In case you missed it Friday 20 March was International Day of Happiness. Many people around the world were doing things in a bit to put a smile on the face of their fellow-man. It wasn’t the top story on the news bulletins but it did get a passing mention during the day.
I felt I wanted to be part of this movement to share happiness so I had to think about a way I could do this while I was at work. Naturally, I felt it had to involve baking, so I decided to distribute some homemade happiness cupcakes randomly around the building.
When I set off to tour the floors I thought it would be fairly straight forward. Go up to someone, ask them if they want a cupcake, give them a cupcake and move on. But it was nowhere near that simple. The majority asked me how much I wanted assuming it was for charity, they were not always willing to engage in conversation and they were concerned about why they were being ‘targeted’. What I thought was going to be simple actually turned out to be quite challenging and revealed a lot.
People really are uncomfortable with the concept of a random act of kindness. They want to know what the catch is, what is it going to cost them and why are they being targeted. It shows we really do believe the old statement ‘you don’t get anything for nothing in this life’. I suppose I should have expected that to be the case but it still surprised me.
Once people realised it was a genuine offer – a cupcake in a bid to put a smile onto their face it seemed to work. I am sure quite a few people I met on my cupcake distribution trip will probably have thought I was a bit odd but lots of them did smile. Raising some smiles and sharing the happiness was where I wanted to be so it was mission accomplished.
Perhaps we should all feel able to drop our defences some times to recognise those genuine acts of kindness.