Culture TED Conferences

The magic of kindness: Orly Wahba at TED2013

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Orly Wahba is here to talk to us about the magic of kindness. As a middle-school teacher, she wanted to make a difference in the life of her students, so she designed “Act of Kindness” cards. These super-simple cards contained directions such as “open the door for someone” or “invite someone to have lunch with you,” along with an instruction to pass on the card once you were done. She wanted her kids to see the ripple effect of kindness.

One day, some construction workers were outside her house. It was hot out, so she brought them drinks — and kindness cards. One of them got a card with the instruction “call your mother and father and tell them how much you love them.” He hadn’t seen his parents in 10 years; he approached her, incredulous. He just needed the prompt.

Wahba shows us a film she put together to tell the story of the world we all live in. “Sometimes we just need to change our perspective.” And she tells us about Life Vest Inside, the organization she founded “because kindness keeps the world afloat.”