pennies of love…

February 27, 2010

…the real kindness work is within ourselves, in that opening of our own hearts. and once you are truly practicing this extreme love, this ahimsa, others around you will too. those are the big guns. when the drop of water that begins on the tip of a leaf reaches the ocean, it is still the drop of water, but it is also the ocean. we are all the drop of water and the ocean. -Sara Heifetz

I’ve been lost all week, reeling in my head and dropping grenades everywhere I turned. It was the kind of week of such emotional intensity, even higher than my usual state if you can imagine such a thing, my heart and head trying to push through anger and frustration…and then I read that the Westboro Baptist Church is coming to town. A group using deep hate to express themselves, going for the jugular on so many levels. They plan to protest our local Holocaust Museum, our Jewish Community Center, a local temple and high school this Tuesday, March 2nd in our Richmond, our RVA. I instantly felt a sort of shock this exists in the world, my energy shifting to wrap my mind around it.

All day I thought about kindness and wondered…Is kindness strong enough for this? Would it really change everything? What can we do to turn this on it’s side? I felt genuinely perplexed…I know it’s there, I can feel it but I just can’t quite see it. So I sat quietly in my kindness dark for a bit…

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Dr. King

…and after talking to some fellow mama’s, my friend Sarah heard of an idea that some brilliant folks in NYC had. For every minute these signs were held in the air they asked folks to contribute to a fund that would benefit the very people who are meant to be the targets. Thousands of dollars were raised for just a 30 minute protest. So my friends Sarah, Sara, Jess and I dreamed of what might happen if we invited our friends and our whole city to do the same. 

Every penny would be an offering of kindness reminding us that we will choose love and believe it will conquer all.

Within 2 hours, Sarah created a website,  wrote a press release and we all started to get the word out. It seems lots of people believe the same, here we are 24 hours later holding $2000 in open hands.   

And yet there is part of me that felt so conflicted as we are turning this dark thing into light, knowing I continue to struggle with my own unrest in my frustrated heart from earlier this week. All of it starts to connect after reading Sara’s words, while my actions have not taken me to a place to carry any sign with such hate, yet my own angry heart is holding a big brightly colored sign begging for love and kindness. …and so the kindness light is brighter than ever. In tiny pennies, in everyday troubles, and even in the deepest hate, LOVE is alive…

If you would like to join us in making an offering of kindness go to Pennies in Protest or join us as we talk more and share ideas on our Facebook Fan page  


19 Responses to “pennies of love…”

  1. Jess Says:

    The work of kindness is never done, but it really does change the world!

  2. kelly Says:

    ha! i should have known kindnessgirl was behind this! i cannot wrap my head around those people and their message. i. just. cannot. but no matter; we don’t have to understand something to pour love over it. 200,000 pennies of love…

  3. vanessa Says:

    So you are going all mother Teresa on them! Wasn’t it she that said when asked to protest against the war in Vietnam, No, but went to say, however if invited to a sit in FOR peace and she would go. What a great approach guys! Bravo. I stumbled, fb and tweeted it for what it is worth.

    amazing… always amazing…:)

  4. Amber Says:

    This is a truly fabulous response to an ugly action. Kindness and love really will change everything, I think.

  5. Beckey Says:

    go kindness and love!!!

  6. Sarah Says:

    $3000 now, Richmond homies!

  7. charbatkin Says:

    Thank you for presenting a constructive alternative.

    The whole WBC thing really does appear to be just a hurtful scam, and counter-protests seem not only pointless, but playing right in to them.


    But creating something useful in its own right sets a wonderful example for all.

    Thank you.

  8. Alex Says:

    What a great idea :D. Thank you and your mama friends for the time and effort y’all put into this.
    I think about what it must be like to spend all day hating people. I think of my small daily resentments and how mean and unhappy they make me. I couldn’t imagine going to sleep each night with hatred as the mission of your life. As hard as it is for me to remember, the WBC probably need love too.

  9. Sarah Says:

    $4500 and counting!

  10. kimmy Says:

    I’m glad you’ve provided an alternative to protesting. I used to be a protester type but concluded that the energy I was using was little different from the energy those I was protesting against were using…so I put down the rope (tug-of-war metaphor) and walked away. I prefer now to use my energy for the good. Volunteering, pennies and guerilla kindness are great alternatives! Thanks Patience. I was seriously getting disturbed that so many folks wanted to get out there and hate on the haters….that still might happen but I think lots of folks are pleased to have another choice.

  11. noromom Says:

    Thanks Sarah! Thanks Patience! What a simple, peaceful way to support these fabulous organizations in our community! Hurray!

  12. mysticaljett Says:

    Just catching up on my blog reading and so I am late. (Sorry). I have trouble – and struggle – understanding such people myself. All that energy spent on hate when it could be spent doing something constructive and in the name of God no less. I got to say though, I hadn’t heard of your approach until just now and thought it was a fantastic plan! I am glad you raised so much money too. Just reading about it was uplifting. Kudos!

  13. vanessa Says:

    hey… I forgot mom gave me 5 bucks for this, is it too late too put in? If so, will donate directly.

  14. Amirault Says:

    go kindmess snd love!!!;

  15. Having stumbled across your blog – I find I love it. I thought I would find it saccharine sweet when I started reading it – having a strong streak of English cynic running through me and I find that I find the message and living in the world this way a challenge. A real example of living life with conviction… Reminds me of “pass it on…”

  16. […] may remember long ago when The Westboro Baptist Church came to my city…some dear friends and I found ourselves in the middle of something quite amazing, hatred was […]

  17. […] kind I was afraid might not be there at all and ended up being deeper than I ever […]

  18. Ashley Says:


    We are branding the penny as a positive American icon and symbol of mindful change. Your post stuck us because of the photo above and your beautiful passion for kindness. We believe in what you are doing. May we ask where the photo is from? We would like to use it on our Facebook page but want to make sure that was okay with you.
    Have a beautiful day!

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