Kind Kindred : Chris Guillebeau : The Art of Non-Conformity

Good Morning Lovelies! I hope you all had a beautiful & safe holiday weekend! We are so happy to share this week’s post with you by the incredible Chris Guillebeau of the The Art of Non-Conformity! After visiting 149 of the world’s countries & counting we’re certain that he has had some amazing experiences involving kind acts. We’ve been following Chris’ journey & are completely intrigued & rooting for him & his gorgeous wife, Jolie as they have so many amazing things going on right now! Chris’ new book, The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World is taking them on an Unconventional Book Tour, you should definitely meet up with him if he is coming to a city near you! Thank you so much Chris for this spectacular post & for joining our Kind Kindred tribe, may our small army grow to global proportions! Peace & safe travels to all of you – Amanda

110707_world_unity_hands, originally uploaded by Aaron Montoya.

Every so often while living in West Africa, I went for a meal at the homes of local friends, where I was served better food than they ate during the rest of the month. At the end of our time together, I’d give them a small gift—and more than once, they’d give me a larger one in return. It was an embarrassment of kindness.

True kindness, rooted in the genuine desire to give more than you take, is like the gifts I received that overwhelmed my own. I can be nice to the people who serve me coffee or clean my hotel room, but that’s just basic courtesy. Doing something to receive something else in return isn’t always bad, but it’s not kindness.

Kindness, therefore, is often unexpected—which is why it’s so powerful. As I travel around the world, I experience more embarrassments of kindness everywhere I go. The Saudi official who risks his job to approve my visa at Riyadh airport; the (lone) taxi driver in Belarus who rounds the bill down instead of up; the “Kuwaiti non-conformist” who gives me a ride in from another airport and takes me on a tour of Persian Gulf shopping malls—these surprising encounters serve as a showcase for a better way to live.

Is it true that generous people have more to give? I’m not sure that’s always true. My African friends were still poor even as they presented me with a larger gift than the one I brought to dinner. But years later, I’m still thinking about the impact their kindness made on me. In my work, my travels, and my adventures, acts of kind-over-matter stand out among a crowded set of memories.

I’m moving into a new phase of adventures soon, and I’m looking forward to more sets of memories. Chasing down experiences and the memories that follow is extremely fulfilling. I’m also looking forward to more refreshing, stand-out acts of true kindness. They seem to be correlated with living the life of memory chasing.

Credit: Jen Lemen
Chris Guillebeau writes for a small army of remarkable people at Follow his live updates from every country in the world at


The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World

Chris’ new book comes out TOMORROW & we are giving away two of them!!

If you’d like a chance at a copy just comment here telling us one of either two things:

1. What is the kindest thing someone has ever done for you?
2. What are you doing to change the world?

If you’re feeling inspired you can answer both questions!

Comments will close & the winner will be randomly drawn & announced on Monday, September 13th!

Good Luck!

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