Spreading Joy

How to light up the world with your energy, love, and empathy

The Power Of Strangers

I don't know about you, but even on a day where I feel like there is calmness ready to be harnessed, somehow I am still dominated by hustle and bustle and the list of things to get done. With that, it's easy to overlook the beauty of simple acts of kindness. Sprinkling joy and kindness around as if you’re freakin’ Tinker Bell.

Why though, right, we are already so busy just trying to do our own things. I mean, you can watch individual after individual acting as if there is no one else in the world around them.

Thing is, amidst the chaos, these little things stand out as beacons of light for others, connecting us in the only way we can all truly be connected. With kindness, love, and empathy.

So what if we explored the true impact of kindness towards strangers, recognizing that within each unknown face lies a potential friend waiting to be discovered. Possibly a new best friend and heck, even a life partner? I know, I know, it’s scary that you might meet someone that great without swiping right or left, I can tell you though, you can still meet people “the old fashioned way”…

It's a notion as old as humanity itself: the idea that a stranger is merely a friend you haven't met yet. This thought, echoed by countless individuals throughout history, holds an enduring truth that transcends time and culture. Whether it's a smile exchanged on a crowded street, a “good morning” when walking on a trail (even if it’s a little louder than you were prepared for), a helping hand extended in a moment of need, or a kind word offered without expectation, these interactions possess a remarkable ability to forge connections and foster empathy.

Empathy, there’s something I think too many people miss the mark on these days. Do you agree?

Consider for a moment the ripple effect of a single act of kindness. A stranger holds the door open for you as you rush to catch the train. Inspired by their gesture, you pay it forward by assisting someone else later in the day. That individual, in turn, finds themselves compelled to offer support to another in need. In this way, a chain reaction of compassion is set into motion, each link strengthening the bonds of our shared humanity.

Yet, the power of kindness extends far beyond those encounters. It has the potential to transform lives in ways both big and small. A simple conversation with a stranger at a coffee shop may lead to unexpected friendships or opportunities. A random act of generosity towards someone in need could restore their faith in humanity during their darkest hour. These seemingly insignificant moments have the capacity to leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of all involved.

Moreover, the act of being kind to strangers not only benefits those on the receiving end but also enriches our own lives in profound ways. It opens our eyes to the diverse tapestry of humanity, reminding us that beneath our differences, we are all connected by our shared experiences of joy, sorrow, and everything in between. It cultivates a sense of empathy and compassion, fostering a greater sense of belonging and community in an increasingly fragmented world.

In a society that more and more often gets it wrong by prioritizing individualism and self-interest, practicing kindness towards strangers serves as a powerful antidote to the sense of isolation and disconnection that plagues so many. It challenges us to look beyond our own needs and desires, to see the humanity in each person we encounter, and to extend a hand of friendship to those who may need it most.

What if you were walking by another individual and you could see sadness weighing them down. Knowing, deep down that they are not okay. Next time I beg of you, slow down, stop. If they see you, SEE THEM. Truly see them. Have you ever just hugged a stranger. Ever wonder how one hug could save a life? (listen, don’t just go hugging everyone, but someone in need, “can I give you a hug” could be the one thing to give them the strength to just hold on a little tighter.

So, the next time you find yourself face to face with a stranger, remember that they are not merely an unfamiliar presence in your day but a potential friend waiting to be discovered. Embrace the opportunity to brighten someone's day with a small act of kindness, knowing that in doing so, you are not only spreading joy but also building bridges that will connect beyond your circle, culture, and background.

In the end, it is through these connections, forged one kind gesture at a time, that we come to realize the profound truth in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit."

1. Offer a Genuine Compliment: Take a moment to notice something positive about the person you encounter, whether it's their outfit, their smile, or something they're doing. Offer a sincere compliment, and watch as their face lights up with appreciation. Genuine compliments have the power to uplift someone's mood and boost their confidence, often leaving a lasting impression long after the interaction has ended.

2. Perform Random Acts of Kindness: Small acts of kindness can have a big impact on someone's day. Whether it's paying for the coffee of the person behind you in line, holding the door open for someone struggling with heavy bags, or offering your seat to someone on public transportation, these gestures demonstrate empathy and compassion. They show that you see and care about the well-being of those around you, fostering a sense of connection and goodwill in the community.

3. Listen with Empathy: Sometimes, all it takes to brighten someone's day is to lend a listening ear. Take the time to engage in genuine conversation with the people you encounter, whether it's a stranger sitting next to you on a park bench or the cashier at your local grocery store. Ask how their day is going, and genuinely listen to their response with empathy and interest. By acknowledging their thoughts and feelings, you validate their experiences and make them feel seen and heard, fostering a sense of connection and belonging.

The Hearts Win

This week, I began a few new creations with so many more in the works. It’s the art of taking the ordinary and well, creating with it.

Taking something common, and making something unique where there will never be another.

Maybe as simple as concrete planters or candle vessels, maybe a piece of art, or this case, a piece of red cedar…

I have 8 of these pieces and they’ve been staring at me for a while. So I grabbed one and went to work…

Cutting by hand, sanding by hand. Some more sanding, a bit more sanding, and then some more sanding. And just when I thought I was done… More sanding. Now that I have tennis elbow from all the sanding, it was time to coat the piece and create a one of a kind special piece.

This heart.

The depth of the grain, the color. The love.

This piece is about 3-4” thick and 8 inches tall. Now, I honestly can’t wait to start the next one. Not something mass produced by a machine, no molds, no “made in china” sticker on the back. Just a hole to hang it and magic.

Do you want a hand crafted heart full of love and empathy. Carrying a certain energy deep in the grains of this red cedar which grew for years.

While I don’t know when the next one will be available, what it will look like, what shape the heart will create itself in. You can be the first to know.

Just join the waitlist now as this one above is already spoken for.

And if you didn’t read anything other than this in the above word.

I will say, as always..

I believe in you friend,


Coming next week…

Challenges. And what you can do with them!

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