It Starts with Me – It Starts with You


Someone asked me the question, “Where did you get this idea from?” The response was simple, “Me.”

However, it is rare I provide one word responses, so I went on to say, “I am literally sick of all the negative crap. Rather than complain, I’ll do something. I’m on a mission. And, I am just barely 1/2 way through.”

What’s my mission? I am posting a positive thought or a kind remark to each and every one of my Facebook friends, via my status. I average three people per status update. I have over 170 friends, and I started this project 5 days ago. I still have about half of my Facebook friends left to mention. And, you know what? I am getting some nice feedback.

Please understand, I did not start this project to get positive feedback. I started this project, because I want to make a conscious effort to make a change, even if it is a small change. I wanted to try to make folks smile on a daily basis. Perhaps, if I send them a smile, their day will go a little better. Better yet, perhaps they will pass their smile along to someone else. At the risk of sounding corny (too late?), perhaps the receivers of my positive posts will ‘pay it forward’. (Though, if you’ve seen the movie Pay It Forward, please avoid scuffles on school grounds. Really. What a horrible ending for an otherwise uplifting movie. I digress…)

Oh, you know what else? I am having a great deal of fun posting positive things; I am. And, I am having a bit of a challenge. I don’t truly know all of my Facebook friends. I accepted their friend request and/or sent out a friend request for various reasons, including the fact that s/he were friends of friends. So, though I may not share a personal note with my FB acquaintances, saying a kind word about anyone and everyone is really not a hard task. Plus, you never know what kind of day a person is having. Your kind words could potentially uplift an otherwise sad spirit.

Sometimes, like on days when you pick up your child from school and the teacher tells you that your child did not have a good day, and he unscrewed the spicket on the faucet creating a watery mess, and he said ‘Never’ every time he was asked to do something … yeah, sometimes on days like today – er those days – a random kind word is appreciated.

George MacDonald, an author, poet and minister, said “Instead of a gem, or even a flower, cast the gift of a lovely thought into the heart of a friend.” I suggest you take it one step further, and cast a gift of kind thoughts to a non-friend, a stranger, etc. Going back to my post yesterday, Just Another Opinion, as negativity and browbeating are seeds that grow into ugly trees, creating an ugly forest, positive thoughts and kindness are seeds that grow into beautiful trees, creating a beautiful forest. So, will you join me? Help me plant a beautiful forest.

A trip to the gas station


After I picked up some groceries, I drove to the gas station, located in the same parking lot. I love the convenience big chain grocery stores provide by also selling gas. When I pulled up, I noticed an older lady (around 78 yrs old) standing behind her car, while a younger ‘older’ man filled the car with gas. He was the gas station attendant, and he was helping this older woman.

I got out of my car, and I started filling my car with gas. I heard the dialogue between this man and woman. She was telling the man about the car, which she and her husband bought 10yrs ago, with the hope of taking it on long trips. Then she said, “But then, he had a stroke and that was it. He had his own business, too; and, it was doing really well.”  As I stood by the car, trying to be discreet with my eavesdropping, the woman said, “She can pump her own gas.” ACK! I was caught!

I smiled to the woman. Then I heard her to yell to someone across from me, “He’ll be with you in a minute. He’s helping me pump the gas.” I looked over in the direction she was speaking, and I noticed a guy, probably in his late 30s, waiting for the gas station attendant to return to the cashier window.

He smiled and said, “That’s fine. No problem.”

Then the woman looked at me and said, “My husband and my sons never let me fill the tank. They would always carry (yes, she said carry) the car to the gas station for me.”

Still smiling, I said “That was nice of them.” Then she said, “Well, yes but my husband died and the boys grew up, got married and moved away from home. They all left me.”

I chuckled a little and said, “How rude.” She smiled back and said, “Rude and hateful. Just hateful.” And, we both laughed.

The attendant finished filling the tank, and I watched the two walk over to the cashier’s window. “Thank you for your patience,” the woman said, as she approached the waiting customer. “Oh. No problem.” He said. And, as I got in the car to head home, I heard her say, “I suppose I could have filled the tank myself, if my life depended on it.”

I enjoy moments like the one I had at the gas station. And, I enjoy the friendliness and generosity of good-hearted people. There was a time when a gas station attendant would always greet a driver at the gas pump. Gradually, the full-service gas station went to the wayside, though not before giving the driver a choice between self-service and full-service.

I remember those days, and I am certain the guy waiting at the cashier window remembers those days. But, nowadays, I know there are more people that don’t recall the days of the gas station attendant. And, those younger folks would probably not be as patient or kind as the guy waiting for the attendant. I am glad the attendant was willing to come out of his ‘box’ and help this woman. I wish more people would come out of their ‘box’ and help others, too. Or, if people prefer to stay in their ‘box’, perhaps they could be patient and kind while someone else lends a hand.