Give the Gift of RAKE

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RAKE: Random Acts of Kindness

Most people love to get. Fortunately, thanks to RAKE, many are learning the joy of giving.

If you’re like I was until recently, you might only know RAKE as a tool for collecting leaves. Thanks to friend and B or I contributor, Creed Anthony, I now know much more about RAKE: Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere. Anthony’s Facebook story inspired me to investigate further:

So, my students were pretty generous (as usual) and I found myself with a number of Starbucks cards. So I make my seasonal trip to Starbucks. I’m in the drive thru and the guy behind me looks tired. I decide to take a page out of my boy Ricky Smith’s book. I’m gonna perform a ‪#‎RAKE‬ and pay for this dude’s coffee. I pull up to the window only to find out I have been RAKEd by the woman in front of me. I know it’s not a “big deal”. It may “just be coffee”, but I would like to believe that with all the evil out there in the world – there are far more good people than bad. And so I am enjoying my Peppermint Mocha with a smile and gratitude to the unknown lady in front of me. Merry Christmas everyone. Share the love.Creed Anthony

The timing and topic of the story were both ironic. On the same day Anthony shared his anecdote, I had just returned from a Starbucks in a different state, where a remarkably similar incident occurred. When I retrieved my wallet to pay for my children’s beverages, the barista informed me that someone left money after his purchase to buy coffee for unsuspecting customers. The stranger didn’t stick around for a pat on the back. Like Anthony, we were treated to a random act of kindness.

After considering this serendipity, I began researching Ricky Smith and quickly learned that Smith is a comedian who has a history of silliness and a flair for the dramatic, but he also has an affinity for Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere, or RAKE.

Smith took RAKE on the road, demonstrating how random acts of kindness can happen everywhere everyday. He also created, a non-profit that attempts to inspire, what else, Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere.

Creed Anthony’s story, my own experience of receiving a random act of kindness from a stranger, and Ricky Smith’s story made me consider that during a season that is built on giving, something as simple as a RAKE might be the greatest gift of all.

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Mark Barnes is the Founder of Times 10 Publications, which produces the popular Hack Learning Series, The uNseries, and other books from some of education's most reputable teachers and leaders. Barnes presents internationally on assessment, connected education, and Hack Learning. Connect with @markbarnes19 on Twitter.

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