There is so much bad new run in our media - I'm over it. I turned on the television after coming back from the gym last night to find that there were more ISIS beheadings, that the country is going broke, a couple of cyclones are about to hit the Northern Territory coast. Politicians are still delusional, people unfortunately trip in front of garbage trucks and die on the way to work. All horrid stuff that we're inundated with on a daily, if not hourly basis.
So my antidote to this is the "Say something nice to somebody everyday" challenge.
It's not so much a challenge as a behaviour I'm instilling. It's not very hard. It only takes a few seconds and it make you - and the other person on the receiving end feel a hell of a lot better. It lifts the vibrations of the world.
What do you do?
Say something nice to a stranger. Not hard. Not sleazy. Nothing controversial. It's just a few words. Not even that necessary - but you should see how it lights up both of your days.
Pick safe targets - things like "That is a really pretty dress you're wearing" or "You child's behaviour is a credit to you" (when deserved - I sat next to a kid on a plane a few weeks back - I said this to her mother - lovely flight, nice kid - she smiled and thanked me for my words.) Small, little things that show your appreciation, admiration or gratitude.
I was the target for random words of kindness a few months ago which is where the idea came from. Walking to the tram stop a woman stopped me in the street. Never seen her before, it was a normal work day morning. She stopped me and said "That red top looks beautiful on you." That colour makes you shine. The said red top is nothing special - I wear it all the time. Her words made my day.
This morning's kind words were a bit away from the norm. I was being eyeballed by a three-year-old at the traffic lights at the end of my street this morning on the way to the train. Three-year-olds can be very disconcerting when they stare at you.
I smiled and said to her "Do you want to push the button?" She beamed at me, went up, pressed the traffic light button and skipped back to her father (who smiled and nodded in recognition)
How to make a little kid's day - ask them to press the button at the traffic light.
How easy can it be? (This one was done with tacit parental approval, of course - saying that, I'm a sucker for playing peekaboo with babies on public transport - that can make me smile for hours)
How to make my day? Know that I've made somebody smile - if only for a few seconds.
Surely it can't be that hard to remind the world that this isn't the big, scary place that we make it out to be. Surely a few words of simple kindness and appreciation can help to dispel all of the crap that is put in front of us each and every day.
It was Gandhi who said "Be the change you wish to see."
This is my small contribution to making the world a more peaceful, pleasant and joyful place.
Give it a try and see how you go. I'd love to find out what happens.