It’s Easter Monday. Three years ago I started writing these It’s Monday posts to provide encouragement for the community I serve and create a linkage between Sunday’s worship and Monday’s re-immersion in the world of work, school, life! Though I intended on writing them for one season of Easter, three years later they have become part of the rhythm of my week and, hopefully, a source of inspiration for yours.
One of the joyous and unintended outgrowths of It’s Monday is that my daughter picked up on the concept and, as she became a Resident Advisor on her floor of sophomore girls at Vanderbilt, wrote a weekly piece of encouragement. This morning I received a copy of her last It’s Monday of the 2013-14 school year. She gave me permission to share her final, guiding words. Having read it, I wouldn’t mind being on her floor!
1. Be kind: Of all the things that are important in life, this is number one. You can never be too kind–to others and to yourself.
2. Read: Read out of self-respect; read because there are too many good things going on in this world to not know about; read because your mind deserves to grow and learn each and every day.
3. Talk to janitors, talk to cashiers, talk to servers at the restaurant, and when you talk to them, look them in the eye, genuinely listening to what they have to say. Life is not just about how you treat the people you know, it’s about how you treat the people you don’t know, the people that you cannot reap any benefit from, the people you may never see again. Talk to them and be kind to them because it’s the right thing to do.
4. Ask questions. We’ve all been to way too many gatherings where we are the only individual to ask questions of others–how they are doing, what they do for a living, what their dreams are Don’t be that person that doesn’t care and doesn’t ask questions. Make people feel important. Ask.
5. Do what gives you life. I’d much rather be surrounded by people who honestly, and whole-heartedly love dungeons and dragons than by people who are too concerned with what is cool or popular to be who they are. Do what you love, not because someone else wants you to, but because you love it. And don’t think twice about it.
6. Feel the feels. It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to laugh obnoxiously even if you’re the only one laughing. It’s okay to scream. When you are feeling emotional, let yourself feel. Your spirit needs that.
7. Put your phone down and talk. There’s nothing that can be said via text, email, tweet, etc., that cannot be more powerfully and effectively said in person. Be present. Talk to professors, talk to hall mates, talk to friends, talk to family, talk to strangers. Talk.
8. Find time to be. In our crazy world, it is important to just sit–to listen to good music, to close your eyes and wonder, to think deeply and thoughtfully about important things. Find time to do this. Just be.
9. There are two words that could always be said more in our culture-Let’s Dance! Dance because it’s freeing, dance slowly, dance weirdly, dance spontaneously, dance in public, dance alone, dance with your mom, dance with your life partner. In the words of a Japanese proverb, “We’re fools whether we dance or not… so we might as well just dance.”
10. Be the best YOU you can be: “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are” -Joseph Campbell. You are perfect in all your imperfections, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! “You is kind, you is smart, and you is important.” (from the movie, The Help)
It’s Monday. My daughter found a way to share her Easter life with those in her sphere of influence. What about you? And remember, “We’re fools whether we dance or not… so we might as well just dance.” Peace. Kai