Examining acts of kindness after video goes viral

Above: A video of random acts of kindness quickly goes viral. Peter Kim explains why kindness is so contagious.

TORONTO –Canadians are often stereotyped as polite and kind but what happens when you put that purported kindness to the test?

Global News reporter Peter Kim took to the streets of Toronto, intentionally dropping a $5 bill on the ground, to see if Torontonians’ would help him out.

The stereotype rang true – all who saw the dropped money immediately returned it.

Acts of kindness give meaning to people’s lives, said Dr. Eliana Cohen, a psychologist.

“There is a craving for something meaningful,” said Cohen. “Everybody likes to think that they can do something that would be good for others and heroic.”

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While acts of kindness spread quickly in public, they can spread even faster online.

Dash camera recordings are often reserved for cases of road rage and traffic violations but a compilation of footage out of Russia showcasing kindness has quickly garnered over 5 million views on YouTube.

Toronto based artist Matthew Del Degan says love and kindness are the inspiration behind his most recent project, the Lovebot.

“It’s a symbol of love and kindness,” said Del Degan in an interview.

Del Degan distributes the 113 kilogram robots made of concrete – or “Lovebots” – across Toronto, hoping they bring positivity and “inspire others to do kind things.”

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But Del Degan doesn’t just randomly select locations. Instead he reads stories submitted to his website and places a Lovebot at locations where a suitable act of kindness occurred.

“They’re gifts to the people of Toronto, illuminating their kind deeds,” he said. “A story of someone just helping somebody else out of the goodness of their heart often does inspire somebody else to go out and do something kind and what you get is a trickle effect of people wanting to do kind things.”

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