Pledge to listen: How a free trip to Egypt changed lives, attitudes

(BPT) - The familiar phrase “random acts of kindness” has its origins on a placemat in Sausalito in 1982, on which writer Ann Herbert wrote, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty.” The idea took on a life of its own, with stories of strangers buying groceries for others or feeding someone else’s parking meter. The idea is simple: Doing something selfless, with no other thought than to brighten someone’s day, creates a ripple effect. Kindness spreads, making the world a happier place.

But these days, many yearn for more. Divisiveness and distrust in the public discourse can leave people feeling isolated and angry. One man decided to do something about it, taking a big risk by reaching out to others in what might be called a random act of listening.

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