― Fred Rogers
*UPDATE: over 16,000 tokens are now in circulation!*
What is a Tikkun Token?
Tikkun Tokens are free tokens to give to people who are seen doing something kind or thoughtful.
What "Tikkun" Means
Tikkun means “to repair” in Hebrew. Tikkun Tokens are based on the Jewish idea of “Tikkun Olam”, or “repair of the world”. Tikkun Olam is the idea that our purpose on the planet is to repair it and to make it better than it was when we got here. Acts of kindness, particularly between strangers, and recognizing those acts, is one small way that can we repair the world.
When our son Simon was an infant, he became very sick. We spent 4 months in the ICU while he was gravely ill and a number of years nearly house-bound once he was released.
One thing I remember most vividly about that time was how much even the smallest acts of kindness, including help from people we had never even met, meant to me. These moments of connection helped me get through one of the hardest experiences of my life.
Over the last few years, I have tried to pay it forward by doing Random Acts of Kindness whenever I can, but sometimes I’m just too overwhelmed to come up with creative ways to do them.
I recently visited a friend in Tuscon, AZ and as we were packing up to take me to the airport to fly home, she gave me a Ben's Bells token.
I gave my token to someone I saw helping a mother travelling alone with a small child as we went through security at the airport. I was so inspired by his response and my own joy at the exchange that I started sketching out my own project on the flight home.
I loved the idea of a simple tool people could use to recognize another person's act of kindness and that can be used as a small act of kindness in itself. I wanted to root this project in the value I hold most dear, "Tikkun Olam", or repair of the world.
It is my most core belief that we can all be ambassadors of goodness and repair as we walk through the world. My hope is that these tokens help people do that work.
Benefits of Tikkun Tokens
Research shows that doing and witnessing acts of kindness not only helps our world, it can also help our brains.
Tikkun Tokens accomplish three goals:
REINFORCE: Tikkun Tokens reinforce the kind and thoughtful behaviors we all want to see more of.
REWIRE: Most of us are overwhelmed with constant news about bad things and it has a negative effect on our brains. Encouraging people to look for the goodness happening around them can actually help re-wire our brains by strengthening the connections related to happiness.
RECONNECT: Humans are born wanting to connect with each other. Just watch most children on a playground and time how long it takes them to make a new friend. Tikkun Tokens give people a tool to remember how easy it can be to connect with someone we don't know yet.
What will the money go towards?
The money generated by this campaign will be used to pay for:
-The cost of the tokens
-Shipping materials and postage to get Tikkun Tokens to anyone who wants to begin sharing them in their own community.
Any amount will help!
Today we hit the financial goal that was set to cover the cost of the tokens ordered so far. The orders are still rolling in, so I'm upping to goal with the aim to order another 5,000 tokens when the current stash gets low.
I had no idea how successful this experiment would be when it started it a little less than a year ago. None of it would have been possible without the support of people like you.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
P.S. to order more tokens or tell a friend about them, go to www.tikkuntokens.org.