What follows is likely to sound to some as naive, high-fallutin' and pretentious. That's not my intent, so I'm going to go ahead and say it anyway and trust you won't think less of me. 😁
I like the idea of nudging the world in a direction we would collectively benefit from. The world could use more kindness; the world could use more generosity. So it seems right to me that the way to make that happen is to personally step into acts of generosity and to incentivize those acts.
Inspired by a friend of mine who wanted to donate a puzzle anonymously to someone recently down on their luck, I've been tinkering with the idea of some type of chain of puzzle generosity. You may remember the idea being popularized by the movie/book "Pay It Forward" and known as serial reciprocity by academics. The most popular of these kindness chains is the Random Acts of Kindness movement and you may have been the recipient or #RAKtivist provider of a free coffee at Starbucks / Tim Hortons or a free burger at McDonald's as a result. And while puzzles don't do much for the hungry, there is something to be said about other types of nourishment.
Turns out I'm not the only one thinking along these lines. A young puzzler in Austin Texas, independently came up with a similar idea. I used the #puzzleitforward hashtag to see if anyone else had come up with a similar idea and came across his website.
So we're going to try this out with a couple StumpCraft Pilot Tests and we'll see how far the idea goes. Michaela, aka Puzzle Problem on Instagram, will be helping me out on the Alpha Test. We will be giving away 2 puzzles: one for US participants and one for Canadian participants. Here's what we'd like you to do:
1. Like/Follow Puzzle Problem and StumpCraft (feel free to participate on StumpCraft's Facebook too).
2. Nominate someone by going to Puzzle Problem's post (for US participants), or to StumpCraft's post (for Canadian participants) and replying with who you'd like us to forward the new "Falling" puzzle to. Ideally, we'd like nominations for people who a) might need a soulful nourishment pick me up, and b) are the type of people who would keep the serial generosity chain going. No tagging necessary and no need to share any private or personal details. We trust you to nominate the right people. 🤗
3. Nominations end Fri Sept 25th. We'll each draw a nominee from our submissions.
I'd love to maintain a blog of heartwarming #puzzleitforward stories to share with you all but let's not bog down the idea with other complicated rules for now. Let's just get this started and tweak as we go. 💗
Myself and Michaela look forward to seeing your nominations!