January 15, 2017

How readily a plant perks up with just a little water.

In the spirit of community in this new North Korea reality we live in for now, I would like to just present some scientific research on what exactly makes bulldogs so sad and what we can do to help them.

The truth is. That's just how they look. Devastating. If, one day, you find yourself with a family member of the bully persuasion, be prepared for the psychological effects of living every day wondering if you are truly disappointing that communicative potato creature as badly as it would appear. It can't be helped.

But you know what CAN be helped? Grumps! SOME grumps. They are eating grumplecakes for breakfast and I don't think they even MEAN to, anyway, so let's look at what's going on there. Think about the times you encounter a check-out clerk that is friendly and you walk away smiling! We also walk away sometimes wondering what the hell we ever did to make others seemingly so unhappy with us. But pick one!

There is a barista near my work whose personality is so extraordinarily pleasant that everyone I work with understands references to him immediately. Be friendly and you WILL make an impression. You may never know it, but you will.

NOTICE: This does not mean you go out and get your kindness kicks with total strangers and then go home to unleash a wave of passive aggresion on your family or partner. If anyone deserves to see your best side, it is the person you live with. If you don't feel like that is the case, think about that. It is so easy to send a loved one a message by acting angry, but how is that going to endear them to you? I do not respect poor communication. I don't expect any less from others.

We can go into encounters with others who are unfriendly or stressed and BE better. Be the one starting a chain of smiles, Cheesy McGeesy. We can all make a point of being someone out in the world helping to drive the universe towards a better place. Every time I accidentally flush a sugar ant down the kitchen sink, my mind runs through this whole story line like Finding Dory except where the ant, if he hasn't already drowned, is eaten in a dank sewer by something truly heinous BECAUSE THIS IS REAL LIFE. I could be some kind of insect Cinderella. If only . . .


Take people by surprise and jolt them out of their half-dead state of. . . what is it? It's not even complacency. It's like they're half dead and would be full-dead if not for the captivating cocktail of routine plus anger firing all pistons inside. Maybe they ARE dead and are just being propelled through this life like a Weekend at Bernie's. If the person is, indeed, still with us, you may provide a little push, if not add to a running current, of positivity that allows them to cool their jets a little and cruise the wave while taking in the sights of whales and dolphins they'd have maniacally plowed over just moments ago.

Break time: please take in this gif, as it will soften your heart. And by 'soften' I mean break it a little. Do not be concerned. This is just to allow for more empathy to seep in. Like that hole in the titanic! If we all take on a little bit of the weight, the whole ship is less likely to sink. Actually, that's wrong. It's MORE likely to sink. WE ARE DOOMED. PLEASE EXCUSE ME AND PROCEED TO THE GIF NOW.

Here are some ideas, which I've gathered by extra-scientific web-based-and-therefore-very-true research and which you have probably heard before. Call it a refresher.

  • Leave a generous tip with a note in memory of someone. $10 tip with my coffee. Pour one out for LISA LEFT-EYE LOPEZ RIP.
  • Give scratch off tickets to random people because scratching materials off a page is SO FUN and even better when it has MONEY UNDERNEATH!
  • Leave notes on windshields that aren't about how bad parkers deserve to be devoured one piece at a time while the parking gnomes slash their tires.
  • Give someone a really good squeeze.
  • Pay for the person behind you in a drive thru. Unless. . . nah, just do it.
  • Leave popcorn at the Redbox!
  • Compliment people when you notice something positive about them. I realize I may come off as a creeper, but I NOTICE pretty hair and I say so when I do!
  • Tell someone a funny memory you have of them but have never shared. I tried to do this once and the person did not remember me, sooooo take this one with confidence.
  • Offer dinner to someone you know is stressed.
  • Nip gossip in the bud. Maybe. I mean, yes. Do. Probably.
  • Bring a bag of food to a homeless person. Anything. Make your sandwich stuff up and hand out sandwiches. Or get a Wendy's meal, which is nothing if not cheap enough to afford for charity.
  • SMILE at people! The effect needs no explanation.
  • Mow someone's yard (for the truly dedicated, I know.)
  • Don't settle RIGHT in the middle of the bed, or at least move your legs so your owner can fit well (I try to make my posts relevant for motivation-seeking dogs, too.)
  • Send some snail mail. We all know the excitement of opening that mailbox and seeing something hand-addressed.
  • Simply acknowledge the homeless person on the corner.
  • Pick up trash as you see it (Mother Earth deserves our kindness perhaps most of all.)

I should say that none of this will probably come to fruition if you do not have a healthy relationship with yourself. We have to have compassion within before we can have enough to spare outwardly in a mindful way. All this motivation has much less effect without the underlying hope that is a prerequisite to kindness.

So, whatever it may look like, make sure you love yourself first! And then spread it like tuberculosis! Or. Well, glitter! Oh or air! Air is good for everyone. And how great is it that little old you can help someone breathe a little easier?


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