Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am back and I feel like I want to tell you.....

I have spent the past week vaguely thinking about community, and the past 24 hours thinking deeply about sustainability, in action as well as lifestyle (Sweet Patrick, I know you think about this often as does Dearest Jeff...maybe we all think about it....) anyway - its been on my mind - will write more about it later (I promise!)
That aside, these things were upfront in my thoughts today, and it is amazing to me how my attention was turned to the small details of kindness as I went about my morning.....
I sent this in an email to H today:
.....serendipitous things are happening today -
1. stopped into Blue (Whatever it is) Bakery and spoke to the guy behind the counter a bit, then met a girl who is working there who is also a dancer and worked with Lynn in her Park project - if she was good to work with, maybe I'll kidnap her to dance this winter

2. walking from Ozzies to Q/B trains there was a kid who is clearly living on the street - he asked me to buy him something - at first I just said no, but then realized due to my hunger-lack-of-logic on 7th Ave - I had purchased not just an Olive twist from Blue whatever it is but also a Carrot Bran muffin at Ozzies with coffee #2 of the day -
So I gave him the muffin - he seemed genuinely pleased.

3. At Union square the farmer's market was out and going - bought a new muffin at Baker's Bounty and saw the girl behind the counter take money, then give money back to a guy that works the fish stall - he was grateful to get two cookies for free

4. Saw a woman stoop to grab errant earphones that had fallen from another woman's bag and give them back with smiles exchanged.

5. Found a new mobile health clinic - I love these things - have a soft spot for them because of my mom - but I love that there are some people out there who understand that to keep some populations healthy you have to go to them - they are afraid of hospitals/cost/immigration whatever - I got their info and talked for a bit (realized I should have had her take my blood for a lyme test) and left

Haven't felt this kind of socially circulating good-will in a while....
and received back from H this beautiful reminder of the importance of small moments (I'm sure most of you have read this - I seem to remember seeing it a while ago):
Just got out of meeting. Starving.

Your great day reminds me of this -

Dropped Into Still Waters
The Ripple Effect
In a world of six billion people, it's easy to believe that the only way to initiate profound transformation is to take extreme action. Each of us, however, carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse. Everything we do and think affects the people in our lives, and their reactions in turn affect others. As the effect of a seemingly insignificant word passes from person to person, its impact grows and can become a source of great joy, inspiration, anxiety, or pain. Your thoughts and actions are like stones dropped into still waters, causing ripples to spread and expand as they move outward. The impact you have on the world is greater than you could ever imagine, and the choices you make can have far-reaching consequences. You can use the ripple effect to make a positive difference and spread waves of kindness that will wash over the world.

Should the opportunity arise, the recipient of a good deed will likely feel compelled to do a good deed for someone else. Someone feeling the effects of negative energy will be more likely to pass on that negative energy. One act of charity, one thoughtful deed, or even one positive thought can pass from individual to individual, snowballing until it becomes a group movement or the ray of hope that saves someone's life. Every transformation, just like every ripple, has a point of origin. You must believe in your ability to be that point of origin if you want to use the ripples you create to spread goodness. Consider the effect of your thoughts and actions, and try to act graciously as much as possible.

A smile directed at a stranger, a compliment given to a friend, an attitude of laughter, or a thoughtful gesture can send ripples that spread among your loved ones and associates, out into your community, and finally throughout the world. You have the power to touch the lives of everyone you come into contact with and everyone those people come into contact with. The momentum of your influence will grow as your ripples move onward and outward. One of those ripples could become a tidal wave of love and kindness.

4 comments:

Homer said...

Welcome back!

If you were in the Slope (and I think you were) it was probably Blue Apron - (Union & 7th Ave).

Sustainability. I think of a loop like the water cycle and its tion words - evaporation/transpiration, condensation, precipitation, collection (don't remember the collection one from Charleston Elementary.) I go back and forth between the corporate world and the arts world and while my company supports the arts it doesn't support all of them, perhaps out of fear of controversy, perhaps it is looking for an investment likely to give it a nice return. That's one slender piece of the whole shlegunta though. As you mention, it's also community. I loved how the community came to Omi for the dances last month and I loved how you brought the dance to a nursing home in Brooklyn (I think it was).

Melissa said...

thank you for all those tion words - I agree and I do like the way you put it -
for the record, I didn't bring the dances to the Senior Center, Artichoke Dance did, I was "just" a dancer.
I have - (and Artichoke has separately) brought dances to High School students and parents, siblings, and survivors of violent crime though - that is building community where is may be quite broken.

sharon estacio said...

hi dudette,

i posted a link to this post onto my blog...thought it was so poignant.
thanks to you and homer...

xoxo
s

Melissa said...

Hey S!
Thanks for the post-link!
That was a very good day - and on the days where things are not so kind and serendipitous, I try to remind myself of how this particular day felt...
xox