Not Giving Up On Each Other & Making Strangers Laugh
A month ago I met a young woman at a craft fair we were set up at. She came up to Jenny & I & told us that she bought some of our Mini Encouragement cards last year at the very same craft fair. Tears started to well up in her eyes, and mine, as she told us all about her battle with depression & anxiety & how those tiny cards offered her hope in some of her darkest times. In the words she found the strength to keep going. We hugged it out for a bit, right there in the middle of our tent.
I've been playing that scene over in my head for a while now. Because sometimes I don't feel like making greeting cards. Sometimes little thoughts pop in my head saying what's the point? But then I hear stories like that brave young woman's. Or I see how someone has used one of our cards. Or I read a story of someone who found one of my letters that I leave for strangers & realize it's SO MUCH MORE than the cards or the paper they're printed on.
There's some quote out there I read a lot saying something about kindness & how we're all fighting our own battles. And it's true. We all have our worries, our own anxieties. Life is a constant battle with darkness. And no two people's darkness looks the same. So how do we find common ground? How do we create the light for all?
One thing I know for sure, though, is when I look at people's hearts, instead of their faces or skin color or clothes or whatever else might be on the outside, it becomes perfectly clear. We all bleed red. We're all sharing the same air. We all need food to survive & a safe place to lay our heads at night.
And, yet, I find myself acting selfish at times. I find myself judging. I find myself stereotyping. Why do I think I'm more important or better than another human, I ask myself. I find when I look at others for who they are, a living, breathing, alive human who's doing the best they can fighting whatever battles they're fighting...when I look at other's that way, it's simple.
Kindness. Kindness to all is what brings unity. There's so much negativity & hate around me right now. And I can't control what goes on around me. I can't control if someone want to harm another. I can't control if someone looks down on another. I can't control much, really. But I can be kind. I can choose to see my fellow humans as brothers & sisters & offer them love. I can stand up for my fellow humans when I see them being put down.
Which brings me to this morning. I've got a good buddy. We'll call him James (because that's his name). James will go to war with you if you ask him. James will have your back if you need him too. James will sit in ice cold water with you because he doesn't want you to feel like a weirdo out in the lake behind his house by yourself (thanks, James).
James will also challenge you when you're not ready for it. In fact, yesterday, James shot me a text in the morning challenging me to make a stranger giggle, then he wanted me to share the story with him. Challenge accepted, James, challenge accepted. I worked all day from home and had to find a reason to get out of the house so I could find myself in a position to make a stranger giggle.
I offered to pick up Chipotle for Jenny & I. And I snagged my opportunity to make a complete stranger or 3 laugh. There was a long line, as usual at dinner time at Chipotle, and the initial tortilla warm woman was kind of stressed. Not to mention she was training someone new which probably added to the stress. All I know is when they asked what I'd like to eat, I asked them how their day was going. They said, OK, which is a totally normal response. I said, "I can tell you're feeling a bit stressed, take a deep breath for me, then let's do a little shimmy & loosen up." They looked at me crazy. I said I was dead serious & that I wasn't going to place an order until we all shimmied. So we shimmied, and we laughed, and we looked really really stupid inside the Chipotle. The people behind me looked at us kind of crazy, and so did the rest of the workers, but we were having a darn good time.
I told James the story. He let me know he made someone smile as he was ordering his coffee this evening. The kid looked so sad, he said. So he decided to only speak in gibberish sentences and questions. The kid was trying so hard not to laugh, but gave in because when a grown man speaks gibberish you kind of have to, right?
The point here is this. Life is too dang short to not laugh with complete strangers. And in James' words, "We can all stop our self centered lives and make someone else feel some pleasure...life has never been about us."
So, I'm asking you to join me as well. Try and make a complete stranger giggle today, and every day going forward for that matter. Never give up on the power of laughter to brighten someone else's day. Never give up on love.
More importantly, don't give up on each other.
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