I have a good friend in Baton Rouge I don't get to see as often as I would like to, but we do stay in weekly contact at the least. About two weeks ago, after I had come home from work, she sent me a text message which absolutely made my day.
In order to expand on just what my friend was talking about, you have to know something about me I try not to talk about - I do things for people - things I want them to experience in life without them knowing who was behind the action. Concerning leaving a card behind as my friend was speaking of, I keep a stack of blank greeting cards in my car at all times. Particularly in the mornings, on my way to work, I will write a little, personal note on one of these cards, throw it in an envelope, and leave it on the windshield of a random car outside of a store, gas station, or where ever I happen to be at the time. I put no salutation behind my words other than "Someone Who Cares".
I make no mention of my blog.
I do not put my name anywhere on the card or envelope.
Whomever receives the card has no idea who it came from, which is exactly my purpose behind doing something to that effect: no expectation of praise.
To set the record straight, I am not a self-deprecating individual, nor do I have any self-esteem problems, but in my own eyes I am nothing special or out of the ordinary. This is the very reason I do small actions of impact anonymously and prefer to keep them as such. In the instance I am referencing about the cards I leave on people's cars, I did put a picture on Facebook of this action at some point, but I made it very clear that I wasn't posting the picture to show off:
I was only endorsing positive action in a world that is mostly really screwed up.
But why? Why do this crap and waste the energy when someone may not appreciate it?
Because that doesn't matter to me.
None of the negative backlash matters to me because I will never see it. The only thing I can go on with my random actions which I direct toward random people is that there is maybe a chance that they smiled, but I will never know in complete certainty.
I know I tried.
That's what is important to me.
I'm not a broken person by any means, but I have lived through my share of issues from alcohol dependency (two years sober in a few months) to depression, self-assurance problems - you name it. Through that mess which all happened gradually throughout my last career, I realized that the world is full of people who don't care about those they don't know personally. The rest of the world is after people because they want something from them or have an expectation of them to be whatever it is they envision. We have this standard of expectation and after conquering my own personal demons, I have figured out that sometimes people just need to know that not every single stranger in the world is a complete jerk, even if they don't know the facts or purpose behind the nice action.
The face isn't important, but the message is.
I had an acquaintance tell me a few months ago that he was doing a program to grow his own kindness with other people and that part of said program was completing tasks and challenges to be nice to other people.
This is another example of how we make life far too complicated and become much too self-important as the years go by. There is no "secret" to this stuff and there is no rule book. The idea is simple:
Show people you care without the need of getting to know them.
Sure, you can go out there and do your program of pleasantries which feels more like studying for a college mid-term. You can also be a disconnected hippie type who frolics around naked in their living room, posts "deep", grammatically-incompetent Facebook statuses, rubbing crystals together to shed some form of transcendental peace upon the world, all while dropping acid, but that's still too complicated (let's be real, it's pretty weird too).
1. Don't be a jerk for no reason.
2. Do nice things because you want to, not with a preconceived expectation.
3. Live for the moment and just let life follow its course.
I'm not trying to be inspirational, I'm not trying to start a movement, and I'm certainly not bragging. I'm asking you to think a little bit harder about what you can do to fulfill yourself while making someone else smile a little.
By the way. That first picture? Last Saturday I stopped by the restaurant where I write my articles and blogs every Friday night and left a daffodil on the cars of all the girls who work there. No note, not mention of who did it - and I don't intend to tell them.
Why do my deeds center around cars? I'm a car guy.
Stick to what you know because we're all stuck here together, after all.
Grace and Peace,
-J. Drew Silvers