The first blog I ever published was inspired by the then popular “Wonderfilled Anthem” Oreo cookie advertisement. You’ve probably seen the ad, along with the over 2 million other people who watched it with a smile and enjoyed the positivism. As I read the blog again, it reminds me of how many things we hear today that are negative, critical, angry, and self-righteous.
But WE can be different. We CAN have a positive impact. Indeed, like the imaginative story in the ad, you too can make your piece of the world a better place, one small action at a time.
It might not be an Oreo cookie, but each of us has gifts that give us joy when we use them and, perhaps more importantly, that we can share.
At the risk of sounding Pollyanna-ish, I offer these simple ideas for sharing a little joy and optimism.
- Smile at people – I am regularly amazed how often people look away as they approach me. I still smile at them. Smiling is easy and makes a connection with people without even speaking. I hope it’s contagious.
- See the person behind the counter – He or she may not acknowledge you, but you can acknowledge them. Use that smile. Ask about an unusual name or what their favorite item on the menu is. Say thank you. Perhaps it will be contagious.
- Give back – There has been so much written about the benefits of volunteering. And there are so many opportunities to volunteer. Check out https://www.volunteermatch.org/ for ways you can help in your community.
- Appreciate all the good in the world – It’s out there, all over the place. Check out the videos and web series at https://talkituptv.com/ for some inspirational stories that are happening now. Share them.
- Do things that make you happy – Our lives get so full of “have-to-do’s.” Try some “want-to-do’s,” “love to do’s” – anything that lifts your spirits. Happy energy IS contagious.
Small or large, the idea of “pass it on” still has resonance. When you share the gifts with which you’ve been blessed – joy for life, smarts, compassion, financial wealth, grace in times of trouble (the list could go on and on) – they can be multiplied immeasurably in the hearts and lives they touch. And – bonus! – research shows the action may improve your health!
The big bad wolf in the ad, upon receiving the gift of an Oreo cookie, does not blow the house down, but instead helps the pigs improve their lives (and seems to have fun in the process).
- How will you change the dialogue from negative to positive?
- What will you do at work that changes the perspective of a co-worker for the better?
- What might you do that creates a loving and encouraging environment for your family?
- What volunteer activity could you do that improves your broader community?
- In having a positive impact on another human being, how will your life change?
Just as the song in the ad suggests, “I just got the feeling that it might work out all right.”