Lather, rinse, repeat

I’m thinking today about how powerful we all are, about how much we can do for each other with so little effort. I had a nice surprise this evening, and I’d like to share it here.

I had gone with a friend to see the unveiling of “Mirror”, a new permanent art exhibit on the side of the Seattle Art Museum. The artwork consists of video screens and some other elements, and is supposed to react to the environment and display images. Unfortunately, the opening showed the artwork in relation to a musical concert, so it’s hard to tell what it’s going to look like the rest of the time. I won’t decide what I think about it until I see it on an average day.

The musical composition was jarring and discordant. As far as I could tell, this was intentional. The music featured a lot of random high-pitched sounds and loud frightful noises—many in the crowd appeared to be agitated, although we also wanted to be a witness to the art we had come to see. It was cold and we’d been standing a long time. Everyone was a little on edge. As I was standing with my friend, wondering when the unsettling noise would stop, a woman came up to me and handed me a folded slip of paper. I was surprised, but she asked my name and said it was for me. It turned out to be a note from a former landlady who had been very unkind to me. She said that she knew that a note didn’t make it right, but that she was sorry for the way she had behaved years ago.

There, in the middle of discordant upsetting noise, I found a bit of peace. I had moved on from my relationship with this person, and of course the note didn’t rewrite history, but it did matter. I tried to see her in the crowd, but I couldn’t. I really appreciate her gesture. It only takes a moment to do the kind thing—to make an apology, to give a supportive comment, to tell someone that they look really great. You may never know the impact of your actions, but every little bit of positive (or negative) energy we put into the universe becomes larger. We all have immense powers to change the universe around us with even our smallest actions, and “with great power comes great responsibility.” Shouldn’t we use our powers for good?

Your assignment, should you choose to accept it:
234. Set aside a few moments today to add something positive to the universe. Is there an apology you need to make, a compliment you can give, or a small kindness you can do for someone? Once you’ve done it, how do you feel about it? Feel free to keep spreading kindness throughout the day.

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