April 21, 2013

Author Q & A: Woof repair

Want to fix feelings of unhappiness and enjoy life more? A new book on kindness suggests you take a page from your ever-loving pooch.

By Ray Routhier rrouthier@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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Author Michael J. Chase found inspiration in his dog, Mollie, for his latest book on kindness.

Courtesy photos

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Michael J. Chase

Q: So how did you shift careers from photography to spreading kindness?

A: We had this idea to put on large events based on random acts of kindness. It was five years ago. We decided to go out on the streets in Portland for 24 straight hours, trying to help as many people as possible. It could be as simple as buying a cup of coffee or a meal for a homeless person, or volunteering at a soup kitchen. From that one event, people began writing articles about it, and talking about it. So we did it again, in New York City.

You can really look for any opportunity to do this. There are so many moments during the day. You might see an elderly person doing work in their yard, and you just stop and help. 

Q: But how did you do this from a financial standpoint? How could you afford to stop working as a photographer to do this?

A: We had very little savings. In making this decision, we had to let go of most of our material things, our home. For a few years, it turned our lives upside down. You know going into something like this you'll face challenges. I have the most amazing wife, and we had some hard times making this work. But speaking in schools, that part of my business, really took off, and we have made it work.

Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:



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