It’s come to my attention that perhaps it’s been too long since we covered this, so today we’re going to have a little reminder session, ok? In the interest of streamlining all of our lives, it would help if you’d grab a piece of paper and a pen right quick, and write down the following:
I am amazing, and I deserve to behave in a way that lets other people recognize this.
If you’ve got some free time, feel free to make your note as colorful, decorative, or fancy as you like. Use stickers and stamps if you’ve got ’em. Cross-stitch it into a sampler. Tattoo it on your arm. Whatever works for you.
‘Cause here’s the thing, gang: the world right now, for a whole lot of people, has gone all flappitybats crazy. Some folks are chalking it up to various planets being in retrograde; some declared it to be fallout from that Friday the 13th we had; some figure it’s just another burst of chaos because that’s what chaos does; and frankly, I don’t much care which explanation you choose to roll with. Whatever it is that’s behind it all, the net effect is that for a lot of us, things have gotten…a touch on the hectic side.
And while it’s true that many people will let their fight-or-flight lizard hindbrain take over in situations like this, I know that you all are too awesome for that. You all are not the sort of folks who hide your light under a bushel; instead, you’re people who look at chaos and hear Mr Rogers speaking softly in your soul, reminding you that when things get scary, you should look for the helpers because there will always be someone helping–and if you don’t spot the helpers immediately, you take the opportunity to become one. You are the people who join the incredibly long line at places like the DMV, sit calmly with your book or your phone or your tablet while you wait your turn, and who are friendly and smiling and making little jokes to lift the clerk’s spirits by the time you reach the head of the line.
You are the people who see someone crying and immediately want to comfort them (or find someone else to comfort them. That’s ok–we’re not all great with grief). You see someone injured and want to patch them up. You see someone carrying a heavy burden and either offer to help shoulder the load or suggest resources that would be more helpful than you can personally be.
You hold the door for people.
You tip your server.
You file your nails while you wait for your call to be answered in the order in which it was received, and you talk to the person on the other end of the line as though they are an actual human being with their own set of fears and worries and stresses and problems and you want to be remembered as the Nice Caller of the Day.
And as a result, you are beginning to see the karmic payout from this. You’ve noticed that you don’t seem to have as many rough conversations with clerks as other people, because you smile at the clerks and the clerks smile at you and while every once in a while you get a cranky one, for the most part they’re generally lovely people who just want to help you get through your business and out of their line. You’ve found, every once in a while, that your bartender has “forgotten” to include a round of your drinks because that was the round when she seemed really harried and you told her you were in absolutely no rush and tossed an extra coupla bucks in her tip jar so she’d remember that not everyone is as demanding as the guy at the end who should probably switch to water for a bit.
Sometimes people just spontaneously show up at your house with an adorable wee critter another friend has knitted for you, or a gorgeous ceramic dish with an outline of a child’s hand in it that they bought at a charity event and thought you’d love, or a jar of their strawberry-lemon jam, or a bouquet of flowers and a hug.
Sometimes people write you thank-you notes or group poetry that make you cry.
Sometimes people go out of their way to track you down at their niece’s wedding reception, or they send you a Facebook message out of the blue, or they bound across a room full of people at a party to hug you and tell you that something you did or said or wrote made their day/week/month and that they are so, so grateful to have you in their lives.
And if you’re not to that place yet, if you’re just starting out on your journey of being That One Amazing Person Who Was in My Checkout Aisle (or That Delightful Fellow Who Helped Catch My Receipts When I Dropped My Folder as the Wind Was Picking Up, or The Only Person Who Remembered My Birthday This Year, or what have you), then that’s awesome, because you’ve got all sorts of random blessings to look forward to.
It’s one of the things I love about you hooligans: that you are amazing people who want to be more like Mr Rogers’ helpers and less like Loki With a Chip on His Shoulder. You are folks with a near-infinite capacity to change the lives of the people around you for the better. You are people who treat others not “as you want to be treated”, but “as we all deserve to be treated”.
You are people who understand that you deserve to let people see you at your best, because perhaps it will inspire them to do their best, and we all do better when everyone does better.
And if that ends up netting you a free margarita every now and again, well, that’s just one of the perks of being the amazing folks you already are.
Love you hoodlums. Now go love on each other.