So I’ve been sending out random notes of kindness to random (and not so random) people. People I believe could use it and see it and enjoy it. Here’s a sample of one.
What do you offer that no one else has? You. There is only one and only will ever be one. Your thoughts and feelings and life passes through just once. It makes you invaluable beyond measure. May you be surrounded by people who treat you like you are worth that.
Cool huh? Here’s my favorite.
Believe in your story. I know the world is a scary place right now. We’re not sure where we’re going or if it will all end well. Facebook reminds me that there are so many voices out there. A lot I don’t know or fully understand. You all have incredible stories and are amazing human beings. You can be the biggest bad asses in the world. It’s there. It’s your story. You overcome incredible odds just being here. The world is unfair and bad things happen to all of us all the time. The fact that you’re still here, doing what you’re doing, in the face of all this, is amazing. Never forget how resilient, brave, bold and wonderful you all are. You can do anything and be anyone you want to be.
How It All Started
I was sick of the shit I was seeing on social media. Everybody and their mothers arguing about masks, COVID, how serious it is, politics, who’s going to be president, blah, blah, blah. And the kicker is the formula is the same. People all wound up about how serious or not serious it is, threaten others, get angry, and after awhile burn out. I realized people needed to grieve, and I encourage letting the emotions out, but there was a period of about two months where that was practically all I was seeing. I had enough of it.
So I decided I was still going to build people up. because now seemed like a good time. Neither of those up there took long to write, and I meant every word. I never expected the impact I got with so many people, especially with the second one. I watched people just let stuff out. It’s great to be a part of that.
I can say my opinion but at the end of the day I can’t control what is. What I control is how I react. I can inspire people. I know this because even before all the insanity started, people seemed to like my daily inspirations for the days. I do them everyday and have since I got nominated for the Aurora. It’s a consistent thing for my mindset, and I thought I’d do it to certain people specifically.
I Appreciate You
I started by doing a 5 person at random I appreciate you thread. I said that I appreciated a person and gave them a personal message why I did. In some instances I used that to put closure with people I hadn’t spoken to for years. Life has often taught me that most of us take each other for granted with the time we have with each other. It’s important to say the things that are important. Even with people who weren’t friends anymore, I got to say some nice things and thank them for a friendship.
I was sorry it was over but happy it happened. That was the first reward. The second was the thank you. I didn’t expect that. Lots of people responded back. Whether it was people I hadn’t met yet or talked to, or someone I hadn’t heard from for years. Some of them were quite surprising. Thank you random number generator for making this possible.
Believe In Your Story
This was the coolest one for me. I got a lot out of this. I got to talk and make great connections with some incredible people, including a friend I hadn’t talked to in fifteen years. I just sent out that note to this person with no real expectations and lo and behold, I discover we’re both in the same city at the same time. Sylvia Maniscalco is a lifelong friend of my family and it was a pleasure to get a chance to catch up. She has become an incredible human being and I got the chance to see the person they became.
Sylvia, if you happen to read this, thanks for making this so rewarding. You were the nicest surprise doing this. As was everything else. I’ve done nothing but connect with people that are eager to talk. In this time I’ve made more connections than I started with. When I started this was around 1300 friends on facebook and 2500 Twitter followers. I’ve met 1400 new people in this.
That didn’t mean I batted a thousand. I ended some friendships and let people go as well, but that’s not a bad thing. Nothing lasts forever in this life. And to those that were silent, it’s not like I did this expecting anything.
Build Each Other Up
Honestly, there are things on both sides of the COVID mask issue in North America that bother the hell out of me. This has been an ugly, terrible mess of bad ideas, one on top of the other no matter how you slice it. I know the virus needs to be taken seriously, but those who are on the side of science seem naive to the money side of this. I will remember 2020 as one of the cruelest years I’ve ever seen. When this is over, I think that more than anything is what I’ll remember about this time.
But I’m not going to change that being angry or bitter or worrying about the things I can’t control. It does me no good. Being afraid does me little good. People have either been that or silent.
In times like this, I’m going to be kind. It puts me in a great mindset. I can dismiss petty politics and just focus on the people I’m talking to as people.
And you know what? It works. I’ve connected to more people and walks of life than I ever had in the past. I’ve talked to people across the world from Pakistan to Ghana to England to all over North America. I’ve been blessed to meet and interact with people I probably wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for this time.
I’ve taken advantage of my opportunities. I got more to do too. If you are reading this, my challenge to you if you are fighting people over how you believe the world should be, instead try to just talk to people. We don’t need to agree to get along.
This was an opportunity to reach out, be thankful and rebel against the onslaught of 2020. I was reading about Job from the bible and there was a question of why he was always praying to God and being humble when his world was falling apart around him. It turns out that gratitude is a way to fight despair.
Even now, with nothing to my name, I have a lot to be thankful for. That thankfulness has kept me sane (ish) in this time. I wanted to spread that around.
So to those that responded, thank you. To those that didn’t, thank you. If I made your day, thank you. If I didn’t, that’s cool too. I got plenty of rewards for this. I will continue this for as long as I can.
I will be kind. We’ll see where it goes. Stay kind and true to yourselves out there.
This weekend on my podcast I will be debuting myself as a narrator. I narrated and finished the audiobook for Brad C. Anderson and his novel Duatero. I’ll be reading from chapter 9 of the story, and I promise you It’ll be a ride of a lifetime. I’m nervous, but I worked my ass off on telling Brad’s amazing story, and this chapter was incredible to read. It’s one of my favorites in the story. I think it will be yours too after.
I hope you listen and if you are an author searching for someone to tell your story, I’m your guy.