Noticing the Positive
Ah, spring. The weather is warming up, flowers are blooming, and I am finding many more reasons to be outside at this time of year. In fact, this past weekend found me spending a lovely day with friends in Brooklyn. The weather was perfect as we mingled with people at an outdoor food festival.
I don’t know about you, but when I am in these situations, I take the opportunity to observe people. Now, I’ve been to New York City many times and I love it, but I don’t always have the most positive experience there. Street harassment is alive and well everywhere, but it generally abounds in large cities. I’m so glad that there are organizations like Hollaback! and Stop Street Harassment who provide resources and tools for addressing this type of harassment. So, I admit that I was on my guard as I usually am when I am in a large metro area.
But as I sat there and watched the people around me, I noticed something interesting. Parents interacting in positive ways with their children – pushing them on bikes, crouching down on the ground to chat with them or to play, picking them up and comforting them when they took a tumble. Adults engaged in discussions with friends and partners – expressing interest, offering words of comfort and encouragement. Couples enjoying the warmth of the sun and each other’s company by simply holding the other’s hand. There was a general sense of community in this large crowd. Could it have been the delicious food and the beautiful weather that was bringing out the best in everyone? Maybe that had something to do with it. But I like to think it was something more. Surrounded by hundreds of people, and noticing something positive in such a large crowd, was so inspiring to me. I found myself smiling and chatting with strangers, tipping the vendors more than I normally do, and feeling like I could stay there all day and just soak up the good vibes. Healthy and respectful behaviors and interactions are contagious. It reminded me of the Liberty Mutual commercials that aired a few years ago…how one good deed leads to another. Will I experience the same thing on my next visit? Maybe or maybe not. But I was inspired that day, and I’ll hold that with me.
Have you experienced a moment like this that inspired you in some way? Feel free to share in the comments below!