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A Backwards Birthday – The View
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A Backwards Birthday


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Doug Eaton celebrated his most recent birthday without any candles, balloons or presents. Instead Eaton wanted to do something more. After asking his friends and family for advice on how he should spend his June 11th birthday, he decided on committing random acts of kindness. Since Eaton would be turning 65 years of age, he wanted to do 65 random acts of kindness throughout the course of his birthday.

Eaton began by “spending 65 minutes standing on the corner of NW 39th Street and May Avenue in Oklahoma City, handing out $5 bills to people who passed by,” according to Yahoo.com. After those 65 minutes had passed, Eaton had handed out a total of $375 to complete strangers.

If you saw Doug Eaton on his birthday this year, you may have mistaken him for a homeless citizen due to the cardboard sign he was holding. Instead of asking for money or employment, Eaton’s sign read: “I have a home and a car and a job. Do you need a few bucks for some coffee?” according to Yahoo Shine.

Many Oklahoma citizens walked passed Eaton, some took up his offer immediately in shock or gave thanks, others were reluctant to take the money. To those who were reluctant to take his money, Eaton simply described the money as a ‘blessing’ and explained how he was celebrating his birthday a little differently this year. Still, many declined Eaton’s generous offer but gave him praise for his actions.

At the end of the day, Doug Eaton’s 65 minutes on a Downtown Oklahoma City corner was not his only random act of kindness. According to Yahoo.com, Eaton also paid $50 for his $12 haircut and $10 for his $1.09 cup of coffee, telling the barber and cashier to both ‘keep the change’. Eaton continued his random acts of kindness by purchasing lunch for many diners at a local restaurant and paying for a stranger’s bus fare.

Doug Eaton plans to continue on with his tradition and commit 66 random acts of kindness on his next birthday.

 

Imagine a world full of Doug Eatons; a world where on your birthday each year, instead of receiving gifts… you give gifts. Let’s face it, the things we receive on our birthday are not essential to our everyday life. Although we may think we cannot live without the newest iPhone model or trendiest clothes, we can. Meanwhile there are people within our own country and our own city who are struggling to simply live.

On your next birthday, I encourage you to channel Doug Eaton. Say no to all the gifts and ask instead for your friends and family to do something for someone less fortunate. If you do receive gifts on your birthday, do not open them. Instead take them to a local orphanage or return them and donate the returned money.

We are young and we have a lot of living left ahead of us. In the long run, fourteen to eighteen random acts of kindness once a year is not a lot to ask for.

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