Eye-opening experiment shows skeptics that kindness doesn’t always involve a hidden motive (VIDEO)

The Brooklyn-based charity kindness.org sent a man out on the street to offer help to strangers and recorded their sometimes stunned and suspicious, but often heart-warming, reactions.

Kristen Curette | Stocksy United

These days, it’s all too easy to be suspicious or even scared when we’re offered help by a stranger. Maybe it’s all the scary reports about unsafe streets on the news, or our fear-mongering Facebook feeds that make it hard for us to accept genuine, no-strings-attached kindness from a stranger. (And, yes, of course, stranger danger is a serious issue that kids need to learn about.) But sometimes an act of kindness (either accepting or offering one) means looking past all that fear, and finding the commonality between us so that we can help one another, and we can learn from one another, even if we’ve only just met.

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The nonprofit Kindness.org created a video with all of these ideas in mind. Watch what happens when a young man, Joe, challenges himself to engage with total strangers and long-lost friends, asking a very simple question: Can I help you with anything? Often, people reject his offers to help out of suspicion or discomfort, but many others accept his small deeds, and the results are heartwarming. (Bonus: lot’s of really cute British accents.)

This video should inspire us all to put ourselves on the front lines for kindness. Not goody-goody for the sake of social approval and brownie points, but actually good, just like we learned in kindergarten and Sunday School. Even if you just take on one simple act, like giving directions to someone who looks lost, or lending a hand to someone you don’t know.

As Joe reminds us in the video: “A small thing is meaningful. Because it can have that butterfly effect.” And it starts with you.

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