I use six bookmarks. At once.
Each is special to me, and each is a reminder. By now, I should have them committed to memory but I don’t. They include a quote from Maya Angelou, an insert from a clothing company, and a seating card from a recent wedding. All reminders.
One of these bookmarks arrived in 2012 in a family Christmas card. This was when I was still in college and mail didn’t often arrive at our family home addressed to me. I didn’t have a credit card, I had no magazine subscriptions, my birthday is in May. Still, this card was left on my bed for me to open when I returned for winter break.
The card’s cover was the family of six, inside were well wishes for the holidays and new year, and there was something else. An insert. And it had the quote below on it.
To often we underestimate the power of a touch,
a smile, a kind word,
a listening ear, an honest compliment,
or the smallest act of caring,
all of which have the potential to turn a life around
A quote by Leo Buscaglia, who in his time was known to be a cheerleader of life constantly announcing “Life Is A Banquet”, to those who kept his company.
This group of words reads like a poem, though it has no title. I am going to title it.
We all have a superpower. I don’t mean flying, strength, hands that throw fire. Our superpower is our ability to turn a life around. It’s an unlimited superpower. It has infinite refills, we can access it at any time, in any situation.
In the crowded crosswalk of our days we receive invites to make differences through removed donations, expensive gala’s, or joining the disrupting tech company with the ribbon benefits, committed to community impact. Yes, these all make a difference. These are all important. But impacts don’t have to be this grandiose.
See for a while now the impact we can have has been disguised. It’s the Jaguar in the jungle. You may not see it, but it sure as fuck see’s you.
Smiling with the person who checks you out at the grocery store.
Thanking the person who fills your glass of water at dinner.
Holding doors. Listening.
Saying good morning to your roommates, coworkers.
Making room for that person running for your subway car.
Waving the car turning left through the intersection.
Asking how someone's weekend was? Meaning it.
We’re often encouraged to think bigger. No, bigger, think bigger. They say. Well, I’m asking you to do the reverse.
Let the air out on your impact and start small. What I’m advocating for is a scalable impact. With small acts of kindness, we can involve the masses. Access virality.
We have been carrying this weight of being the sole changer, and I want to be a voice that grants permission to act small in your difference-making. In exchange for the size of your contributions, I encourage us to commit to consistency. If we wade through our days with smiles, with kind intentions, contagion will happen. The warmth of our souls will infect others.
Be an airborne virus of kindness.
Maybe you already do this. And I love that. But if you had a superpower, wouldn’t you want to use it more?
I leave you with a question inside of a quote, again by Leo Buscaglia.
“Don’t spend your precious time asking “Why isn’t the world a better place?” It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is “How can I make it better?” To that, there is an answer.”
*Since retiring from being a professional athlete, I have been on an adventure which includes creating Wild But Well and RICKiRICKi. I’d love to share more intimate ideas and moments with you, or simply open a friendship. If you’re in, click through here and buckle up!