With an undeniable positive spirit and exuberance for life, he prepares to share his words on the popular social networking service called TikTok. From the moment he says “hello” in the online video until the end of the 31 seconds that follows, he exemplifies the best of humanity. He grips the handrail as he stands and with all the wisdom of his retired, seasoned self he shares his truth.
One look in his direction and viewers easily imagine his backstory being that of a grandfather who, long ago, raised his children and who’s lived a life that’s witnessed world wars, the triumph of civil rights, the rise of technology, and countless other changes that make the start of his life strikingly different than the latter part. His thinning hair and inviting wrinkles hypnotize viewers, making them root for him even though they’ve never met. Without even offering his name or any indication that he wants credit for the video, he leaves a tremendous impression in less time than it takes bread to toast, boasting nearly 1.5 million views by April 4th of 2020.
With unwavering conviction and during a time when the world is battered with ever-increasing coronavirus facts that leave people searching for light amongst their darkness, he speaks:
A smile can be very contagious. You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today, and I started smiling too.
When I went around the corner this guy seen my grin.
When he started smiling, I knew I’d passed it on to him.
Then I got to thinking just what a smile is worth.
A smile like ours can travel all around the earth.
So if you feel a smile coming on, don’t keep it undetected.
Smile at someone next to you and we’ll get the whole darn world infected.
In the spirit of Mr. Nearly 1.5 Million Views for 30 seconds of thought, this piece is dedicated to positivity.
Humanity at it’s finest
There are countless versions of the same basic quote, which is that humanity is not lost when bad people do bad things but instead, when good people do nothing.
This is a time in history when good people are doing extremely good things, and they deserve to be noted and deeply appreciated and respected.
- Medical professionals work around the clock and walk directly into the line of the coronavirus fire, some even quarantining from their family for months to prevent the likelihood of spreading the coronavirus at home.
- Teachers are overworked and underpaid as they work endlessly to provide learning, support, and guidance to youth, parents, and guardians.
- Store employees risk being in harm’s way so resources such as food and medicine are still available during the world’s self-quarantine.
- Truck drivers work overtime to meet the increased demand for toilet paper, hand wipes, and other supplies that vanish from store shelves within an hour of their arrival.
- Military stand on-guard, ready to help and respond in any way necessary.
- Parents and guardians spend their nights looking for craft ideas on Facebook and seeking ways to keep the loss of structure and extracurriculars from hurting their children’s hearts and minds.
- Religious leaders stream services online and offer spiritual guidance 24-7.
- Volunteers show up in droves to sew face masks.
- Manufacturers change gears from their normal operation to start making parts for ventilators.
- Colleges convert their classes from in-person to online, as advisors and faculty work tirelessly to meet students’ needs and address their concerns.
This list of good people doing incredibly good things could continue for the rest of this piece, which is absolutely phenomenal. In a nutshell, the coronavirus forced the world to slow down and to stop running on its hamster wheel.
Before & Now Revelations
BEFORE: Where should we eat between baseball practice and swim conditioning?
NOW: What should we make together for dinner?
BEFORE: Be home from your friend’s house by 9 pm.
NOW: Let’s get out some old board games and movies tonight.
BEFORE: We never have time for date nights between work and the kids’ schedules.
NOW: We had a picnic on the bedroom floor, and we connected at a deeper level than we have for years.
BEFORE: Absolutely, I’ll lead the PTO meeting and organize the bake sale fundraiser for work and help my friend teardown wallpaper on Sunday.
NOW: I didn’t realize the importance of self-care and the power of saying “no.” My nails are painted, I took time for a bubble bath, and I actually read a book. I feel more at peace and like myself than I have for years.
Opportunity & Perspective
At some point, schools will open their doors once more, extracurriculars will return to their full force and all-encompassing glory, and the world will no longer be forced to be still. Embrace the stillness while you can. Not only does social distancing help flatten the curve and stop the spread of the coronavirus, but it also gives you the opportunity to self-reflect and redirect those parts of your life that felt out of control or that needed resuscitating.
The rose-colored glasses are shattered. Your world slowing down and becoming home-focused has many lessons to teach you if you only take the time to learn and listen.
Author: Evelyn Lindell
Certified Health & Wellness Coach
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