Bad news sells papers … or at least in the 21st century, it gets lots of clicks on the Internet. In fact, it seems like we’re inundated with bad news every time we log on, and it can be dispiriting. Despite all the ugliness out there, some publications are doing their best to shine light on all the good things happening in the world. One of them is a wonderful website/media brand called Kinda Kind with Ashley Lauren, and it was started right here in San Francisco.
Ashley Lauren Dickinson, the brand’s founder, started Kinda Kind with the idea that kindness doesn’t have to be cheesy or churchy — that it’s actually badass. You can swear and drink whiskey and still be a kind person who tries to make the world a better place.
(Full disclosure: Ashley and I used to date.)
On the Kinda Kind website, Dickinson and other writers create content that comes from all over the world and ranges from a story about a cop who saves a pregnant dog, to one about learning to forgive and forget the people who were cruel to you in high school. For balance, there are things like the video series “Don’t Be an Asshole,” which shows common courtesy etiquette for places like bars and bookstores.
And because so much of kindness is about sharing, Dickinson started a community sourcing section on the site called “Kind’ers” — anyone can upload stories of kindness they’ve experienced or found on the Internet. I follow Kinda Kind with Ashley Lauren on Facebook, which is the best place to keep up on everything they are putting out. By doing so, I got turned on to a fantastic story that’s happening right now in San Francisco.
In response to the homelessness crisis that’s afflicting our city, a fella who goes by the name Matt “El Disco” has decided to invite one misfortunate person a day to eat with him at a local restaurant. He calls it Dining with Dignity and is sharing his experiences with the world by writing about it on Kinda Kind.
El Disco writes, “As a member of S.F.’s Tech Community, I hold myself accountable for giving back to the city that has given so much to our industry.” And while he knows taking one person out a day doesn’t solve homelessness, it gives the people he helps the dignity of being treated like a human being instead of being ignored.
I don’t know about you, but lately the world has felt like an extra dark place. Between domestic terrorism in the form of mass shootings, human rights violations and atrocities happening locally and overseas — plus the fact that far too many of my countrymen and countrywomen are actually seriously supporting Donald Trump for president — so much of the news I read seems to hurt.
It’s good to know there are people still working to make the world better, and there are publications that care more about sharing this good news than banking on scary headlines for extra clicks.
Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, TV host and poet. Follow him at BrokeAssStuart.com. Broke-Ass City runs Thursdays in the San Francisco Examiner.