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Handing Out Cards In Boston and Rediscovering Beauty 
06:45pm 01/07/2003
mood: Very happy!
"Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life..."

I gave out 14 cards. The first one was really tough, because it's so thoroughly against the way we're all raised to just go up to random people and compliment them. The second and third were also really tough, but I started to really enjoy myself. By the fifth or sixth, I was all over that shit, and when I ran out of ones that fit people (I didn't get to take as many with me as I wanted), I was really, really sad, because I saw all these people who deserved compliments and I didn't have cards for them.

I also found myself really redefining what I thought of as beauty. It's so interesting to look at every person you see and observe everything about them, rather than just pass without a second thought. You find so much that you thought mattered that doesn't, and so much that you didn't think mattered that does. Now, I don't think I've ever been too shallow in my judgement of beauty- I've never seen women as just T&A or whatever, but I found myself thinking more strongly than ever about what a person's manner, bearing, dress, etc. really said about them. Here are some specific people I gave cards to:

A biker who had only moderate style, but I took the liberty of assuming that the faded writing on his bag was cool, largely because he was a biker. I decided that next time I will take biker-specific cards, because people that bike around, conserving energy, getting exercise, being independent, really deserve compliments.

A goth guy with lots of buttons on his bag for bands I'd never heard of, except the cure (I've only vaguely heard of them) and manson.

A beautiful girl with a gorgeous red ribbon in her hair.

A street performer with awesome dreads and much charisma. I didn't stay to watch his act, but he had a pretty good crowd, so I assume he was likewise pretty good.

I avoided girls wih boyfriends. Hopefully, they already feel loved. If not, I don't want to mess their beaus. I also avoided homeless people. I'm not sure why, but it was just kind of uncomfortable- I didn't want them to think I was mocking them or anything. I probably should have given cards to the ones with cool style, and I'll try to modify my behavior next time. I also saw a bunch of people I would have given cards to, but then they went into mcdonalds or shouted "Hey! There's a starbucks!"

I avoided people with franchise shopping bags, and people with prada bags.

I got laughed at a couple times, but I don't mind, I suppose.

I tried really hard to find someone to give the "your action has made the world a better place" and the "your generosity has made the world a better place" cards to someone, but I just didn't see anything worthy of them. That was kind of disappointing. I'm sure if I had hung out by a beggar long enough I would have seen something, but I didn't even see anyone pick up any random trash or anything.

That's about it for a summary of my complimenting. I think you should all get out and try it yourselves! It's incredible to define your feelings on beauty, whether they agree with mine or not. It's incredible to make someone's day. It's incredible to just be able to really *say something* to the wonderful people around you.

-Jack out
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My Cards 
08:45am 28/06/2003
  Okay, so here are the cards I'm going to hand out:

You have been recognized as being beautiful X10
Your style is beautiful and unique X5
Your hair is beautiful and unique X5
Your tattoos are beautiful
Your action has made the world a better place
Your action has demonstrated to the people around you that the environment matters - You are beautiful
Your buttons are beautiful
Your smile is beautiful- Don't ever stop
Your eyes are beautiful
You have just done something beautiful
You have a wonderfully impressive air about you

On the back is:


I've got 10 of the first one, five each of the second and third, and one each of the subsequent ones. I made the last one 'cause I wanted to see if I could pick a random impressive-looking business person and get them to come to the Project page. I'm planning on going into Boston to hang around the commons on Tuesday- my first free day in a while.

Congrats to Tina on her cards- if you haven't yet, check her last post. She really affected at least one person. Yeah the Project!

'Beautiful' prototype. 
10:35pm 20/06/2003
  Here's my first set of cards, probably to be given out sometime this weekend:



We'll see how this goes...

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Mission: Issue Compliments! 
10:51pm 20/06/2003
mood: Pleased with myself and Tina
This is the mission that inspired the Project in the first place. The mission is to issue compliments to people you don't know, but who you think deserve them. The mission is to be accomplished by giving the person a card of your own design that says the compliment, and hopefully also directs them to the Project so that they may spread the word to others if they like the idea. Tina and I will both be posting our specific cards soon.

My plan is to create 50 cards, each with a different compliment (like "You have beautiful hair" or "You have remarkable style"), and go into Boston one day and try to give them all out on the common. I will also be putting the Project URL on the back side of the cards, but others may wish to use a personal e-mail or the generic Project e-mail (fredrogersproject@yahoo.com). I'm going to be saying something along the lines of:
This compliment brought to you by The Fred Rogers Project

I'll let post more when I have some specific creations. Let's see how many responses we can get!

-Jack out
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Won't you be my neighbor? 
09:41pm 20/06/2003
mood: excited
"was there ever a god or goddess of friendship or kindness?"
"Yes, and his name was Mr. Rogers."

And so spawns the creation of tekunokurato and myself, The Fred Rogers Project. Where, as our mission statement claims, we strive to break down social barriers by engaging in creative missions that stimulate kindness and recognize beauty.

What does that mean?

It means that most people are underappreciated. And it can be changed, even in this small way. It's any random act of kindness turned into a creative mission to appreciate the people around you. It can be anything, there are no limits or boundries to this.

You don't have to be any kind of person to be able to do this. It can be annonymous or otherwise. You can think big or small. Anything. So long as you're someone who enjoys making others happy, their day a little more surreal, you can be a part of this.

This community will be for sharing the responses you get to the Project. To see how others are faring, and perhaps even for ideas to steal. It's starting off with two people and a half-assed "That'd be cool" thought that appeared at 3AM, but it can grow. I'd like to see it do just that.