Despite the saying, words do hurt. Believe me; I know. Unkind words hurt adults just as they can truly damage a child’s self-esteem. For me, I am a lover of words, font, text, etc., especially when they are placed together in such a manner with the goal of improving someone’s day.
The other day while celebrating a dear friend’s fortieth birthday, we were perusing a local independent bookstore. While there, I came across some business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.” This, of course, brought to mind a business card I once received in my mailbox which was attached to some Girl Scout papers which I needed to process for our troop, not one of my favorite jobs. Yet, I sat at my kitchen table that evening working on those papers with the hugest grin on my face. That card with those words had made all the difference. Such a simple ripple can result in quite a tidal wave of happiness.
Last night, volleyball practice began for my second through fourth-grade players. Club Serve at Troy United Methodist Church teaches volleyball skills, but also focuses on serving others. Each practice ends with a homework assignment in the form of a service project, one which is geared towards the age of the child. I laminated homemade business cards with the saying, “I Notice How AWESOME You Are.” After giving each player a praise card due to his/her amazing participation, effort, and encouragement of one another, I handed out an identical card. This card is meant to be distributed by the player to someone he/she finds “awesome.” I offered suggestions: a sibling, teacher, coach, Grandma, etc. I added it was okay to leave the card anonymously. Immediately hands were raised asking some truly thought-provoking questions:
Is it okay to give it to my best friend? Yes!
What if I took it in my lunch box and gave it to someone at recess? Yes, as long as it’s okay with your teacher.
Which card should I keep, and which card should I give away? You choose.
Can we give it to someone right here, on our team? Yes!
Not ever knowing if an activity is going to be a keeper or a bust, I was thrilled to file this one under “keep.” I’m looking forward to hearing to whom each player gave a card (part of the homework). In fact, I was so encouraged by the players’ reaction that I decided to give an employee working in the drive-thru a card this morning while I was purchasing water bottles I had forgotten to pack this morning. My daughter’s friend giggled and said, “That’s weird.” You know what? I’ll take weird. Weird is good.