A Devilish Challenge

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have come across the challenge I put forth to all New Jersey Devils’ fans. 

In an effort to maybe put into plan something that takes much more than a blog post to explain…I’ve challenged Devils fans to create good karma for the Devils during the playoffs by doing random acts of kindness.

This is a spinoff from Norton Sports’ Make My Day Monday challenge where they challenge people to go out and do random acts of kindness for people…whether it’s holding the door open for others or buying coffee for everyone standing in line at Starbucks…just doing something that will make people think that someone’s random act of kindness really made their day.

Now, I’m challenging Devils fans to create a new kind of karma for their team this post-season.  Let’s do a Make My Day Playoffs.  The one place I really want Devils fans to target is the City of Newark.  Sure, you can go out and commit random acts of kindness wherever you go, but for fans heading to the games, I want you to go the extra mile here. 

We’ve been plagued with nonsense from Mayor Cory Booker attacking the New Jersey Devils.  I think we should show the Mayor and the City of Newark how great of a thing it is for the Devils to be in their city.  We can do that by doing random acts of kindness for the City of Newark. 

Every game day, there are homeless people in Newark Penn Station and all up and down the street to the arena.  There are the panhandlers (do not give them money…it’s a con).  There are also the people that are really in need that never ask for anything.  Let’s help them.  Buy them a nice hot meal or a hot cup of coffee.  Give them a book to read that you absolutely loved. 

Have extra Devils shirts that you don’t want anymore or can’t wear?  I’d love to see a sea of homeless people walking around in New Jersey Devils t-shirts. 

See a homeless guy partying along the promenade outside during the Fan parties?  Bring him some food.  I know there are some guys there that are just waiting behind the food trucks waiting for them to toss out any food they didn’t sell.  Bring him some food and something to drink. 

If you’re so daring…take them somewhere to get cleaned up. Give them a new Devils t-shirt, pair of jeans, tickets to the game, and some spending money for food/drinks.  Let them enjoy their team.  Or if you have a suite, offer it up to a group of disadvantaged kids. 

Do things for the people of Newark to let them think that those Devils are something else.  They are a godsend to the city…the fans are good to the people there.  We can be the change the City of Newark seeks in the Devils.  It takes more than Jeff Vanderbeek to make the change.

Even if you’re somewhere nowhere close to Newark, you can do random acts of kindness for others in the New Jersey Devils’ name.  I got this tweet this morning:

@Laurie_McGee There must be a Devils fan in Orlando that reads your tweets. He paid for my breakfast this AM. #RandomActofKindness

There are so many things that you can do for others. 

Here are a few things that I’ve done recently (to give you some ideas):

1. Woman at New York Penn Station said she needed some money to get home.  I asked where she was going.  She said Newark.  I bought her train ticket to Newark.  She was shocked.  She wasn’t even expecting someone to just buy the entire ticket for her. 

2.  A man was standing outside of the turnstile at New York Penn Station trying to get on the subway, asking everyone if they would just swipe him through.  Luckily, I’m a mind reader and could read that he was just trying to get home and had no money.  He had just gotten off of work and was hungry, and just wanted to get home to eat dinner with his family.  He just needed to find a way home.  I walked up and motioned for him to go through.  I swiped him through.  He was so grateful.  He kept saying, “God bless you for your kindness.”  That was a true man that was in need. 

3.  The local food pantry had volunteers (mainly the retired elderly in the neighborhood) out asking for food and monetary donations for the local food pantry.  There are 174 households totalling 365 people in my neighborhood that are beneficiaries of our community food pantry.  Most of them are the elderly living on food stamps and social security.  With the rising costs in food and just about everything else…many are going hungry.  I decided not to give them the change leftover from my coffee at Dunkin Donuts…instead I gave them a $20 bill.  I went home, emptied out my food pantry and donated the food.

4. My local library has had their funding cut.  We’ve been dealing with shorter hours for the last two years, and now the kids have lost their own reading room.  One of the ways the community has come together to help raise funds beyond just monetary donations…a seasonal book fair.  All books are donated by the community and re-sold.  It’s a good way for books to be swapped in the community and raise money for the local library.  At 4PM, they made the sale $5 a bag.  I walked away with 3 bags filled with books (including about 300 pounds worth of coffee table art books).  I not only donated books, CDs and DVDs to the book sale, but I also bought $35 worth of books/DVDs.  It all goes to helping keep this dying institution alive a little bit longer.  After all, it’s a huge part of the community.  It’s what brings us all together.  My grandfather always taught me that we should always invest in our community.  He did that by buying up houses in low income areas and renting them out to the poor.  He had a rent to own policy.  It worked…it allowed a lot of the black community to buy homes that way…especially during a time when banks would not loan money to blacks to buy their own home.  My grandfather gave them the opportunity to buy their own home.  He became the bank.  Now, when I go back to his old community, everyone there remembers me and always says wonderful things about my grandfather and what he did for them. 

5.  Man on the street was asking for help to buy food.  I knew he was a panhandler so I gave him exactly what he asked for…FOOD. 

6. Don’t think that you have to do something for other people…do something for the environment too.  Mother Nature will thank you.  Last month was Earth Month.  I went out and bought a bunch of plants to be planted in my home and in the community.  It not only helps to beautify the community, but it also encourages good energy and life in this toxic world.  It’s about investing in our environment.  Mother Nature always thanks those that are kind to her.

There are different ways that you can generate good karma.  Just remember that you should always look beyond the initial act.  If you believe that your act will be continued beyond your initial act…that’s when you act. 

When you give money to the homeless, ask yourself if he’s really making more money than you at the end of the day with his con…or buying alcohol or drugs with the money that you’re giving to him.  You have to think…are you really helping him or contributing to his downfall?  You have to think…if I donate money, how far will my goodwill go?  You want to invest in the best goodwill possible for everyone, especially if you’re just buying someone’s breakfast…and they continue the goodwill and do something kind to someone else.  It’s about paying it forward and keeping that kindness flowing…that is your aim.

Most of all…give to those who need it.  Give to those who are unexpecting of any kindness.  Never give to those who demand kindness of you.  They’re only trying to take advantage of you.  But even more…the ones who won’t be expecting any act of kindness from a Devils fan…a Flyers fan.

You see a Flyers fan behind you in line for food, buy his food/beer.  You see someone waiting in line at the train station to buy his train ticket home, ask the fan where he’s going, buy the ticket for him.  Be the better fan…guaranteed the Devils will reap the benefits of these kind gestures 10x more.  Why?  Because you’re doing those random acts of kindness for someone you would normally hate.

If anything…you’re creating good karma not only for your team, but for yourself and the world as a whole.  You’re doing something good…and the world needs more kindness.

One thing I believe contributed to the Devils winning over the Florida Panthers…when Yormark attacked a Devils fan on Twitter, the Devils came back and gave her tickets to the next game in the suite right above Yormark.  That act of kindness swung a lot of good karma the Devils way. 

You see something bad happening…change that karma right then and there…change it into something good.  Don’t let that evil continue.  The world has too much of it anyway.  Stop it right there and make it into something good.  Trust me, you’ll find that if you employ that technique in all walks of your life, your life will be so much better…with a whole lot of luck on your side.

Keep in mind that every good act is not only good for the team, it’s good for the world and it’s another good karmic act that you can bank up for a rainy day. :)

I’ve been doing this stuff my entire life…and believe it or not, I’ve been living one of the most surreal dreams you could ever imagine.  I live by the rules: 1) when I have nothing, I always give something because I’m trying to change my karma into something good.  2)  When I have abundance, I share it with the world in order to gain more in the future.

It doesn’t always have to be money that you’re sharing with the world…sometimes the act of happiness, kindness, love, a smile…that can be all that you give and that is enough to be kind to someone who just needed someone to be nice to them today.  We have it within ourselves to be the change the world seeks.  Share the good tidings and the wealth (not always about money…you could be wealthy with love and happiness…help others be that lucky in love and happiness by sharing that joy with them).

The personal reason for asking this of fans…it is my final season and I said years ago that I would retire after the Devils won the Cup.  I made my announcement back in July that I was leaving, mainly to pursue other dreams.  As the days go by, I keep thinking that maybe that feeling back in July was really a predictor of things to come this season.  I just want to make sure that when I leave, I’ve left a mark of change. 

I want to see the City of Newark flourish.  I’m tired of politicians blasting the Devils.  I think we can be the change the City of Newark hoped we would be.  That change begins with all of us.  We can’t leave it all to the Devils to change Newark.  They need our help.

There’s also that “New Heaven” I keep talking about…changing the world by changing ourselves.  If we can create the new heaven we see in our own minds and make it a heaven on earth…this would be the beginning of taking those steps in that direction.  This is what I’m talking about when I say “I have a dream.” 

Let’s make this City a better place.  Let’s give this City their first Stanley Cup.  Let’s give this City something to cheer about and silence the naysayers that tell lies to anyone that will listen.  It’s time to put the Devils on the map.  We start by creating that good karma…that magic the Devils will need to win the Cup.

John Madden once told me about that magic that’s needed to win the Cup.  It’s so real…you would believe in the unbelievable.  Let’s create this magic for the New Jersey Devils.

***I also want to thank all of the Devils fans that are nowhere near New Jersey that have started to pay it forward.  That’s one amazing gift to give to the world. :)

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