“Be the change you’d like to see.” We hear it all the time. No doubt, many of us are doing our part to spread higher vibrations in our little corners of the world. With all the ‘heavy’ news that comes at us 24/7, here are a few examples of ‘being the change’ that ordinary people have decided to implement in their every day life. You might even like some of the ideas enough to try them yourself!
Be the (Small) Change You’d Like to See
by Yvonne Aileen, May 10th, 2011
Lynne McTaggart, author of The Intention Experiment; The Field; and The Bond, relates the story of a woman who worked in a stodgy corporate environment. One day the woman decided to make one small change, and it changed everything. When she went to the pop machine to get a soda, she decided to leave enough change in the machine to pay for someone else’s soda. She included a note, simply inviting the lucky recipient to enjoy the soda. She began leaving change in other machines, and more notes. This became a topic of conversation at the water cooler, in the lunch room, and spread throughout the corporation. It spread like wildfire, it opened people up to new possibilities, it changed the corporate culture.
Often we get bogged down in wondering what we can do. It seems the world’s problems are too large, too complex, too insurmountable to tackle. But suppose someone had given you the job of changing the pervading mood of a corporation. It seems impossible, doesn’t it? And yet, this woman did just that by starting with a small change (literally). She did something different, and so she made a difference.
The mother of a friend of mine, who was a teacher, used to hand out custom pens she’d had had printed with an uplifting quote on them. When she retired, she continued the tradition with everyone she came into contact with. She has given out many tens of thousands over the years. Whenever she meets anyone – in line at the grocery store, etc.—she gives them a pen, and spreads a little sunshine.
Restaurants are springing up everywhere – such as the Panera Bread outlet not a mile from my house—that invite diners to pay what they wish. There are no prices; the check reads $0. Guests are invited to pay what they can. Restaurants of this type continue to receive more money than they need, and frequently, more money than they would have received had they charged full price.
Sociologists tell us that we are hardwired for fairness and generosity. All it takes is seeing someone else be generous to get our own generosity gene going. Conversely, when people witness stinginess, there is a tendency to withhold and “get what’s mine.” Like begets like.
I invite you to look at areas of your life where you can spread sunshine. Because it will spread. Is there someone in your neighborhood, your workplace, your spiritual community, your circle of friends or family who could use help becoming what they are meant to become? Saint Theresa said, “Inside of everyone there is a sobbing child.” Give without expectation of reciprocity. And notice how much is gained in return.
If you do this, please share the experience with us. Your story is bound to help others because are all connected.
Yvonne Aileen is author of Mom and Dad, Can I Have the Keys to the Universe? Growing Amazing Lives Through Inspirational Parenting. She lives in Portland, Oregon.