“I slept and dreamt that life was joy
I awoke and saw that life was service
I acted, and behold service was joy.”
Being in the service of others has been a driving force in my life because it is a blessing to be reminded of the gifts I have to uplift others. It always restores and renews my faith in myself and the gratitude I have for the way I am able to live, love, and serve in the world.
I was once asked to speak to a group of 5th grade girls who participate in a Girls’ Empowerment Club after school. Among the wonderful questions they asked me, my favorite one was, is there anything you wish you had done differently in school or in your career? I told them that I wished that I had understood and was aware of how much power I had even as a kid to make a difference in this world. That the people who inspire me the most now are not adults, but kids — for their creativity, their resilience, their curiosity, their joy, their strength, their sincerity, their generosity, and genuine kindness. I surprised them with tickets to the 5th Annual Girls & Science event at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science not just to be inspired by professional women who work in fields of science, technology, engineering, arts, and math, but to get excited about all the ideas and possibilities for the impact they can have on people even now.
At workshops with kids, I often challenge them with the task of spreading kindness. As a prompt, I ask them what is something you love or are good at, what is a problem you want to solve, and how can you use what you love to solve that problem?
Here are a few of their simple yet profound ideas:
I love hot chocolate and there are a lot of people who don’t have homes and are cold during the winter, so I’m going to make hot chocolate, gather as many hats, scarves, gloves, and coats as I can, and hand them out to keep them warm!
I love to sing and there are a lot of people out there who are sad, so I am going to go around and sing all day to put smiles on people’s faces. (I have done this many times with my ukulele or other assortment of instruments and costumes, and she is right… it is magical!)
How can you spread kindness and joy today?
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