Pink Shirt Day got its start in 2007 when a couple of Nova Scotia teenagers noticed a fellow classmate getting bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. David Shepherd and Travis Price then bought and distributed 50 pink shirts to “stand up against bullying,” giving rise to anti-bullying days all around the world. For this week’s vlog, I went to the Metrotown to dole out some random acts of kindness in celebration of Pink Shirt Day.

This follows the generous theme of donating to charity from last week’s vlog and I hope it’s a theme we can carry throughout the year. Pink Shirt Day was last Wednesday and it seems to fall on a different day each year. On the international front, the United Nations established “Anti-Bullying Day” as May 4. Here in Canada, we tend to observe it toward the end of February.

If we were to place “bullying” on one end of the spectrum, the absence of bullying might be interpreted as the neutral position. While admirable, that’s not really enough. To this end, a core slogan for this year’s Pink Shirt Day is to “make nice.” Random acts of kindness are just one way to “make nice,” and Metropolis at Metrotown empowered me with gift cards to surprise some random shoppers.

You may have seen some of my random acts of kindness through Instagram last week. The above vlog gives you a little more insight and perspective into what I was doing. The experience was a little awkward and uncomfortable, especially as an introvert. Frantically running around the mall buying donuts and stuffed animals for people was certainly different than coming for Santa photos.

But I also noticed just how hesitant some people were to accept the gifts.

A general air of cynicism runs through our society if we always question why someone is being nice to us. What’s the ulterior motive? What’s in it for you? This is all the more reason why we need to be kind and “make nice” more often. These random acts of kindness really shouldn’t be so rare and unexpected. Everyone would be better off if we were kinder and more courteous to one another.

And the best way to disarm a bully is to be kind to them. Perhaps all they need is a little love.