The Not So Feel Good Ripple

November 25, 2010
Last year Servus Credit Union started a new movement called the Feel Good Ripple. They gave away $10 to anyone that stopped into a branch, along with ‘ripple cards’, encouraging recipients to do something good for someone else and pass along the ripple. I think this was an amazing idea, encouraging the random acts of kindness and creating a movement across Alberta.

This year Servus has brought the ripple back. In October, more $10 packages with ripple cards were handed out. People were encouraged to continue doing good deeds and to share their story on the Feel Good Ripple website (www.feelgoodripple.ca). Again, I was excited for this campaign and eager for the perfect opportunity to do something nice for someone.

Last week I had been out and about a bit later than usual and remembered I needed to pick up a couple things from the grocery store before I went home. Luckily, Red Deer now has a 24-hour grocery store so I stopped there to quickly grab what I needed. The lady supervising the self check outs looked like she was having a slow night, and I struck up a conversation about how boring it must get there during the night. She was a very friendly lady and I left thankful that there are such great people like that willing to work through the night to give people like myself the opportunity to get groceries at all hours. As I got in my truck and began to drive away I remembered I still hadn’t found a chance to use my Feel Good Ripple money yet. I turned around and went back to the store and found the lady I’d just been talking to. I asked if she was familiar with the Feel Good Ripple campaign and explained the concept. I told her I appreciated her working late hours and that since it looked like she was having a long boring night that she take the money and buy herself a coffee or treat to get through the night, and pass along the ripple.

What happened next shocked me. I was waiting for the thanks and appreciation that comes with receiving a random gift, but instead the lady in front of me offended by my offer. She told me her night was fine and she didn’t want to accept the money from me. I reinstated that it was just a random act of appreciation and kindness and the point was to do something nice for someone and have them pass the kindness along. She then replied that she had enough money of her own and that she didn’t need money from me. At this point I was so blindsided and flustered. I kept encouraging her to take the ripple card and pass along the kindness, even if she didn’t want to use the money to do something for herself, she could use it for someone else. She absolutely would not listen nor accept the feel good effort.

I left the store feeling very shattered and hurt that my effort to brighten someone’s day had failed. All I wanted to do was make someone smile and create my own ripple. To have someone so unwilling to accept generosity from a stranger baffled me. I think in today’s society, there is such a shortage of generosity and kindness that some people don’t know how to react or accept it anymore. To me this is saddening and we need to create change and become a more giving, generous, caring society again.

I went on to use my Feel Good money to help someone who was having trouble with their debit card at a pub the following weekend, but it didn’t leave me with the same sense of pride as I had hoped to receive from my first attempt.

I encourage everyone that may be on the receiving end of a ‘Feel Good Ripple’ or random act of kindness to think about not only what’s being presented to you in physical form, but the thought behind it and the opportunity to pass the feeling along to another deserving individual. We need to show others that it’s ok to accept kindness and it’s ok to pass kindness along.

For more information about Servus Credit Union’s Feel Good Ripple campaign, and to read other (successful) Feel Good Ripple stories, go to www.feelgoodripple.ca

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    100 Cups
    November 26, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    No fun. Sorry to hear about the rejection.

    Try doing something anonymously – sometimes people don't like to accept a kind gesture out of pride, or perhaps they just feel awkward and don't want to feel as if they owe you something, or well, anyone something.

    Do it secretly next time – or make it so that you can't be stopped. Pay someone's bill at a restaurant and have the server just tell them their bill has been paid. Watch the reaction from afar?

    Worth a shot maybe?

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