Spreading Kindness One Act at a Time (Part 1)

April 14, 2023

Joseph Arujo (he/him) is a 19-year old Latinx mental-health activist and content creator based in Los Angeles, CA. He is a freshman student at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, hoping to combine his interests in Business Administration and Media Studies to create a purpose-driven career that makes a difference in his community. As a Community Leader in the TikTok Diversity Collective, Joseph uses his energy to advise companies such as TikTok on diversity, equity, and inclusion, leading to developments such as “Pronouns on profiles,” crediting creator tools, and more. He has steadily grown his online fan base to over 870,000 followers, creating a community centered around spreading positivity and kindness.

Joseph’s hard work and dedication has not gone unnoticed, leading to coverage in various media outlets including Business Insider, Vice, Sweety High, Medium, and many others. He is honored to join Born This Way Foundation’s Advisory Board and committing to the foundations principles of building a kinder and braver world.

Stay up-to-date with Joseph on Instagram at @josepharujo and TikTok at @joseph!

This story took place in United States

Pledge to Take Action

This month, I’ve decided to embark on a journey of kindness by challenging myself to complete 21 random acts of kindness in 21 days. With so much negativity in the world, I wanted to do my part in spreading a little more love and positivity. And, to keep myself accountable and hopefully inspire others to join in, I’m sharing my progress with you! Each day, I’ll be documenting the kind acts I perform, big or small, and reflecting on the impact they have on both myself and the people around me. Let’s make this world a better place, one act of kindness at a time!

Day 1:

Starting off strong, today I had the opportunity to participate in a photoshoot that was completely focused on mental health. A local magazine had sent a photographer to my school, UC Berkeley, and they followed me around for an entire day to capture my routine. The resulting article was all about mental health and my personal journey with it.

I was initially nervous about being in front of the camera for an entire day, but I felt empowered by the fact that I was being given a platform to talk about an issue that is so important to me. Throughout the day, the photographer snapped photos of me studying, practicing meditation, and spending time with friends. We even had a long conversation about the challenges of mental health and the stigma that surrounds it.

As I reflect on the experience, I’m reminded of the importance of spreading kindness every day. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or even something that takes a lot of effort ─ a small act of kindness can go a long way. Whether it’s holding the door open for someone, offering to help a friend, or simply giving someone a compliment, there are endless opportunities to spread kindness every day.

(Photo credit: MARCEL PARDOA)

Day 2:

This morning, I decided to help my friends who were anxious about their upcoming Economics midterm. I offered to help them study and we spent the entire afternoon going over the course material together. After a few hours of studying, we all took a break to grab some coffee, and by the end of the day, my friends felt much more prepared for the exam. Not only was it great helping my friends, but it was also an opportunity to spend some quality time together. It was a win-win situation, and I’m glad I could make a difference.

Day 3:

Today, I had the privilege of attending a ceremony hosted by the Chris Kindness Foundation, a non-profit organization that I work closely with as the Vice President of Marketing. Our team’s mission is to reward kindness in the Berkeley community monthly and offer a $1,000 scholarship to community members who exhibit noble acts of kindness in the city. This week, we celebrated the latest winner of their $1,000 kindness scholarship, Egbert.

Egbert’s act of kindness towards a man who was trapped in his flipped car after an accident earned him the nomination. He pulled over and went to check on the man, displaying selflessness and kindness that made a significant impact on the community and inspired us all.

It’s amazing to see how one small act of kindness can make such a big difference. Through the nomination and voting process, the Chris Kindness Foundation is able to recognize and reward people like Egbert, who are making a real difference in their community. The foundation promotes kindness and positivity, and it’s inspiring to see how it motivates others to do the same.

Day 4:

Today, I decided to do a simple act of kindness and leave some money in a vending machine for the next person who uses it. I had some paper in my backpack, so I left a note that said, “Enjoy a snack on me!” and it felt really good knowing that someone might be happy to find the small reward.

It may have been a simple gesture, but it reminded me that kindness doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes, the simplest acts of kindness can have the biggest impact on someone’s day.

Day 5:

Birthdays are a special time, and it’s important to let the people we care about know how much we appreciate them. Taking a moment to send a thoughtful message or card can really brighten someone’s day and make them feel loved.

Today I wished a friend a happy birthday and sent them a heartfelt message, letting them know how much they mean to me and how grateful I am to have them in my life. It may seem like a small gesture, but sometimes a little bit of kindness can go a long way.

In a world where we are often too busy or distracted to show our appreciation for others, taking the time to wish a friend a happy birthday is a simple way to spread kindness and make a positive impact on someone’s life.

Day 6:

Today, as I was boarding my flight to LA, I noticed a woman struggling to lift her luggage into the overhead compartment on the plane. Without hesitation, I offered to help her lift it up. She was grateful for my assistance, and we struck up a small conversation during the flight.

It was a simple act of kindness, but it made a big difference to her. It’s important to remember that even the smallest act of kindness can have a huge impact on someone’s day.

Day 7:

Tonight, I went to the movie premiere for Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, and I noticed a friend struggling to take a “behind-the-scenes” video of herself on the red carpet. I offered to take the video for her, and she was grateful for the help. It only took a few seconds of my time, but it made her day a little bit easier and happier.

Small acts of kindness like this can make a big difference, especially in a high-stress environment like a movie premiere.

@joseph An amazing early screening for Dungeons & Dragons with @casatiktok @tiktokcreators @paramountpics ♬ Pirates Of The Caribbean – Main Theme – He’s A Pirate – Geek Music

Day 8:

Today, I had the pleasure of visiting La La Land Kind Cafe, a place that truly lives up to its name. After arriving and greeting my friend, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that she bought me a coffee and treated me to my entire breakfast. It may seem like a small gesture, but it truly made my day. We had a great time catching up with each other, and at the end of our visit, she even surprised me with a thoughtful gift, which brought a big smile to my face.

Experiencing this act of kindness reminded me of the power of simple gestures. A small act of kindness can go a long way in brightening someone’s day, and I’m grateful to have such a thoughtful friend in my life. I hope to pay it forward by doing something kind for someone else and spreading positivity, just like the folks at La La Land Kind Cafe.

Day 9:

Today, I had a medical scare, leading to a late-night visit to the emergency room; however, I did not let this take away from the opportunity to spread kindness at the hospital. While resting in the ICU, my doctor walked in and I noticed that she looked completely exhausted. I could tell that she had been working long hours and was probably dealing with a lot of difficult situations.

So, I decided to strike up a conversation with her. I asked her how her day was going and if she was holding up okay. At first, she seemed hesitant to open up, but as we talked, she began to relax and share all about the hectic night in the ICU.

We talked about her Hawaiian heritage and her career, and I could see her stress melting away as she spoke. It was a small act of kindness, but it meant a lot to her to have someone to talk to and confide in. I left feeling grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact on someone’s day.

Day 10:

After arriving back home, I felt inspired to perform a thoughtful gesture for my mom. Knowing how much she enjoys her daily cup of coffee, I decided to take it upon myself to brew it for her this morning. Seeing her reaction to my small act of kindness was truly heartwarming. The smile that spread across her face as she sipped her coffee was a reminder of the impact that even the simplest gestures can have on the people we love. It was a wonderful way to start the day and I am grateful for the opportunity to show my appreciation for all that my mom does.

Day 11:

As I was exiting the freeway today on my drive home, I saw an unhoused person standing on the side of the road, holding up a sign and asking for help. I felt a tug at my heartstrings and knew I had to do something to help. At the red light, I rolled up to the man with a kind smile, handed him a few dollars, and wished him well. Hopefully, the small act of kindness would make his day just a little bit better.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Joseph’s Kindness Challenge journey + in the meantime, we’d love to know how this act of kindness has inspired you to engage in your own! Submit your story today here!

Pledge to Take Action