Little Rocks, Big Ripples
Being someone who loves to Notice, I have spent the past few months observing my community as if I were back in Sociology 101. (Side note: I met Carl Johnson in Dr. Laurie Scheuble's Sociology 101 soooo, I love Sociology for multiple reasons). Over the past few months, I have spent a lot of time (and have walked many, many miles) on the trail that runs past my house. If you follow The Noticed Network on social you may remember a post I made last spring about how my daughter Kristen and I put positive signs from Project Happiness along the trail. We love the trail and the people we share it with. https://www.facebook.com/theNoticednetwork/posts/2986213688065989 The trail has proven to be a great laboratory for observing human connection. I have witnessed the heavy emotion on strangers' faces as they run past. Running as if to outrun their demons, or to finally cross the invisible finish line. I have witnessed friends consoling one another through tears. I have witnessed what at first I thought of as people appearing mad (talking to themselves with boisterous conviction), only to realize that they were wearing air pods and were simply chatting with a friend LOL. I've watched families enjoying time together, and frustrated parents of preschoolers trying to keep their cool while attempting to inspire their little angels to keep pedaling. I've gotten familiar with many of my fellow trail goers. We've learned each others faces and although we don't know each other well, we are now acquainted, and we smile at each other as friends. I have learned to see the smile in people eye's even if they are wearing a mask. I love all these smiles. I need all of these smiles. That being said-- I also understand when people don't smile back, or even make eye contact in the first place to see me smiling at them. When I look through the lenses of both sociology and psychology I begin to see the impact that these past months have had on us as a community and as individuals. It can be challenging to connect when we are maxed out or scared and there's been good reason for those feelings. And if we aren't getting the connection we need as individuals it changes our behavior. When we as people don't feel seen, when we don't feel heard, when we don't know that we matter … we show up differently. And truth be told we show up differently in how we treat ourselves, too. That's why I say when people feel Noticed the world is a better place. Noticing the goodness in ourselves and others can be such a great tool. It doesn't need to be a big deal. We don't have to do all the things, and get things perfect before we can be intentional about Noticing. So what if we just chose to scatter a little more kindness to ourselves and to others as we journey along life's path? What if instead of judging ourselves and others so harshly we Notice the goodness. Those may seem like little rocks, but trust me, they make for BIG ripples!!!