One thing I love to see is when our shirts pop-up on social media. People are wearing them, sharing the message and making the world a better place.
Well, we started to see one specific individual truly posting HUNDREDS of pictures wearing one of our best selling shirts: LOVE.
So, I had to reach out to hear more about him, his message, and his journey.
MEET VALENTIN FYRST
Tell me about your mission and the message you are wanting to share.
During a conversation with a good friend of mine, during the second half of March 2020, he mentioned that it would be great if I could find a way to help local businesses for free. I do a lot of social media as part of my work, so it seemed a logical step to take in support of our community.
I put that conversation in the vault and a couple of weeks later, after seeing a video of David Flood wearing the love t-shirt, the stars aligned to create something unique and special. The t-shirts were ordered and on April 18, 2020 the Spread the Community #love campaign took its first steps.
My intent for the campaign was to support the local small business community, by posting daily shout outs on social media… and inspire others in the community to pay love and kindness forward.
Why do you love the message of LOVE and KINDNESS?
What’s not to love?
Love and kindness are uniting forces that have the power to heal the many divisions we experience on a daily basis.
Our society is rife with issues that challenge us to take sides, when we are all part of the human tribe and living in a global village. In my view, reasons to divide people are developed to control the social narrative and create confusion around the fact that we are all one.
If we could all remember and understand that, conflicts and division would not have the place they are currently afforded in our world.
As you so rightly say on the Kindness Nation website, “Kindness spreads faster than a virus” and that statement connected with me at a deep level. Not only is it extremely relevant in the context of what has taken place globally over the last year, but it is also an undeniable truth.
I have found that displays of kindness, during these challenging times, are connecting with people at the heart level, and the joy that lights their eyes up is a priceless reward.
What has the response been from the local community?
It has been amazing!
In the beginning, it was all about the comments made on individual posts. After a few months of daily posts, people would take a moment to thank you in person, when recognizing me around town and sharing how they look forward to seeing the next post every day.
The greatest reward has been to witness acts of kindness inspired by the campaign and experience how a loving message can spread throughout a community in such impactful ways.
I am truly humbled and honored to live in a community with so many loving and kind-hearted people.
What about the response from random people who noticed your pictures online?
The response literally blew my mind!
The posts have been viewed and commented on by people across the globe, which is in part because I am well-traveled and have lived on 4 continents.
That being said, my message was universally received and understood made my heart sing.
Love truly knows no boundaries or language barriers.
GET A LOVE SHIRT
Help Valentin spread the message and make a bigger difference!
What is one of the most memorable stories arising from your initiative?
One day, I was waiting in line at my local post office, and an elderly lady was slowly walking towards one of the exit doors.
The woman in front of me stepped out of line and opened the door for the lady. After the lady had safely walked out, the woman turned around, smiled, and looked at me while saying: “See, the community love is spreading.”
The joy I felt in that moment can only be described as surreal and the smile I had on my face when thanking her for paying the love forward remained stuck on my face for quite some time.
To you, what is the definition of ‘Success’?
Identifying your passion and living your life to understand and refine it through experience. Unless you experience the truth of your passion, it will remain mere philosophy.
It is through active connection with that truth and the embodiment of what it represents that you raise your frequency to transcend physical limitations.
The creative potentials available to all of us in that state of being are limitless.
What advice would you have to someone wanting to start their own project like this?
Follow your heart.
If the heart moves you, inspiration is never far behind, and you will hear its call. When that happens, and you feel connected to your heart, just run with it.
People will connect with it and respond to it at a heart level. I can attest to the fact that very few experiences in life will be more fulfilling than a project born from love.
I have been mulling this over for a couple of weeks, as I am ready to switch gears.
The last post for Spread the Community #love will be published on Valentine’s Day, which seems timely and appropriate. The next chapter is probably going to take on a weekly format and tackle unity from a different perspective.
In short, it is time for We to unite as The People. I have already connected with a local apparel business to help illustrate the message.