On the evening of 08/08/08, a few hundred strangers gathered at the Bean sculpture in Chicago’s Millennium Park. One of those individuals was a young man named Quinn Rossi who volunteered to make a stranger’s day by unexpectedly bestowing him/her with flowers (and he threw in an impromptu hug).
To see the original video and origin of this whole idea — the 30-seconds where irresistible Quinn makes a stranger’s day with flowers– click here and jump to 3:35.
Quinn became an integral part of what became The Beckoning of Lovely project. So a couple years later, we flew him in from Los Angeles for the 10/10/10 Beckoning of Lovely gathering. There, the tables were turned and strangers were instructed to give HIM flowers and hugs. He was also given this promise: he would receive flowers on 10/10 for the next 10 years.
For the past couple years, Quinn was in the Peace Corps in Africa and asked to have the flowers sent to his grandmother.
This year on 10/10, having just returned to the states, he had something else in mind…
Quinn requested that this year his flowers be sent/given to a stranger.
We decided against intruding on someone’s space as they went about their day (albeit with something pretty and nice). Instead, we opted to leave them in an accessible place, along with a note, trusting that the stranger who most needed them would find them.
Here they are, patiently waiting on a park bench in Chicago.
Something happened that we could not have predicted. Many people noticed the flowers, but instead of taking the bouquet itself, they took pictures. Passers-by were moved to document the sight that brought them joy: the gift of flowers waiting for someone in need. The flowers’ mission was originally to brighten one person’s day, but they managed to make many people double back and smile.
An hour and a half later, finally the flowers were gone.
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