more about your suggested giving amount – $5 or less – and why that is?
The thing that I hear the most is, “I don’t have anything to give. If I had more I would give but until then I can’t.” This is fundamentally contrary to how the law of attraction works. We must take the first step to a kinder world. We will not be given until we give. It is important to remember that true kindness comes in forms that cost nothing. Smile at a stranger, write a note to a friend, hold a door for someone or simply compliment someone. These are things anyone can do no matter your financial circumstances. Less than $5 or free is something every human being can do and when we decide to do this our world will be healed of the pain and separation that currently exists. When we paralyze ourselves with inaction we disempower ourselves. Our power comes in our ability to give and to see the common humanity in others. This is the essence of giving, we give not to another we give to ourselves through the act of giving for giving reaffirms our humanity.
6. What role does social media play when it comes to the Secret Blue Butterfly movement?
This movement would not exist without social media. The brilliance of social media is it brings communities together from around the world to create a more loving and kind word. Social media has the potential to illustrate to us how similar everyone on the planet is. Kindness in one community has the potential to create a ripple effect of kindness around the world, we must only dedicate ourselves to becoming a conduit of love around the world and social media is the platform that broadcasts our mutual desire for a more loving and kind world.
- What is your ultimate vision for this organization?
Kindness resides in every human heart. My wish is that kindness be realized and recognized by all. The “houseless” person shares the same humanity as the “CEO” and these are just labels that we use to separate ourselves from our shared journey. We are all teachers if only we have the vision and compassion to see each other as such.
- Why do you wish to remain anonymous?
Who I am matters not? The only thing of any importance is a message of kindness and love. Kindness has no face and compassion has many siblings. We are all love and we are all light. To sanctify one at the expense of another undermines the very nature of our oneness. I wish to go unrecognized because I am not the parent of kindness, I am quite humbly just one of her children that is here to serve the very best way that I can.
- What role would you like to see social media play when it comes to spreading kindness?
I have profound love for social media because its potential is so vast. Whatever we put our attention on grows so when we use social media to bring messages of hope and love then hope and love will find us. When social media becomes the beacon for kindness then kindness will fill out streets. It is important what kind of messages we allow into our consciousness so when we place our attention on social media outlets that devotes their feed to loving messages then those messages will spread and permeate throughout the world. Across wide oceans and tall mountains we are able to reach our fellow humans to celebrate the love that exists in all of us. We must only be present to recognize and acknowledge this shared love and social media is the potential conduit for that love. Messages that are not in alignment with love serve us no other purpose than to separate and it is important to disallow this energy from entering our loving consciousness.
10. How can people get started who wanted to get involved?
Before you go to bed tonight compliment someone you love. Tell someone you love how much they mean to you. Do the dishes for your spouse. When kindness starts at home you are on the road to being kind everywhere you go. It is like working out or meditating, we practice each daily to get our bodies, mind and spirit strong and soon kindness will become our very essence and then we will see the very world that we have always long to see. Take the first step with someone you love and soon your world with transform. And if you want to do random acts of kindness for strangers and want some free butterfly cards go to www.secretbluebutterfly.com. We would love to have you on this journey of love and kindness with us. We are the change. We are the love. We are the first step.