My Video Interview with Michael Chase of the Kindness Center

It was a privilege to speak with Michael Chase, founder of The Kindness Center and author of am i being kind: how asking one simple question can change your life . . . and your world. Michael gave up a successful career in photography to devote his life to encouraging people all over the world to adopt kindness as a way of life. Click here to read more of Michael’s inspiring story.

Check out the one-year-later update from Michael at the bottom of this post.




As a bonus, here is a Maine TV news segment on Michael’s “24 Hours of Kindness” project. On April 15-16, 2008, Michael and his kindness crew spent 24 straight hours on the streets of southern Maine performing more than 200 spontaneous acts of kindness. Their kindnesses included buying coffee for strangers, paying for people’s movie tickets, visiting schools and nursing homes, working in soup kitchens, helping the homeless, and handing out balloons, flowers and cookies.


On August 12, 2010, a year after our video interview, Michael sent out this e-mail:


When I began The Kindness Center, I knew kindness was a universal messagethat every person could relate to regardless of age, race, or religion. One of my earliest presentations was to an adorable group of about six or seven “Daisy Scouts.” Each one of them possessed the gifts of all great spiritual masters; they were joyful, curious, simple, and most of all, lived in the present moment. Watching them was like a meditation in itself. And although I wanted to share this philosophical observation with them (along with the secrets to the universe), I decided goody bags filled with stickers and candy might be a better way to keep these tiny gurus happy.

At the end of my talk, each of the girls looked exhausted and it was obvious they had had enough of “The Kindness Guy.” And to be perfectly honest, I was ready to go home, too. Mentally and physically, I was completely drained. Don’t get me wrong; the girls were sweet and the parents were wonderful . . . but this just wasn’t me. I truly love kids, but in my heart I know I am more authentic when speaking to middle-aged spiritual seekers like myself. And as I leaned against a wall of Crayola canvasses, staring at the pile of pink backpacks at my feet, I finally began to realize something: this was probably not the ideal audience for an inspirational speaker.

Standing there, I felt as if my dreams of becoming a world-renowned author and speaker were now light-years away, especially since I had just remembered the details of my “contract” for this presentation. Because the group did not have money to cover my speaking fee, they had offered me a unique payment for my services: freshly baked cookies. I can still remember the phone call, agreeing to their proposal, and working on my attitude by thinking, “I’ll bet every great speaker started this way.” And although I graciously agreed to Toll House cookies as compensation for this talk, my heart was set on a much bigger dream, and a very different house: Hay House.

Hay House is the leader when it comes to life-changing events and self-improvement products. It is also home to some of the world’s most acclaimed authors and inspirational speakers, such as Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Cheryl Richardson, Dr. Christiane Northrup, and of course, the amazing founder, Louise Hay. But Hay House is much more than simply a premier company of world-renowned authors and speakers. Their events and products have literally changed millions of lives and elevated the consciousness of our planet. I can honestly say that their books have not only changed my life, but at one time . . . saved it.

Becoming a part of the Hay House family has been my greatest dream. For any author who writes personal development or metaphysical books, being published by Hay House is the highest honor. For years I have fantasized about sharing a stage with Dr. Wayne Dyer, traveling, speaking to thousands of people, and changing lives all over the world.

But let’s get real for a moment here. Working as an author and speaker with the world’s best is something that would obviously take years of hard work, the right connections, and perhaps a lifetime of good karma to accomplish. Especially for someone like me, who barely passed high school, has never taken a writing class in his life, and just two years ago, was deathly allergic to public speaking. To think that anyone could make the big leagues with such disadvantages is, of course, totally unrealistic. Right?


I’ve learned that the power of “yes” is perhaps the most important step to manifesting any goal or dream. When we say, “yes” we are telling the universe that we are curious, courageous . . . and willing to take a risk. This openness also allows us to experience different paths, which ultimately can lead us to our heart’s desire.

Saying “yes” to a few crazy jobs, has without a doubt, brought me to where I am today. I now see how every talk I’ve delivered has strengthened my skills and allowed my speaking fee to be considerably more “cookie dough.” If it were not for those early, less-than-lucrative presentations, I would not have been ready when a golden opportunity knocked on my door . . .

This past spring, I signed my first publishing contract with, yes, you guessed it . . . Hay House. It’s been three months and I have yet to come down from the high. And although I fully recognize the vast amount of time and energy I’ve put into achieving this dream, I also believe that moments when I thought, “Cookies for a talk…that sounds interesting” or “Hmmm…a speech at a block party? Sure, what the hell.” are a major reason for my success today. Had I rejected the smaller jobs in the beginning of my career, I simply would not have been ready for the magic I am currently experiencing.

I encourage you to look at your own dreams with an open heart and mind. It is often the things we do not try (or say “no” to) which halt the process of manifesting. Consider any opportunities, even crazy ones, that may lead you closer to your goal. Be creative. Think outside the box. Say, “yes” to something that normally scares you. And always remember, sometimes a good chocolate chip cookie can be worth it’s weight in sugar, butter . . . and gold.

Peace & Love,

Click here to view all my posts on the transcendent power of kindness.

Click here to see all the video and audio interviews I’ve conducted.


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2 Responses to “My Video Interview with Michael Chase of the Kindness Center”

  1. Deb Reilly Says:

    Lovely! A celebration of goodness.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thanks for stopping by, Deb!

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