Boom Boom! Revolution Encourages You to Pay It Forward

Geek Culture

Boom Boom! Original and Teen decksBoom Boom! Original and Teen decks

Boom Boom! Original and Teen decks. Photo: Boom Boom! Revolution

Spend an entire day saying only positive things about people. Buy a stranger a cup of coffee. Share a joke. Pick up litter and throw it away. Wish someone a happy half birthday. Ask someone to join you for lunch.

These are just a handful of the “guerrilla goodness” that Boom Boom! Revolution is using to change the world. Of course, intentional acts of kindness are nothing new. A decade ago Catherine Ryan Hyde published Pay It Forward, which then became a movie and also led to the Pay It Forward Foundation. There’s also the Do Good iPhone app (which Corrina Lawson mentioned a couple months ago) which suggests one act of kindness each day and tracks how many people have done it.

The Boom Boom! cards are a little like that—each one suggests a simple act of kindness. You can register cards on the website to indicate when you’ve done one, post a story about it, and indicate your location. Then you’re encouraged to pass the card to somebody else. Over time, you can track a particular card to see where it’s been and who’s done it, which is a neat idea.

Sample cardsSample cards

A sampling of Boom Boom! cards. Photo: Boom Boom! Revolution

Boom Boom! Revolution calls itself a “social innovation company,” and they’re one of a growing number of “4th Sector Corporations”: for profit, for good. BBR donates 10% of card sales to charity: 5% to iSpot Compassion and 5% to the purchaser’s choice of charities. The Boom Boom! cards are their flagship product, and they’re hoping to come up with other innovative ideas that are both beneficial and profitable.

At first I wondered why you even need the cards—after all, you can do all of these things without having a deck of cards to look at—but I think the idea of tracking the cards is great, because then you’re able to see the connection between yourself and others. It’s also just another way to give yourself a concrete reminder to do something good, similar to the Do Good app. If you’re already doing altruistic acts, great! But if not, the Boom Boom! cards might just be the kick in the pants you need to get started.

The cards might be a cool gift for new graduates, staying connected with your teens and encouraging them to think about people other than themselves. The Teen deck tends to suggest things that don’t necessarily require as much money, or don’t assume that you have co-workers and officemates, but the Original deck is also a good mix of things that adults and kids can do. It might even be a cool activity to get a deck and go through it with your kids.

Check out the Boom Boom! Cards website to buy yourself a deck, read about the company, and to see what others around the country have been doing.

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