Editor’s note: The creative act is a life affirming act, really. Positivity. Growth. I am protective of these words, the same vein in which Elvis Costello sang way back when: What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and understanding? Well here on idea culture, Touch Me Tuesday focuses on feeding the soul. Affirming the enthusiasm about the good in us which leads to productivity in our lives.
I’m inspired by the actions of these women at http://boomboomcards.com/. They have created an intentional kindness kit – decks of cards containing 26 positive acts that you pass on once you’ve completed each, with a map following the journey the card has made. I did a bunch of them and had a blast.
Here is a blog from co-founder Mary Beth which made my day:
MB’s Blog: You’re Perfect.
Saw this guy on my way to work today; he was smiling, standing on the corner and holding a simple, hand made sign. He made my day. But not at first.
Now, I am not sure why he decided to make the sign. Or why he spent his morning greeting commuters with it. Or why he was so dang happy. All I know is he brought a smile and created joy for every single person that passed him. People were honking, waving at him and yelling things like, “Thanks” and “So are you!”
You might be thinking, “Aww, that’s nice.” Which would make sense and it’s probably what I should have been thinking. But it’s not. When I first saw him, my immediate reaction was one of guilt, like “Sheesh, I suck.”
I mean this guy obviously got up this morning and thought, very intentionally, “What can I do to make people happy today?” I didn’t think anything like that. Not even close. I thought things like, “Where’s my coffee?” and “Man, I hate working out,” and “Okay, okay cat…I’ll feed you. Hush!” Not once, not even for one second, did I think about how I could enhance someone else’s life experience (the cat doesn’t count). Boy. I felt like a jerk.
But then I realized, I am not alone here. It’s the rare person who wakes up and wonders what they are going to do today to make someone else’s day better. And it makes perfect sense why…life doesn’t really lend itself to that; most days it’s just about trying to get done what needs to get done. And if that happens, victory! It’s hard to think about everyone, all the time when you need to take care of what’ s happeing for you. I get it. Boy, do I get it.
So, what’s the answer?
I don’t know.
All I know is that it’s easy to get mired in the day to day and hard to find the time to break out of the, “Go, go, go” mentality. But, maybe, just maybe, all it takes is one singular moment of intention. Just that one thought, at any time of the day, “What can I do to make someone’s day a bit better.” Notice I said “a bit”, because it’s not about changing someone’s life (although great if you do) or that sweeping grand gesture. Sometimes it’s about the littlest thing. A simple thing. A note. A kind word. A gesture of appreciation. A sign. That’s all it takes.
And that’s when I came to the conclusion that the guy with the sign did, indeed, make my day. His intent wasn’t to make me feel guilty. His intent was to make me smile. It was a simple gesture and it did its job…and then some. Because it got me to think about how I can create that experience for even just one other person each day.
So tomorrow I am going to ask myself that question (hopefully I’ll remember). It might not be first thing when I get up in the morning, but at some point throughout the day I’ll do it. And then I’m going to see what happens.