New to the city, 2 years ago I wrote a post in a facebook group of strangers to see if anyone would want to join me in handing out 100 roses and 100 balloons to random people. To my surprise, 2 brave souls were up for the adventure. (Hi Missy! Hi Abby!)
I am a birthday person. I love my birthday, your birthday, and the birthday at the table behind me at the restaurant!
As my 3rd birthday in Portland approaches, I am reminded of my 1st birthday in Portland.
I had been here for a little over a month with no friends or family. I thought to myself, “Should I do something..? Celebrate by myself..?”
What’s so wonderful and special about birthdays is that you are reminded that you are loved by those who love you. As I let this thought settle into me, my whole heart and soul was overcome with warmth, knowing how loved I am not just by friends and family but also by the creator of the universe. That’s when I decided, I don’t need to do anything. I thought, “I already know that I am loved, but there are people out there who are fearsomely loved and have no idea.” It suddenly became crucial to me that everyone know this truth and feel as loved and special as they would if it were their own birthday.
Missy, Abby, and I met in my unpacked apartment and prepared the balloons & roses. We stepped out onto my street where it randomly started hailing (because the devil works like that and wants to see defeat & failure) and walked to the first covered place: Grand Central Bakery. When we walked through the doors, our arms spilling over with pops of color, a gradual silence blanketed the room and I admit, this point was a bit nerve racking. The response was confusion first, and then one by one, genuine heartfelt awe as we approached tables and passed out a rose or balloon to whomever wanted it with a reminder that they are loved and that their presence on this earth matters. Most everyone’s demeanor flipped 180 from closed & guarded to open & accepting. Every now and then we had an individual suspicious of us and reject the gift. A few cried in hope and some wanted to give something back in return. I wasn’t expecting anything from the experience but it ended up being a birthday gift unto myself. It was an emotionally overwhelming experience in the best sense ever.
Sometimes we forget that we have the power to do something. And at the cost of nothing. It doesn’t have to take 100 roses, or any money, or even time. Just a conscious thought and effort. Not just a random act of kindness but an intentional act of thoughtfulness.
Reliving this story in writing this post has ignited that same urgency to not let a single person go by without knowing the truth that they are loved. I would LOVE to hear acts of intentional goodness that you have recently done or even better, what you are going to do today! Please share in the comments below and let us inspire each other to action!