How do you help contribute back to society and without sacrificing anything in return? The answer? Give back happiness. See, giving happiness back to society and making others smile is enough to make the world a better place to live in. For example, picture a group of comedians setting up a podium with an orchestra in New York City. Now, the group invites oblivious strangers to participate in their activity as the conductor of the orchestra. Imagine how challenging and chaotic it will be to coordinate a song as an amateur conductor! Who could pass up this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity?
You imagine the sounds produced by the orchestra are weird, off-putting even, but you’re having fun and making those around you smile and laugh gleefully. This joyous experience plus the rhythmic beats dancing in your heart, fills the organ with excitement and happiness. Also, let’s not forget the fact you won’t forget this anytime soon!
I want to tell you a story about Robert Egger, the founder of D.C. Central Kitchen who trains homeless people to repurpose leftover food donated by local businesses or farms. When these people complete their training, they get hired and in doing so, give back to the community.
Food is distributed to other homeless people or those who are less fortunate. Every step performed by the kitchen utilizes every possible resource and effectively gives back to society repeatedly. The cycle continues and with it, happiness grows. Perhaps the best part about this program is giving homeless people a chance to stand on their two feet and prepare them for the road ahead; building self-confidence one dish at a time.
Let’s go back to my orchestra story. When I told you it, you might say, “Hey, I don’t have a lot of energy to go and locate an orchestra!” or “You know, I don’t have any special talents to conduct one.” Now, I want to ask you to concentrate on the word, ‘energy’ and the phrase, ‘I don’t have any special talents’. Do you actually believe this, or you believe it because someone else said you don’t have any special talents?
David M. Kelly, founder of global design and innovation with his brother wrote a book called, Creative Confidence. This book states:
“People are quick to judge about others’ creations, especially when their produced work isn’t up to par. I’d like to tell you to always do things that make you happy. When you manage to do something that brings you joy, you’ll begin to understand other people’s attempts at trying their best, too. Take a look at these examples; you love to sing, but your singing isn’t great. You love to write, but your written words aren’t worthy enough to get published. Also, you may love to draw, but your skills aren’t as great as national artists. My point is; don’t toss away your dreams and aspirations because you think your skills aren’t applicable to become a sturdy career.”
I agree with this. Come to think of it, a lot of people abandon their happiness, just because they think they’re not good enough. However, maybe we don’t need to be talented in everything. A person’s talent shines when they’re engulfed in happiness. When others feel your happiness, they’ll absorb it, and they too, will smile.
Here’s a story I’d like to tell; I used to have a friend who loved to sing, because it made him happy. His energy was infectious. Those who hung around him couldn’t stop laughing or smiling when he belted out country-styled tunes as if he was Thailand’s top country singer. I also have another friend who loved drawing since childhood. Although his drawings weren’t good at the time, he made the effort to create his very own comic book by folding pieces of paper in half and stapling the pages together. The handmade book made rounds in the classroom evoking laughter and smiles from other students. Fast forwarding to the present, my colleague no longer draws, and he is currently pursuing a career unrelated to drawing comics.
After reading all that, do you see how important talent is, even if it is forgotten? Do you have any special talents to remember? Don’t be afraid to pursue it. It doesn’t matter if someone says you can’t do it or you feel as if you’re going to fail. My advice to you is simple; ignore them. Don’t stop doing what you love to do.
The happiness you create will be your fuel which I believe happiness is like a virus; it can spread from one person to another. Wouldn’t it be nice if our society is infected with the happiness virus?