I have been a butt face.
Awhile back, I wrote a post titled “Be Less of a Butt Face.” The idea behind the post came from a conversation I had over email with a friend, Yves. She wrote:
“It made me think if everyone could figure out how to not be a butt face, there wouldn’t be a need for heroes. You wouldn’t need a civil rights activist. You wouldn’t need a cancer fund raiser. Everyone would give when they could and treat people like people. We wouldn’t have to put all progress on the shoulders of one or two people who are brave enough to blaze the trails for all of us.”
You can read the whole post here.
The post got a great response, and Yves and I started a Facebook page for people to share stories of compassion, post volunteer opportunities, etc.
I was great about keeping up with it- for about five seconds. Life and selfishness got in the way, and I kind of forgot about updating the page.
Luckily, Emily over at Good News Daily took over the task and breathed life back into Be Less of Butt Face. She in fact does deliver good news daily, inspiring others to spend their time practicing courtesy.
Today, she posted a slideshow depicting acts of every day kindness. My favorite photo was a mailbox painted to look like bright sunflowers. Beneath the mailbox was a table supporting small vases filled with flowers. Above the table was a sign that read “Free flowers for someone you love.” Not a life changing event, but a nice gesture to share love and make your community a nicer place to live. If we all engaged in this type of behavior it might lead to a life altering experience.
The slideshow inspired me to get off my ass. I had planned to take my boys to the science museum today. A fun thing to do, and they would have enjoyed it, but we have done it countless times. It was really more of a way to get out of the heat and fill some time.
Instead, I went through the pantry and gathered everything I had doubles or triples of. I filled two bags with food. I got that giving rush, and went back in again, and collected a third bag.
I glanced at my book shelf and noticed all the novels gathering dust. I used to reread them, but now, I hunger for new stories. I rarely read the same thing twice. I think I kept most out of habit- I USED to be a person who reread things. As silly as it sounds, I hated to think about the books not being read, as if they weren’t fulfilling their destiny.
I was overcome with the need to purge. Books, toys, puzzles, clothes, shoes- by the end I had gathered fifteen bags of items to donate. 15!! Doing something good hadn’t cost me a penny- I just needed to share some stuff. If you were to look at my shelves and closets post-purge, you wouldn’t believe anything was missing. There is still plenty of clutter for me and my family.
On the way to drop off our donations, I talked with the boys about giving food and clothing to people who need it. They are lucky to live in a reality where the idea that someone might be hungry is outside of the realm of possibility. But I want them to be raised in kindness, to see outside of their bubble. It was a conversation we used to have but we’ve kind of forgotten about. I was thankful for the opportunity to give not just to others, but to my children.
I wanted sharing love to be a tangible exercise for them. They have been playing mailman lately. I asked “how would you like to play mailmen outside?”
We drove to a random neighborhood and put valentines in the mailboxes. On the back of each heart was a simple phrase “share love.” What will you do to share love today?