Community Tip of the Day: Send A Latte of Human Kindness

Ah community.

  • Where the seething hordes of imbeciles and bad spellers heckle the makers of perfect prose.
  • Where the trolls and the ogres outpace a Tolkien novel. Where There Be Dragons.
  • ...But when it shines, it really shines.

For example, there is a Facebook photo album I became aware of through my Facebook network called "Everything is possible..." and repeats the phrase in French. It features a photo of what looks like a young Jewish boy with his arm around a young Arab boy walking along (they are seen from the back.)

The originator of the album says she intended to put it up and have a few friends tag it. She's now replicated this photo 72  times so that people can see it through their friends' tagging and add their own names (I think 30 people apiece can tag a photo). It's become a meme about peace.

There is no info about the source of the photo, which implies the originator didn't shoot it. It may be two kids in a US high school play or summer camp, or it may be in the Middle East. The image however - combined with the caption - was so captivating it took on a life of its own.  The album grew so large replicating the photo that she gave up and made a Facebook group out of it where there are over 150 comments as of it has over 500 and the group has over 12,000 members today. Mostly the comments left have been about peace, and possibility. Some have been angry or have their own axe to grind, but mostly it is positive and keeps spreading.

I call this effect the latte of human kindness because it is not really milk - hot milk puts me to sleep and sometimes the milk of human kindness is so soothing it lulls. Sometimes kindness can be so relaxing you lose barricades in your head. The facebook album image is a kind image - two young boys together. Like the cuteoverload blog, or LOLcats, any photos of children together tend to give humans a feeling of warmth.

But by calling it "Everything is possible,"  the originator just added the two shots of espresso. The photo now tells a story and the image is striking enough you know instantly what the story is, and how the originator meant you to read it. It is a call to action: Those kids can get along, why can't we?

Social media gurus will tell you tricks to make your community messages snappy and pithy; marketing and brand folks will tell you how to sell yourself. But there is something about kindness and calling out possibility that sells itself.

So you know, I purposefully do not link to this Facebook group because

  1. this blog isn't about politics and I don't want to get embroiled into the reasons why peace should or should not happen in the Middle East- that's not the point of community tip of the day - you can type in the name and search for it on facebook to see the group
  2. this photo and group is a Facebook  "friend" phenomenon and that's the way it should's had no difficulty and its power lies in itself.

Live it vivid! (what world-changing photo album will YOU create? :) )