A Dozen Carnations...
“Open up instead of size up,” is one of my favorite quotes of Jeffrey Davis from Tracking Wonder. Our culture seems to be so much about sizing up and comparison, about competition and who has more or is better. It is exhausting. I used to be very competitive, participating in athletics at a high level was my life. Even then though, I was more competitive with myself than others. My goal, most often, was to be the best one on the field or the court. I believed I was competing with my own numbers but just now in this moment, I realize in doing so I would “size up” in every game with everyone on the field or court.
It fueled my performances and pushed me, often to the brink of exhaustion. And it still affects me today as I walk around and “size up” by thinking, “Wow, that person is doing so much better than me in x, y, z areas. Why can’t I be that too? I want that too.” Or the old, “I couldn’t possibly be/do that,” or the even more present, “Who do you think you are trying to own your expertise? What do you have to offer that already isn’t out there?” Which finds me feeling exhausted, fearful, and then I shut down to any creativity, courage, or wonder. I avoid and hide. Now, I wondered, how many other people feel this too and how can I create a way for people to see they are appreciated for who they are and where they are without all of the “sizing up” we humans are prone to do.
as I hand the flowers to people? They are going to think I’m crazy and even worse, maybe be fearful of my motives.” My second thought was, “Well, trust and see what happens. You’ll know what to say and do.”
So off I went from the flower store. I ran my errands and with each stop, carried a flower or two or three with me. My first encounter was with a woman with a small child and they both looked exhausted. I approached her slowly and said, “You’re doing a wonderful job and I thought this may brighten your day.” She looked surprised and then smiled and said, “Thank you. I’ve been having a rough week.” I smiled, nodded my head affirmatively, and said, “You’re very welcome. Hope this next week is better,” and off I went. This happened with almost everyone I met that day, people of different ages, ethnicities, backgrounds, and jobs. My heart was being filled by each of their reactions and appreciation for being seen and acknowledged - and no one really thought I was crazy :) .
to show them that they are appreciated, and perhaps meet a few new people. You never know what a little kindness may bring to someone’s life.”
I left and got back in the car and felt so grateful for such a great day, meeting so many people - some of who were having bad days or weeks or years - and making them smile and having them know that someone is noticing. It filled my heart to know that such a small gesture can have such a big impact. It was a time with no “sizing up” or worry about how the other was going to react. It lifted my spirits and restored my faith in humanity, even if just a little bit and was worth every moment. I’m making a note to do this at least twice a year and highly recommend it.
#WeQuest #BestYear #Quest2020