The expression "Minnesota Nice" refers to the somewhat passive nature of upper Midwesterners; the tendency to work hard, help a neighbor, or spend a little extra time in conversation. However, as more and more people leave the region or get caught up in modern life, and prefer to communicate via text or email, it seems that this mannerism is either in the decline or never existed. This project is designed to challenge the "Minnesota Nice" mindset by asking participants to share this wooden coin when witnessing the act of a nice deed.
Inspired by early 20th Century promotional tokens, given to potential customers and promising some kind of trade or discount, these 1.5 inch wooden disks have no material value. Instead, their value is in the promise or representation of the acknowledgment and gratitude of a kind deed. Each coin states simple directions about the project and how to document and share the moment online. It also has a unique serial number so that each coin can be tracked as it passes from person to person.
It is not the intention of this project to encourage nice behavior or transform a society; the nice deed has already been completed before the coin is passed. Instead, the coins provide a quiet moment of acknowledgement, a simple reward to a kind individual while challenging the original holder to examine, seek-out, and determine whether or not an act is kind and deserving of a token. This critique will vary from person to person, the acts may be large or small, and the recipient may not believe their act was indeed nice.
If you are the holder of this coin, simple pass it to the individual who demonstrated kindness. That person, or you, can then upload your story and location by using the submission box below to track the coin and document the kind moments that often go unnoticed and/or unappreciated.
Series #3 is now available for sponsorship. This series has a unique match system. For every Nickel sponsored, one will be donated to an academic partner; teaching students the value of niceness and acknowledgement. Learn more at: https://www.gofundme.com/minnesotanickel3.