Saturday, October 12, 2013

Shockingly Pink

I hate pink. 
OK, maybe hate is too strong of a word, but I am not a big fan of the color. I prefer blues and greens and even purple, but not pink. But this week, I got something pink that I really like. It was delivered to me at work in an interoffice envelope and it was quite shocking actually. I was surprised to receive it. I sat at my desk for a few seconds after I opened the interoffice envelope and just stared at it and laughed.
It was a pink notepad.
Big deal, right?
Well, it was to me.
The day before, I had been in a meeting with a group of people from another division where I work. I got to the meeting room early (surprise, surprise) and got my notes ready. I had a pen, my cell phone and a bunch of handouts. A few minutes later, two people from the division walked in and sat down across from me in the meeting room. One was carrying a pink notepad. She set it down on the desk in front of her along with a pen and her cell phone and looked up at me and smiled.  I smiled back and said, "I like your notepad. Breast cancer awareness month, right?" 
She said, "Yeah, thanks."  She fidgeted with it a little.
The notepad was bright pink, not the standard white or yellow, so there was no missing it. It definitely made a statement and reminded me that we need to rid the planet of breast cancer. She wrote all over it during the meeting, as I scrawled a few notes on handouts and on my standard yellow pad. The meeting was short, thankfully, and I wandered back to my office afterwards and got busy with other projects.
The next day I arrived at my office early, grabbed the mail out of my inbox and opened the one large interoffice envelope in the stack.
Bam! There it was. Pink notepad.
As I mentioned, I was surprised. I sat at my desk for a few moments and smiled at this unexpected gift. I hadn't asked her for one. I hadn't even hinted that I wanted one. Not to mention I barely knew her. I actually had to ask a co-worker what her name was after the meeting because for the life of me, I couldn't remember. So it wasn't like we were office buddies. We weren't even acquaintances. Yet, she took the time to send me this shockingly pink notepad just because I mentioned I like hers?
How nice.
How thoughtful.
How kind.
I sent her an email to thank her and she sent me a happy face :) reply.
Her simple gesture reminded me how much the little things matter. How the simplest little act of kindness can literally make a HUGE difference. I felt a lift in my spirit from that moment on. The world seemed a little nicer, calmer, more fun to be in. The whole "Random Act of Kindness" thing or "Pay it Forward" theme has become trite, but let's face it, it really is true that the littlest kindness goes a long way.
I wonder what kindness could do to cancer?
If we were all a little kinder to each other would it make a difference in our health? Could it take our stress down a notch? Relieve the pressure of a bad day? Set us off on the right foot at the beginning of the day so that we feel more motivated to take better care of ourselves and each other? Would it give us hope - help us believe in better days ahead? Strengthen our resolve to sleep, slow down, take a break, laugh, give a hug?
Maybe. And that could have far-reaching implications.
Blood pressure drops.
Sleep is more restful.
Less road rage, flip-offs and fender benders.
Less need to drink, smoke, overeat.
More smiling. Breathing. Loving. Helping.
All of which would lead to healthier lives. OK, so maybe it wouldn't rid us of cancer, but it wouldn't hurt. I know I felt special staring down at my new notepad. Even if it was pink.

Let's all do something shockingly pink today and see what happens.

-Hope A. Horner, 2013
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