There’s something that has been weighing on my heart for a while now. It’s something news outlets and social media don’t really want you to believe. It’s something that as we continue to progress on the van and share more of our lives to the public we are starting to see a lot more of. It’s something I hoped was true, but never really witnessed enough of to truly believe.
Ready? Are you sure? Ok, here it is… There are still good people in this world, doing good things. There are still people showing random acts of kindness, not for social media, but just to show a genuine human connection. There are still people in the world who will cheer you on and mean it.
Zach has spent countless hours in our driveway working on the van, so he gets the chance to see a lot of people coming and going. We have this one neighbor who walks his dog by our house everyday, and he never fails to have a smile on his face. He took an interest in all Zach’s work on the van and would consistently stop by to check on the progress over the past months, even sometimes bringing his wife along. Last weekend as Zach was out there working, that neighbor stopped by and gave us the sweetest card showing support for what we’re doing and just cheering us on. It honestly made us both tear up a little bit. On top of that amazing random act of kindness, it seems like lately more and more people have been taking a second to honk their horn, throw a shaka out their window, or give us a little yell of support. It may not seem like much, but it truly means the world to us.
It would be so easy for that neighbor to just walk by with his dog, give us a wave, and move on with his day. The people in those cars probably have a lot going on in their own lives, but the fact that they take the second out of their day to yell “good job!” has honestly started to restore my faith in humanity.
It’s so easy to see something that you think is cool or that you like about another person and just make a mental note of it but never express it. It’s really simple to create a narrative in your head that talks you out of telling someone that you love their haircut, or that you think they are doing a really good job at something. They are so pretty they probably hear it all the time, they don’t need me to tell them, or, my personal go-to, They’re doing so much better than me at *insert anything* why would my support mean anything to them? By talking ourselves out of building other people up we’re losing the chance to make real connections with people, not to mention I don’t know about you, but I could get 10 compliments in a day and the tenth one is still going to feel just as gratifying as the first one.
As I get older I’m learning more and more that life doesn’t have to be this big competition we make it up to be. We can all have completely different views, paths, hopes, dreams, desires and still show support for each other. We just have to get out of our own damn way in order to do it. Personally, I have a bad habit of letting my ego get in the way of having a good time and of being happy for other people who are also having a good time. I’m a work in progress. I’m learning to let go of that super annoying mental chatter that tells me that someone else’s successes might take away from mine. We all have room to shine, and telling someone they’re glowing doesn’t take away any of your light.
A good job, a high five, a “cute earrings!” goes way farther than they would have you believe. I don’t know who “they” are but I just picture all the news stories on Facebook giving attention to all the bad deeds done in a day. All the horrible stories that you can’t help but click on, because, really?! That happened!?! After a while, it will make you start to truly believe that the world is this big, scary place and that everyone is crazy and horrible. Although that can be true in certain places and circumstances I have found that if you’re kind, honest, and compassionate you will find the exact opposite happening more often than not.
If you sit around and think that everyone is out to get you, and that all people just suck then… I mean, yeah, they probably will seem that way. You’re breeding that negativity into your life. You’re cutting yourself off from seeing the good in people because you jump straight to the worst possible narrative about them. Stop creating stories that have a slim chance of being accurate. At the same time, stop worrying what stories people are making up about you. I was at the beach today, and I got smashed by a wave I tried to surf and my first thought was, “Ugh, now the people on the beach all think I suck at surfing.” How dumb is that?! Then, I let it go and I grabbed a boogie board and ran around and acted a damn fool because it was FUN AS HELL.
If we all started doing and being what we truly wanted instead of hiding behind this fear of imperfection life could be really different. It would be a lot more fun, a lot more satisfying, and we would make more friends doing it. If you pushed for your dreams and supported all your friends and acquaintances who did the same thing imagine how great life would be? We’re all doing this human thing together and guess what? None of us are making it out alive, so let go. Let go of the fear and the judgement. Of others and yourself. Tell that girl with the cute ass outfits that you admire her style, tell your best friend that she’s absolutely crushing it at her new job (’cause she is), smile at the little kid surfing and make sure they know that they’re shredding, and tell your boyfriend that he’s amazing and smart and handsome. They don’t get told enough.
I’m going to make a promise to myself that if I see something I admire in someone else I’m just going to tell them. No matter who it is, or what it is. We could all use a little encouragement in this life.
Who’s with me?