“Random Acts of Sethness”: How One Man Inspired a Movement

On February 18th, a friend of mine was admitted into the Intensive Care Unit with life-threatening pneumonia. Due to various complications, he remained in critical condition for days. As I was writing this article on the afternoon of February 23, Seth passed. I am literally going through the article right now making changes from “is” to “was.” I feel it is even more important to get this message out now.

He was a young guy in his twenties, and one of the best I knew. You know those people who just make you happy every time you see them? And even if years go by in between, every time you see them it’s like no time has passed at all? Seth Machak was that kind of guy. I always knew I felt that way, but the outpour of support after he fell ill had confirmed it – Seth was one of the good guys.

With the help of social media, the news of Seth’s illness spread quickly. An “Updates on Seth Machak” Facebook page was made and in just a short time the page had reached over 1,000 “likes”. So of course as people started to hear the news of his sickness, they wanted to know what they could do to help. Well, what would Seth do?

Seth was known for being selfless. He volunteered hours of his life to the young and the elderly and everyone in between. He spent his life giving. So, in the spirit of this, some people had a great idea. They began a movement for “Random Acts of Kindness, Inspired by Seth” or as it has now morphed into the simple “Random Acts of Sethness”. People all around the country have been performing random acts of kindness in honor of Seth Machak, in hopes that this positivity would’ve fueled his recovery. It is truly one of the most selfless things I’ve ever seen.

As we now know, Seth didn’t make it. But this should not take away from these “Random Acts of Sethness.” As I was writing this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the movie Pay It Forward. And now, even more. If you’ve seen the film, you know that although the little boy who inspired the “Pay It Forward” movement passed, his legacy went on through the kindness of others. Seth would want to have that same effect on the world.

As people perform their “Random Acts of Sethness”, they are asked to email or Facebook their story. Before he passed, Seth’s family was reading them to him as he lay unconscious in the ICU. Now, in a better place, Seth can appreciate these acts from afar.

This movement amazed me because it took the act of praying and put action behind it. We can only hope, as human beings, that these “Random Acts of Sethness” do not go unnoticed by the Universe. The original intention was that Seth was able to hear these stories and that in some way they would have given him the strength he needed to survive. Although it did not work out that way, I cannot believe that these actions should go in vain.

Here was a young man, just like you and me, who was hanging on to his life. And by just lying in the ICU, having never even opened his eyes, he managed to help so many others. If you would like to perform your own “Random Act of Sethness,” please do so and email or post your story to the Facebook page. And always remember that one person can make a difference.