by Bo Suh, Good Magazine
New Year’s resolutions tend to be specific: finally convincing yourself to try out CrossFit, working harder, or cutting junk food out of your diet. But for Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman, creators of the 40 Days of Dating project, their promise to themselves was a bit broader: to be more kind.
With their new experiment, 12 Kinds of Kindness, the two collaborators sought to bring fulfillment not only to themselves but also to the people around them. For each month throughout a year, Walsh and Goodman tested out different ways in which humans—ranging from family members to strangers—express empathy, find forgiveness, and show appreciation through a variety of meaningful actions and interactions. The result is a collection of stories, photos, videos, and illustrations that challenge and inspire readers to practice being better people.
All images courtesy of Jessica Walsh and Timothy Goodman
“Kindness is one thing we all have the ability to share. It’s free, it feels great, and it’s within our control. So, why is it so difficult to be kind at times?” the duo asks on the website, questioning their own behaviors and society at large.
The steps Walsh and Goodman implemented range from simple, easy practices, like smiling, to challenging but rewarding confrontations like forgiving someone who hurt you in the past. Others depended on the actions of others: The tenth step, “Pay It Forward,” left money in the hands of strangers and trusted them to do something kind with it.
In the end, their goal was to “open our hearts, eyes, and minds.” By the end of the project, it looks like a lot more people will be inspired to open themselves up, too.
The project launched early this week, with steps one and two available, and will continue to be updated until February 11. Watch the trailer for the project below.