Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Call to Arms: Accept the Hit and Run Challenge!

Say you're sitting in the lobby of your school's building by yourself, back against a wall, hunched over a laptop. You have a rather dour expression on your face; you're supposed to be finishing an essay due in two hours but you've been procrastinating for the past while by watching reruns of a shiny new television show that you've just discovered to be incredibly amusing and much more entertaining than the prospect of writing a 2000 word essay. You take a final bite of your seaweed salad and let the delicious, savory taste of sesame oil and soy sauce wash over your taste buds. You cough loudly (you've been sick for a week or so now). A shadow passes over you and you look up. Somebody is standing over you, late forties or early fifties, not terribly hostile or creepy-looking, perfectly harmless. 

"Bless you" he says, and smiles. Not one to be rude, you smile back. You're Canadian, you're polite. 

"Thank you," you say, and turn back to the laptop. Aand that's when they say something formulaic. It usually comes in three parts:

Part 1 is typically a comment on your smile, such as: You have a beautiful smile OR You're beautiful when you smile 
Part 2 is typically some sort of gung-ho saying that affirms your suspicion that this person might not be completely with it, such as "Your life will be beautiful if you smile"
Part 3 will then re-iterate what has just been said, possibly in exactly the same words just used. Often the speaker might not have completely mastered the art of perfect diction so you're at a loss for what has just been said but you know that it was nice, albeit a little bit creepy, though altogether a decent enough experience.

Yeah, this happens to me a lot.

These moments, flashpoints of communication, are what I like to call "Hit and Runs". Someone appears out of nowhere, makes an impact, and then vanishes, leaving you to feel a variety of emotions. Perhaps you're confused, concerned for their well-being, or depressed that you can't get the same attentions from an attractive member of the opposite sex (or same sex, whichever way you swing). Or maybe this experience has left you feeling like a better person, or at least a happier person, knowing that they singled you out to tell you something that you can choose to ignore or take to the heart. If this ever happens to you, don't just forget about it. Smiling can make you a more beautiful person; people gravitate towards happy people. Don't be that person lurking in the corner looking like you need a hug but will bite someones head off if approached (been there, done that). 

Maybe whoever approached you has a few screws loose, but it takes a lot of courage to go up to a complete stranger and tell them something that you admire about them. You can't always hide behind your cell-phone's touch pad or your computer screen. Make it your goal to complement one perfect stranger everyday, whether it's that girl with the multi-colored hair or the technician at the reference desk with the hand-made safety-pin jewelry. You may not know if, but people treasure these hit and run moments. If you can brighten someone's day at a moment's notice, why wouldn't you go out there and do it? 

Get out from behind the text-facade. Lower the shield of online-anonymity, get out there, and start complementing! If you're shy, this can only be a step in the right direction. Challenge yourself to complement three people a week. Then up that to one person a day, or two, or three, or every person that you pass!! You love their shirt; they must have great taste in music. Wow, your hair is amazing! Is that your natural color?

And, my personal favorite: Just go up to someone and tell them they're beautiful. Just try it, see what happens. 

"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more!...
The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!"

So go! Find some people to compliment! Accept the hit and run challenge!

No comments:

Post a Comment