For an hour on Wednesday morning, the world was a slightly nicer place as Leadership 9 students from Penticton Secondary performed random acts of kindness at school and in the community.
Don Tape, who owns Green Beanz Cafe, was “somewhat taken aback” when two of those students walked into his shop around 8 a.m. and handed him an apple and a small strip of paper with an inspirational quote printed on it.
“Spreading goodwill is a nice thing,” said Tape, who likes the idea of the Leadership class.
“It gets them out seeing how businesses operate and (gives them) a little taste of the real world, that’s it’s not so big, bad and scary out there.”
He also said seeing teenagers perform random acts of kindness could help others see youth in a better light.
“I know lots of good kids; I just raised a daughter who’s 20 now,” Tape said. “But it’s good to see the attitude that they’re showing … and it’s good to see kids doing things and showing an interest in things other than themselves.”
Tape’s good tidings were delivered by Emma Brown and Kamryn Corsi, both of whom are 14 and pleased with the results of their efforts.
“I liked the fact that someone told us we made their day,” said Brown, who also thinks the exercise will help her become more outgoing.
“Usually I don’t go up and talk to people I don’t know, because I used to think it was, like, scary or something. But I think I’m going to be a lot better at socializing after this.”
Corsi said her early morning visit to the city centre provided a different view of it than the one to which she is accustomed.
“You get to see different sides of people, people who are at work, and maybe you run into someone you don’t normally see, like Don at the coffee shop,” Corsi said.
“And it was nice to make people’s days, to see a smile that early in the morning. That makes me feel good, too.”
That was one of the aims of the exercise, confirmed Karen Boyd, who teaches the elective Leadership class, which meets once a week before the regular school day.
“That’s certainly part and parcel of what we’re trying to do: Let them see that in doing good for others it makes us feel strong and enabled,” Boyd said.
But she’s also trying to help the students learn about “selflessness” and “that the world doesn’t owe them everything. That it’s time also to offer up something to the world.”