Like most people, I watch, read and listen to the daily news. Which to me often begs the question, what is news? It seems that the only things or the usual things that make up the news are negative. There was a shooting here, a murder there, robberies, threats, damaging weather…. and the list goes on. I noticed that even when I would talk with people in the community or friends, the conversations seemed to lean to all the negative aspects, as if the positive events were not worth talking about.
About a week and a half ago it got me thinking what if, without turning a blind eye to the negative, we put more focus on the positive things that happen in our lives. I thought I would try and put this idea into action at the office. I created a SPARK board (Special Personal Acts of Random Kindness). I placed different colored post it notes and pens on a white board with a brief explanation. The first day there were a few people that placed a thank you note on the board, within a week the board was over half full. It changed the feeling in the office. The nine people in the office all thought of something to write and thank others for as well as thanking members and groups in the community for things they have done.
I put it on our work Facebook page and was surprised when I saw others make comments and I received personal messages asking me if they could use this idea both at work and at home. One woman told me that her five children bicker and complain to the point that it upset her. She said she put up a SPARK board and the kids look every day to see if their name is on the Board. This mom told me she has even noticed that the kids will do things for each other so that their siblings or parents will put a post it on the board. The local county saw my SPARK idea and they picked it up.
I am not saying that we should turn a deaf ear to the negative issues, but I do think that the good things should get just as much acknowledgement. We all have good things happening in our daily lives and for me; I would like to focus on those things. I think a positive act encourages a pay it forward environment. I bet if you stop and think about it, you would come up with a dozen things that someone did for you yesterday. Maybe you said thank you or maybe you have just come to expect those people to do kind acts. I know I woke up and found a hot cup of coffee next to my bed this morning. But then I find it there every morning. Today I made sure to tell my husband how thoughtful he is. After my shower, I saw that he had also done the morning dishes. Kindness bread kindness is my theory and I have observed that I am surrounded by thoughtful people. Is there someone you should say thank you to? Maybe you should leave them a note letting them know you are appreciative of what they have done for you.