Day Three: The Kindness Challenge

The third day has come and gone and it is amazing how the KindLab and their acts increase your feeling of happiness. I am still not sure how it affects overall kindness, but possibly when you are kind to yourself you are kinder to others.

As I said yesterday, I am going to explore the survey a bit more. The survey consists of four, easy to answer questions for all participants. The questions are:

  • Did you complete at least one of your acts today?* Yes or No
  • From the list below, select the act or acts you completed, if any (Choose as many as you like) – the list contains all the options I have included.
  • How much effort was involved for you to complete your act or acts? With 0 indicating No Effort and 10 indicating Complete Effort
  • Overall, how happy have you felt today?

Read a poem

Today I decided to read, and listen to, two different poems. The first is Gil Scott Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” a poem first recorded for his 1970 album Small Talk at 125th and Lenox.

The title was a popular Black Power movement slogan in the 1960s and throughout television series, advertising slogan and icons of entertainment are mentioned or alluded to as examples of what the revolution will or will not be or do. Listen to it on YouTube.

The second poem is “Your Revolution” by Sarah Jones, a tribute to Gil Scott Heron, using the same rhythm and flow with a new connotation and meaning. “Your Revolution confronts hip hop from the female perspective. Rather than focusing on the sexual content of hip hop, it deals with the broader picture the power of hip hop and how it confronts the establishment. In her poem she confronts issues of self-respect, misogyny and money worship. Listen to Sarah Jones on YouTube.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – A Poem by Gil Scott Heron

You will not be able to stay home, brother
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and drop out
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and skip
Skip out for beer during commercials
Because the revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
In 4 parts without commercial interruption
The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
Blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John Mitchell
General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
Hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will be brought to you by the Schaefer Award Theatre and
will not star Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen or Bullwinkle and Julia
The revolution will not give your mouth sex appeal
The revolution will not get rid of the nubs
The revolution will not make you look five pounds
Thinner, because The revolution will not be televised, Brother

There will be no pictures of you and Willie Mays
Pushing that cart down the block on the dead run
Or trying to slide that color television into a stolen ambulance
NBC will not predict the winner at 8:32or the count from 29 districts

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
Brothers in the instant replay
There will be no pictures of young being
Run out of Harlem on a rail with a brand new process
There will be no slow motion or still life of
Roy Wilkens strolling through Watts in a red, black and
Green liberation jumpsuit that he had been saving
For just the right occasion
Green Acres, The Beverly Hillbillies, and
Hooterville Junction will no longer be so damned relevant
and Women will not care if Dick finally gets down with
Jane on Search for Tomorrow because Black people
will be in the street looking for a brighter day

The revolution will not be televised

There will be no highlights on the eleven o’clock News
and no pictures of hairy armed women Liberationists and
Jackie Onassis blowing her nose
The theme song will not be written by Jim Webb, Francis Scott Key
nor sung by Glen Campbell, Tom Jones, Johnny Cash
Englebert Humperdink, or the Rare Earth

The revolution will not be televised

The revolution will not be right back after a message
About a white tornado, white lightning, or white people
You will not have to worry about a germ on your Bedroom
a tiger in your tank, or the giant in your toilet bowl
The revolution will not go better with Coke
The revolution will not fight the germs that cause bad breath
The revolution WILL put you in the driver’s seat
The revolution will not be televised

WILL not be televised, WILL NOT BE TELEVISED

The revolution will be no re-run brothers
The revolution will be live

Your Revolution – A Poem by Sarah Jones

Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
The real revolution ain’t about booty size
The Versaces you buys, or the Lexus you don’t drive
And though we’ve lost Biggie Smalls
Baby your notorious revolution
Will never allow you to lace no lyrical douche, in my bush
Your revolution will not be you killing me softly, with Fugees
Your revolution ain’t gonna knock me up without no ring or no plans
And produce little future emcees
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
And your revolution will not find me in the backseat of a jeep
With LL, hard as hell, doin’ it and doin’ it and doin’ it well
Your revolution will not be you smacking it up, flipping it, or rubbing it down
Nor will it take you downtown or humpin around
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
And your revolution will not have me singing, ain’t no nigga like the one I got
And your revolution will not be your ass sending me for no VD shot
And your revolution will not involve me, feelin your nature rise
Or helping you fantasize
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Oh, my Jamaican brother, your revolution will not make you feel bombastic
And really fantastic
And have you groping in the dark for that rubber wrapped in plastic
You will not be touching your lips to my triple dip of french vanilla
Butter pecan, chocolate deluxe
Or having Akinyele’s dream, a 6-foot blowjob machine
You want to subjugate your queen?
Think I’m a put it in my mouth, just cuz you made a few bucks?
And your revolution will not be you dying your hair platinum blonde
Sing about what we gon’ do all night long
Cause all you could see is the thong-tha-thong-thong-thong
Cause that revolution will not happen between these thighs
But, your revolution makes me wonder where could we go
If we could all drop the empty pursuit of props and the ego
And revolt back to our roots, use a little Common Sense
On a quest to make love De La Soul, no pretense
But your revolution will not be you flexing your little sex and status
To express what you feel
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
Will not be you shaking and me *yawn* eventually faking between these thighs
Because, why? Because the revolution, when it finally comes
It’s gonna be real

Watch an online lecture/talk

Today I managed to watch three inspiring and motivational lectures on Ted Talks, all three deal with art and how it can influence communities and knowledge in different ways. The first, el Seed: A project of peace, painted across 50 buildings. El Seed fuses Arabic calligraphy with graffiti, painting messages of hope and peace. This talk deals with his impressions of his most ambitious project, a mural which was painted across 50 buildings in Manshiyat Naser, a district of Cairo, Egypt, that can only be fully seen from a nearby mountain.

The second talk was given by Vanessa Ruiz entitled “The spellbinding art of human anatomy,” in which she takes us on an illustrated journey of anatomical art. Ruiz has a blog, Street Anatomy, which aggregates work that explores the intersection of art and medical illustration.

Finally, the last talk, Melissa Walker: Art can heal PTSD’s invisible wounds, explores the ways in which art can help those suffering psychological trauma because of war. In this talk, Walker describes how mask-making can help reveal the issues, allowing them to let them go.

Meditate (minimum 10 minutes)

Today I pushed my meditation from 12 minutes to 16 minutes. While listening to Moby’s LA3: long Ambients 3: Calm. Sleep, I meditated on the phrase, “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water.”


Watch something you normally wouldn’t

I normally hate Thrillers and Horrors, the whole feeling terrified thing doesn’t work for me, often because I have nightmares about the movie, however Alfred Hitchcock is one of my favourite directors. His movie, Citizen Kane, is a classic and is firmly placed in my Top Ten.

Vertigo, is also on my list of movies to watch before you die – I am still compiling my own definitive list, however it is taking some time to watch all of those movies featured on the lists of others.

Vertigo is a 1958 American film noir, psychological thriller based on the novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by Boileau-Narcejac. It features a former police detective forced into early retirement because of an incident in the line of duty which has caused him to develop acrophobia (the fear of heights, something I totally understand). The story follows John “Scottie” Ferguson as he uncovers the strange behaviour of the wife of an acquaintance.

This film was the first to use the dolly zoom, an in-camera effect that distorts perspective to create disorientation which shows Scottie’s acrophobia. As Roger Ebert says in his Vertigo film review, “‘Vertigo’ (1958), which is one of the two or three best films Hitchcock ever made, is the most confessional, dealing directly with the themes that controlled his art. It is *about* how Hitchcock used, feared and tried to control women.” Hitchcock is known for taking universal emotions, fear for example, and creating beautiful, memorable images that exemplify them.

Listen to a different radio station/music

Today the musical choice was opera. Specifically, Puccini’s “La bohème.” The libretto is based on Henri Murger’s novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème, a collection of vignettes portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s.

The opera’s libretto focuses on the relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì, ending with her death. Puccini is one of my favourite composers, with his Madam Butterfly being my favourite opera (thus far), if interested in Puccini, I highly recommend The Met’s recording of their 2006-2007 Madama Butterfly, directed by Anthony Minghella.

Other suggestion (your own novel act)

Today I had several novel acts, like yesterday, I did 15 minutes of yoga using the Down Dog app.

I also added an entry in the Gratitude Garden, an app designed by Izzy McRae. This app allows you to think about what has gone right in your day to help one increase ones own happiness while rewarding you with points that help you build your gratitude garden. This app shifts your focus from the negative and forces you to focus on positive, even if it is a small positive, like a piece of chocolate.

Other Suggestions:

I was unable to take part in these suggestions today, however over the course of the week I will attempt them.

  • Put some money in your savings account/save for a rainy day
    Eat a different lunch
  • Wear something different, e.g. tie/no tie
  • Take an afternoon nap
    Write a letter asking for a free trial of something
  • Play a song you love and dance to it
    Plant a tree or a flower or a plant
  • Pamper yourself (e.g. have a glass of champagne in the bath)
    Clean/clear an area of your home for 30 minutes
    Go for a walk
    Take a bath in the morning
    Bake something from scratch
  • Take a different route to work
  • Take yourself to the movies
  • Read a different paper/news website

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