“No matter how you feel…Get up. Dress up. Show up. And never give up.”
Regina Brett, newspaper columnist
How do you start your day?
Let me tell you how I start mine.
The alarm clock goes off at 5AM. Feet hit the floor and I head to the bathroom. After a short visit to the commode, it’s time to face the mirror. A splash of cold water, fully awake now – it’s show time! From the pocket of my bathrobe, I pull out a red clown nose.
This is the magic.
Looking into the mirror, the clown looking back at me now, I say out loud.
“Today I’m going to make someone glad they met me.”
It’s only a few minutes after five and I’m about to make what could be the most important decision of the day. In the words of author George Eliot, “Wear a smile and have friends; wear a scowl and have wrinkles.”
Yes, this may sound a bit silly. I’ll even admit to weird. But think about it. I’m 65, most likely I have less years in front of me than I do behind. So how do I want to leave the world stage that Shakespeare wrote about. I’ll take my cue from the Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of Tibet. He said, “My religion is very simple, my religion is kindness.”
I won’t really be wearing that red nose the rest of the day, except in my imagination, where it’s still there and I’m in the center ring at the circus.
Now I will confess, there are some days when this little ritual is harder to perform than others. And I’ll also admit it can sometimes be a bit challenging to choose kindness over telling someone where the nearest lake is you want them to jump in. It comes down to a question, “Do I want to be a cranky old geezer or a zany clown who leaves them laughing?”
My wife and our cat are the first to receive my positive vibrations. And how important is that? What do you want your last words to be to the person and animal you love the most? After all, we’re never certain when we’ll be speaking those last words. Years ago there was a television commercial telling us to never leave home without a certain credit card. I say never leave home without leaving some kind words behind.
Out the door on the way to the car, if I spot a neighbor or two, “Good morning”
On the way to work, if someone makes eye contact at a traffic light they get a smile.
At the preschool where I work the kids and staff get an enthusiastic greeting.
Store clerks, bank tellers and the person who delivers our mail are fair game.
Watch out! You may be next.
At the end of the day, kindness may not have made my bank account any bigger. But for some reason, I feel very rich.
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