Years ago, my wife, Laurie, started telling me "so much I love you!" in a Pennsylvania "Dutch" sort of way (at least that's what my mother would call it. And then she did something that kicked this affirmation up a notch.
She took a plastic practice golf ball and wrote S.M.I.L.Y. on it with a Sharpie, and then she hid it in a place that I would eventually find. Just a simply reminder of her love for me - in a fun way. Then she explained that I then had to hide it for her to find.
So began the surprise reminders of our love for each other. We've done this for years now. When I find a "S.M.I.L.Y. ball", I smile. I know she loves me. She has brightened my day.
Don't you want to feel this way? Don't you think others want to experience this somehow?
That's how this blog and challenge that I will be sharing all started.
There is too much hate, violence, tension, and stress in this world. Many people just keep their heads down and try to live life without any interference from those around them. Others seem to want to pick a fight. And others just fade into the background of life, invisible.
I would like to change that. I have challenged myself to break out of this dreary mold and start paying attention to people around me. I believe:
- People need to be loved and appreciated.
- People are desperate to know that someone believes they matter.
- People can be kind to one another.
- People can change our world - one act of love, kindness, appreciation at a time.
No, I'm not going to be hiding S.M.I.L.Y. balls around my community (although, that is not a bad idea!). But I'm going to be more intentional in expressing my love, kindness, and appreciation of others. So, I just created this:
I carry this token and this card with me. Actually, I carry more than just one of each. I keep them in my car. In my pocket. And when I see someone needing their spirit lifted, I will give them both. When I see someone who has demonstrated love and kindness, I will give them a token and this card.
Have you ever been in the drive-through lane at a coffee shop and the car in front of you paid for your drink? I have. I then would pay for the person behind me. Pay it forward. That's the concept here.
You see someone doing something kind for someone else, give them a token and card. Why? To tell them that you "caught them in the act". To say "thank you". To encourage them to do it again.
That is the spirit of S.M.I.L.Y. To express love to one another. Not necessarily a romantic love, but a love that says "you matter, you make a difference".
Do want to join me in this challenge? "Oh, I could never do this with a complete stranger!" you may be saying. I believe you can. You can take this one simple, random act of kindness and change someone's day, week, year, life.
Follow this blog to be inspired. Share a story with me that demonstrates the best of humanity. I'd love to read about. You can share stories on our Facebook page. I can then share these great stories here on the site.
Jim E. Johnson
I am an author (The Path to Promotion), speaker, coach and executive living in NE Indiana. I am the co-founder of First Fridays Fort Wayne - a local leadership development networking forum.22 Articles