While we were on vacation last week, we decided to spend the day at Dollywood. It’s a nice little park and we hoped to have a good time. But getting ready and getting out of the cabin can be a pain with a when there’s a bunch of people, and we got a late start, putting me in a bit of a mood. Then we got to the park and it was eleventy-seven-hundred degrees out, which didn’t help anyone’s disposition. Then the girl got crabby over fries (as you do), then it got hotter. A couple of us went on a raft ride and left all of our stuff with the non-riders, so it wouldn’t get wet. And then the non-riders lost their ever-loving minds and took off, leaving us with no phones, cameras, money, or any idea how to find them. By this time, I was in a bad, BAD mood.
We decided to hit the “county fair” section of the park where a lot of kid-friendly rides are located while my nephew set off in the blazing heat to find everyone. I spent the next hour or so alternating between trying to enjoy the rides with the girl and muttering terrible things under my breath about every person in the entire park (I get crazy when it’s that hot).
Finally, my nephew came back with our gear and we set of to meet up with everyone. I was still a bit crabby and hot and miserable, but I tried to get past it. But then we hit another “let’s stop and stand around looking stupid and decide what to do next” moment (I hate amusement parks with a crowd of people – too much waiting around) and I thought I would lose my mind – we were all crabby and hot and tired. And then suddenly, a little girl about six years old walked up to us, stopped right in front of us and seemed to be sizing us up.
Then she pulled out a huge stack of tissue paper butterflies and went around the group passing them out, “Let’s see…you need pink, and you need green, and I think you should have blue…”, until every one of us was holding a butterfly. I’m not sure where she got them, or why she felt the need to pass them out, but something about that little girl simply being kind was enough to turn my mood around.
Good deeds come in all kinds of packages. We help a neighbor carry groceries in the house, we donate books to a classroom in need, we walk to raise money for a charity. And sometimes, we simply hand out a small token to an unsuspecting passerby and it can really turn their day around.
Tomorrow, I am participating in Do Good Day, sponsored by 77 Kids and The Motherhood. These amazing folks have come up with a plan to Do Good across the country. Seven bloggers in eleven cities (7 x11 = 77, of course) will be hitting the streets to put smiles on as many faces as we can.
Our plan is to pass out some goodies and fun stuff to folks passing by. But that wasn’t enough for us – we set it up so as we surprise them with something nice, they can in turn surprise someone else. And hopefully the Doing Good will be catchy and those folks will pass it on. It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. Sometimes a smile or a kind word can turn a person’s day completely around. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.
But what may be surprising is you don’t have to be the person receiving the good deed for it to make a difference. I think that being the person who is giving the kindness is even more rewarding. Getting a treat is great, for sure. But giving one (or a whole bunch) is amazing. And I can’t wait to be amazed.
[Disclosure – bloggers will be compensated for their participation in Do Good Day, but that in no way diminishes the awesomeness of 77 Kids or The Motherhood, who put this all together]