In three days I will join over 30 friends, family members, and strangers in an event that has one simple purpose; to spread happiness. The response from our local community has been wonderful and I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback. However, today I was struck by the question I have been asked by quite a few people, including the two local reporters who have written articles on the event.
“Why are you doing this?”
Each time I have been asked this the first reply that pops into my head is, “How could I not do this?” Of course reporters need to ask this question for their story and of course my answer is usually less reactive; but really, how could I not?
Yet, some people are completely bewildered as to why I would take vacation time at my day job to stand out in the cold with a positive message written on a sign. They wonder why I would participate in an event that has no purpose other than make one other person happy or feel better about their life. But what these people don’t realize is that each and every day I reap the benefits of choosing happiness simply by giving it away.
You see, every day I move through the same world as the rest of you. I encounter the same people, places and events that you do. But, what I do that might be a bit different, is that I make a conscious choice to see these people, places and events from a “happiness” perspective. Meaning, I do my best to see the light, not the dark. You see, our lives are a mirror and what we expect, we get. If you believe the world is full of danger, and anger, and terrible people out to get you, that is likely what you see every time you walk out the door.
Wayne Dyer tells a great story that illustrates my point perfectly.
He was walking along the beach one day when someone recognizes him and strikes up a conversation. They said they were new in town and asked him what the people were like in the neighbourhood. Wayne calmly asked, “What were people like in your old neighbourhood?” The person responded by saying, “oh, they were awful, people were hostile, self-centered, and always in a rush.” To which Wayne calmly replied, “Oh, you’ll pretty much find it the same way here.”
Later on he encountered another person who asked the same question. Wayne replied again by asking them, “What were people like where you lived before?” This time the person replied by saying, “People were wonderful! They were friendly, helpful and the whole place had a real home-town feel.” Again, Wayne’s response was the same, “Oh, you’ll pretty much find it the same here.”
When I walk to my office from the parking lot each day I pass people that look like they have had better days. Some of them may be homeless, others controlled by substances, and some just down on their luck. Often, they are a little intimidating looking and as many people walk by them they clutch their bags closer and put their heads down to avoid eye contact. Instead, I look at everyone. I smile and always offer a “good morning” and every time the most amazing thing happens. The other person lifts their head, smiles and returns to me a “good morning.”
Happiness Sprinkling. Really…how could I not?