Play it Forward

Yikes!  By now, everyone has heard about the strange and disturbing events of Black Friday.  A woman pepper spraying other shoppers in order to get to a video game, riots breaking out over $2.00 waffle irons and people stepping over each other when they fell…all in the name of “competitive shopping.”  I don’t know about you but I’m afraid to go into a store for fear I’ll be conked on the head with a toaster or strangled with an appliance cord! Tis the season to be jolly….and there will be blood!

Obviously, these are tense economic times but some people are really losing it! I think part of the problem is that we are becoming a panic driven society; we are saturated with bad news and impending doom…and we have forgotten how to play nicely with others!

Remember the movie, “Pay it Forward?” the concept was to do a needed favor for three people and ask nothing in return except for those people to do the same for three others. It was the idea of an 11-year-old boy with the hope of making the world a better place.  I think we could use some of that right now and I’d like to adapt it a little and suggest that we “PLAY” it forward, as well.

What if each of us were to make a commitment to laugh with three people every day…or at least smile with one person? What if, instead of leaving our houses every morning expecting to run into problems in traffic or at work, we adopted an attitude of altitude and decided to rise above annoyances and be determined to find some joy in the day? Maybe it would catch on and courtesy, patience and friendliness could make guest appearances!

It makes sense to me that if we were to try very hard to avoid walking in fearstorms and try equally as hard to add some fun and play to our lives, we might be better off, but it’s not always easy! It is difficult to find humor in stressful situations, especially when we’re constantly faced with what’s wrong in the world. People are losing jobs, worrying about money, fearful of their futures and consequently, they are clobbering each other with waffle irons while Holiday shopping during the “most wonderful time of the year!”

To maintain a healthy balance and prevent road rage, shopping rage and general “snarkiness” to others, I think it’s imperative to occasionally shift mental gears and readjust our thinking patterns to include more playing….good, old fashioned silly playing that is accompanied by lots of laughter.  It begins with a daily attitude shift; a personal vow to choose your battles, keep your cool and refuse to be sucked into negativity.   And if you feel like adding some stress-breaking toys into the mix…so much the better! Each of us measures the success of a day in our own way; some by how many battles we win and some by how many people with whom we’ve shared a smile.  If we play it forward and share some fun with others; maybe they’ll be inspired to do the same. Then, maybe we’ll have less people snarling and more people smiling. It’s worth a try and it sure can’t hurt! And if you anger someone because you smiled at them, and they conk you with a toaster….at least you’ll go down with a smile on your face!

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One Response to “Play it Forward”

  1. thoroughly modern milli vanilli Says:

    I love the idea of “play it forward”!
    You’re right, this year’s Black Friday was particularly reprehensible. But sadly, I don’t think it’s such a strange departure from people’s normal attitudes. Tough economic times or not, we’ve been trained to focus on acquisition, rather than enjoyment.
    “Play” would help us appreciate what we actually have, as opposed to always wanting more.

    -Dani

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