When I was a student funeral director, we had a non-denominational celebrant on staff. Let’s call him Larry.
Larry started every funeral with these words: “Take a moment to look at all the people around you here today. Let me tell you something: one of you will be next”.
I choked on my coffee when I first heard him say this. And there were gasps. Loud ones.
His follow up was intriguing, though. He continued: “how do you want to be remembered?”
I’ve had many years to think about this. I’ve decided I want to be remembered for being kind.
Kindness is contagious. STD-level contagious. Random acts of kindness fill your heart with joy. Your heart becomes so full of kindness, you spread it all around you whether you mean to or not.
The belief that we need to look outward and see what we can do to bring a little positive energy into the world.
I’ve been feeling bad about a lot of things. Things out of my control.
Control freak that I am, I decided to run a completely non-scientific experiment.
Do something nice for someone and see if I feel better, worse, neutral, resentful, or disappointed.
Every time I did something nice I felt better. Stronger. More able to attack the every-day stressors that come along. It was like depositing good feelings into a psychological bank account. I could withdraw those good feelings on my bad days.
Now, I am as lazy as they come and have the attention span of wait, what was that commercial advertising was that the laundry timer oh I should check instagram.
Plus, I’m not Richie Rich and couldn’t spend a lot on this experiment.
Altruism be damned. I was a little tired, a little depressed and had a hard time finding some good in every day.
Kindism. This stuff works. You will not believe how much better you feel too.
Need a little inspiration? I try to post “Good Shit I Did This Week”. It’s little stuff I did, like letting the person in line with only a few items go ahead of me.