Wednesday, July 18, 2007

DO THIS: Go Forth and Leave Money

Now here's news I can rally for. In Friday's newspaper (which yes, I just read today) was a snippet about envelopes containing money being found in restrooms all across Japan. Each envelope contained about 10,000 yen - or about $82 - and a note wishing the finder well. I guess it's triggered a nationwide search, as you can well imagine. What a delightful thing - is it possible this is happening with no strings attached? Or no underlying motive? Or no, like, nasty anthrax tossed in for a twisted kick? (And isn't it sad that I can't read a happy article without pessimistic possibilities dancing in my head?)

I've often daydreamed about dropping notes of affirmations into shoppers' bags when I see, for example, that they nurse their babies or treat their children well. But somehow it always feels pretentious, as if I'm the authority on such things and am therefore bestowed with the powers to decide who's doing something 'right'. It was just a thought. I've never actually done it.

So this little news bit had me saying "awww" over my morning tea, pleased as punch to read something positive, and something randomly positive - whoever is leaving those treat packages behind doesn't have to do that. It's an amazing faith in the power of the universe to just leave it for the next unsuspecting passerby rather than deliberately gifting a particular someone (though perhaps they do that as well).

Quirky little acts of kindness and ways of spreading joy are right up my alley. I love the "Where the Hell is Matt?" youtube video, of the guy who dances all around the world. And I also adore the Free Hugs campaign. The first time I saw it, I got weepy. I'm weepy now, playing it again.

Disclaimer - sap fest forthcoming....

Sometimes I get so overwhelmingly emotional I DO wish we could all just hug and be better. I'm a big sap, a big puddle of emotional goo, a true liberal in the social sense.

It's the unexpected little compliments or affirmations or outpourings of love that really hit home, precisely because they come when we least expect it, and sometimes when we need it most but don't know it. I remember one time, years ago, a boy stopped me as we passed in a crowded room and told me I had the most beautiful eyes. A come-on perhaps, sure, but it really stopped me in my tracks. (I gushed a thank you, and moved along.) And just a few months ago as I was talking to a new homeschooler about homeschooling issues, she told me, quite out of the blue, I have beautiful eyes. Now, this isn't a brag - these moments were quite profound for me in how giving they were, how unnecessary, but offered as a gift.

So let's all take a nudge from the Japanese money fairy and go forth and leave good tidings in our wake. Start with just one. Give a compliment next time you feel moved. Leave a gift on a bus seat. Help someone with a heavy bag. I'm certain we'll all feel better for it - even you crusty skeptics.

1 comment:

Snavleys said...

And it's amazing the ripple effect that one small thing we do has on the entire world.