I don't have TV or read newspapers. I find that most of the news is bad and I get overwhelmed and depressed. I have to limit my exposure, so I skim headlines on the internet and read just enough to feel like I am in touch but sometimes there is such bad news there is no escaping the negative feelings that are triggered. The shootings of nine people in a church by a mixed up young man was horrible. I want to believe in the best of ourselves but there is still so much of our darker nature that exists.
Sometimes I feel useless as to how I can do anything but just feel sad and pain for the many that are suffering. I am sure some of you have felt the same way. Being only one person, how can you make any difference in this big world?
There are two things you can do that seem insignificant but as Mahatma Ghandi said, "Be the change you wish to see in the world" and anything big started as something small, so just focus on your little corner of the world.
1 - Smile at everyone you see.
You might be having a rough day, but are you the only one? Your smile might just make the difference in someone's day that helps them through unimaginable pain or suffering. By smiling you also lift up your own spirits and I bet you end up having a great day regardless of how it started. What about the guy that flips you off as he cuts in front of you? My mother always said, "Kill them with kindness" and I just smile and wave and try not to take it personally. Easier said than done, but I do try.
2 - Give hugs.
Touch is so important to all living things. I have written about how touch affects the mortality rates of infants. Touch is behind the reason we have three times the number of pets than people because most of us feel more comfortable petting a dog or cat instead of reaching out to another person. As a single person I am more guilty than anyone I know...I have four dogs, so I'm not pointing any fingers here.
I learned a long time ago the power of hugging. I had a friend that owned a business two doors down from my business and every morning she came a gave me a hug. At first it was a little uncomfortable because I came from a very stoic family and we didn't hug, but after awhile, if she didn't come to my shop, I would go to hers and get my hug. Numerous times I have not had the words to say to someone that was hurting, but a hug was just what they needed. If a hug isn't welcome, just a touch on the arm or hand will let them know you care.
So this week I am issueing a challenge to all my readers and clients...go forth and make a difference! Smile and hug people. Create the happiest little corner on earth.
If you come in for a massage, be prepared for a hug.
Just for fun, you might want to watch some videos of kids doing hug experiements. Here are a couple of links:
I would love to hear how your week of smiles and hugs went. Please email me or put your experience in the comments below.