Within the last couple of weeks I stumbled upon some blogs worth mentioning here. There are quite a few I read but just wanted to draw attention to these two in particular.
These two blogs, The Apartment Wife and The Duck and the Owl have all started projects in which they spread good will, good vibes while getting to know others in their neighborhoods, towns and cities. How did they do this? I’m glad you asked. If you would like, you can check them out by clicking on their names above to get the full story but I will provide you with a synopsis.
They are folks like myself tired of being a stranger in their own town. They are tired of people being afraid to get to know their neighbors, to get to know people in their town and tired of being lonely. Most of all, they want to put a smile on someone’s face. It all started with Apartment Wife printing off cards with positive phrases to hand to strangers while she was out and about with a few friends. The Duck and the Owl feeling inspired by her did their own version by leaving positive comments in random places in their town at shops and eateries.
After reading the affects of their projects and social experiments, it got me to thinking about what could be done in our town here in Southwest Missouri. I started talking to a few regulars about the idea I had that fell in line with the other three bloggers and while the regulars at my store attentively listened, they all said the same thing; they thought it was a good idea.
One of the regulars even went as far as to admitting to doing something similar on her own with one of her best friends and they handed out cards and roses, and in fact even helped change the life of one woman they bumped into.
The truth is readers, I may not have money, I may not have the means to fund a huge project to help those who are in dire straits and need a place to live, but I do have a big heart. It hurts turning on the news, whether it is national or local, and seeing tragedies unfold because someone didn’t feel accepted, loved, or even acknowledged. Sometimes it feels as if all these people needed maybe at one point in their life was a smile or a hug, someone to maybe help them redirect their sails on their lifeboat.
Eventually I started asking around at work to a few people who I knew who felt the same. They also wanted to make a difference and make people smile. They just want the same thing for everyone else, for everyone to just be happy. Happy is a state of mind that goes unchanged whether you are in a storm or not. It might be hard to get out of, but there is always a silver lining, it just may not be laid out yet…friends and strangers can help you get back to smooth waters; I should know.
My husband, myself, colleagues and their significant others have all come up with a plan. We are calling it, “Project Hi 5.” We are going around with cards with our logo and a link to our blog to explain who we are and what our mission is, along with an inspirational saying, or just a joke printed on the other side of the card to make someone smile.
(It will probably be like one of Steve Martin’s cards, but still thats something right?)
The idea is, people take the card with them and hopefully they will put it some place where they can see it, have access to it and be reminded they are not alone and it will get better. Then they can follow the link to our website so they can keep up and let us know where in town they were “Hi 5’d”. In order to receive the card, they have to “Hi 5” one of us. This is just our way to break the ice and to establish a connection to someone.
Truth is, we are all tired of being strangers. When you don’t know your neighbors, co-workers or people around you, it not only makes you lonely but in a way it’s like living in fear. We want to draw people out of this mentality. Not only do we want to draw them out, but we will offer them to join us.
Please stay tuned to the Project Hi 5 blog to learn all about the progress of spreading contagious smiles and who the individuals are contributing to this group of social misfits.
Do you ever feel like you could have benefited from someone just saying hi or giving you a hug? What were you going through at the time you could have used a “Hi 5” ?