When was the last time someone did something nice for you? Did you receive a handwritten letter/postcard in the mail? Did they open the door for you? Was it a smile?
How did it make you feel?
ALL of our actions — no matter how big or small — has an impact on others.
A cashier at a local grocery store recently taught me a huge life lesson. Instead of greeting me with a “Hello,” Sarah said, “Is that all?” There was no greeting, no smile.
My initial reaction: I felt really annoyed and wanted to tell her that she needed an attitude adjustment. Instead, I said, “I’m sorry you’re having a bad day.”
When she looked up, I immediately noticed her big hazel eyes. I told her that she had beautiful eyes. She immediately smiled and said, “Thank you.” I responded, “Have a nice day.”
I walked away and turned around and noticed something amazing. Cue the spotlight and dramatic music… I realized that her attitude totally shifted. She was smiling and passed on the good vibes to another customer.
I recently tried to pass on this life lesson to a special group of underprivileged youth in San Francisco’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods — the Bayview and Hunter’s Point.
I had the honor of getting to know the talented BAYCAT kids during a presentation about Go Inspire Go’s GIG Spark (Youth Lesson on Compassion Program) this summer.
BAYCAT is a non-profit community media producer that educates, empowers and employs underserved youth and adults in the digital media arts. By bridging the digital divide, BAYCAT inspires students to stay in school and become lifelong learners, and to use the power of digital media and design to shape their communities and tell their unique stories.
The stories they shared of things kids shouldn’t witness would make your jaw drop. Christopher Vanegas, 15, said there’s so much violence in his neighborhood that he doesn’t go out to play. When I asked him, “How does that make you feel?” He answered, “It’s normal.”
Vanegas is just one of hundreds of brilliant, caring and inspiring kids that BAYCAT serves. He teamed up with his BAYCAT friends, John Paul Mackey and Willie Lamar Turner, Jr., and hit the streets of their Bayview neighborhood to create this GIG Spark. Their goal: to inspire you to send a postcard to someone you love.
Sometimes it’s the smallest gestures that changes the trajectory of someone’s life. A thoughtful act, a call and even a postcard — these little things have great meaning to those on the receiving end.
GIG is about inspiring small actions that ripple out to meaningful changes. As we’ve experienced, the ripples continue to billow out, one story, one person, one act at a time.
What will you do? Please share in the comments below.
We hope this video inspires you to do something nice for someone in need in your community in the next 24 hours.
Willie Lamar Turner, Jr., 15
John Paul Mackey, 14
Christopher Vanegas, 15
Where: San Francisco
Spark: Send a postcard to someone you love
FEELING INSPIRED? Make your own GIG SPARK.
As part of GIG’s mission to inspire our viewers to discover their power, we developed GIG Spark: A Lesson on Compassion. The goal is to spark action in everyone that witnesses your good deed. We want you to identify a problem in your community and be the change by capturing your action in a short 1-1:30 minute video. Use your passion and creativity to produce a GIG Spark and inspire viewers with your story! What can YOU do?