Traditionally at the end of each week, our Chief Plate Spinner Laura posts what we shared on social media during the past six days. I urge you to check out her archive, as there are some fantastic videos and stories and quotes and images that will inspire and delight you if you value kindness, generosity, wisdom, playfulness, and family.
We made the conscious decision to go dark on our website and social media this week. We urged our clients to take a few days off as well after the tragic events in Las Vegas.
What have you done? Was your week business as usual? Did you feel stuck on a hamster wheel of suck?
How have you felt? Mad? Sad? Helpless? Hopeless?
What do you think? We need to ban guns? Bomb North Korea?
What have you seen? Rage? Grief? Monsters and heroes?
Did you find yourself falling? If not physically, at the very least emotionally? How did you cope? Did you try and distract yourself with bad tv and social media? Did you share your feelings on social media? Were you a little bit kinder? Were you a little bit more bitter?
Yeah, I was all of those things, too.
But… I got up and went to work. Before leaving for a 5-day, 5000-mile road trip, my wife encouraged me not to get sucked down into the whirlpool of darkness. The deeper you go, the harder it is to escape. She knows. She’s rescued me from there before. More than once.
So, I don’t know about you, but here’s what I did:
- I looked for reasons to point out what others did well.
- I prayed.
- I read.
- I gave.
- I showed patience and laughed at life’s little inconveniences.
- I thought about how few actual problems I really had.
- I asked questions of strangers and listened intently to their answers.
- I texted regularly with my Mom and my wife and my son.
- I saw vast, glorious expanses of our nation in Big Sky country.
- I went to a dive bar featuring tiki statues, mermaids, and an 83-year-old organ player singing “I love this bar.”
- I smiled. I nodded. I returned eye contact.
- I held open doors.
- I tipped a little larger than usual.
- I worked hard on articulating my opinions.
- I gave out dozens of copies of my new book for free.
- I started early. I stayed late.
- I forgave quickly.
- I said “I’m sorry.”
- I customized three different talks to deliver over two days.
- I gave cheerfully.
- I accepted gratefully.
I’m done doing dark.
A recurring theme in my talks was to mindfully model the behavior you want to see in others. I want to hear your voice and watch you hold open doors and work hard to articulate your opinions and give cheerfully and accept gratefully.
I’m standing up to terror the only way I know how: By being a hopefully kind, hopefully thoughtful, hopefully helpful human.
I don’t have all the answers.
You know who else doesn’t? You.
Or your really bitter, angry conservative friend on Facebook.
Or your really bitter, angry liberal friend on Facebook.
There are very few absolute rights or absolute wrongs in this world, and yes, we all now have platforms to preach, praise, berate or simply bray like a bleating sheep.
Be a little bit better than I was yesterday.
Recognize my place in and responsibilities to the various communities of which I’m a member: Work, City, Neighborhood, Church, Family, University, Readers.
My pastor recently said something that seems a simple, sound little goal. I’m going to practice it, and I encourage you to do the same. Whatever you do, try and lift yourself up out the whirlpool of darkness. If you need a hand, let me know. I’ve been down there before, and I know the way out.
I love y’all.