Yesterday, I was talking to my friend about The Sussy Challenge. He has always been a sussier, even before he knew the word sussy. Whether it was paying for someone’s tolls behind him or their Starbucks in line behind them, he takes random acts of kindness to heart. But when I suggested he email me so I can get him a tshirt, he said he doesn’t want the recognition. He feels that if he needs recognition for doing good, it takes away from the act of kindness.
And today we got a tweet from someone who questioned something similar. These aren’t the first examples of this debate so I thought it wise to maybe explain our stance here at The Sussy Project.
When I approached my partner, Pete, about TSP we were both very concerned about “playing God” and were/are very sensitive to the fact that we don’t want this project to come across as an advertisement for how “good” we are. We worked out the details of TSP and felt that by allowing people to nominate, sponsor sussies and even have a squad to execute the delivery of sussies, we were taking ourselves out of the equation as much as possible. But we do broadcast the heck out of this project. And here is why.
My main goal in starting TSP was to make the word “sussy” something in everyone’s vocabulary. When I first learned of it, I brought it home to my husband. And since then, we have lived a life of sussies for each other. Because him bringing a bagel home from work for me because he thought of me and knows what I love means more than him spending a large amount of money on a Christmas gift. Being thoughtful for no reason other than him wanting to make me smile is something of great gravity in our relationship. And so we started “sussying” other people in our lives. Think about the last time something surprised you with kindness. Didn’t it make your whole day?
So though it feels really good to make someone smile, this whole project isn’t about the giver. It’s about the recipient. How does that sussy make THEM feel? I can tell you that after 50 sussy experiences, it gives them a happy break in their day. We aren’t solving world hunger here. We are just making someone smile for just a tiny bit. And as we have seen lately, the gesture means enough to that recipient that they tend to change their way of thought: who can they nominate? What can they do to pass on that feeling to someone else?
We promote so we can spread the word – literally. If you know what sussies are, you are more likely to give them. And when people ask me “but how do I do it?” we answer that with something as simple as the Sussy challenge. Because sometimes it just takes seeing someone else buy that extra cup of coffee for a stranger to understand how very simple it is to be kind. Plus, we can play the middle man. If it may be uncomfortable for you to sussy someone close to you, let us do it for you.
The promotion of sussies isn’t about self-promotion. It’s simply about paying it forward. Making people aware so the cycle continues.
I hope this makes sense. And I hope that those of you who have sat on your hands thinking maybe TSP isn’t for you because you don’t want any recognition, trust me: we can work with you. But this project never has and never will be about one or two or ten people. It’s about the most simple thing we can all get too busy to forget: kindness.