To share or not to share, that is the question, and, it is a question I ask myself often.
Is it really worth it to share?
This fall, Come Together with Kindness hosted a Chalk Walk the night before the local Art Walk. We provided chalk and children and families filled the sidewalks downtown with positive messages and uplifting art.
In December, it was time for Art Walk again. So, we gathered and began creating kindness-centered art. While there, several people asked if I knew that just a few hours prior, in the exact same location, a local artist was arrested for doing the exact same thing- chalk art. I knew they were referring to Lakey. We met Lakey at Art Walk. He gave Drew an amazing pep talk, shared that he was involved in the foster care system and encouraged Drew to continue his efforts. I saw a marked, positive surge in Drew’s attitude. Not to mention, there was a great deal of excitement several months before when Lakey’s art first appeared in town. He was invited by local officials to share more of his remarkable circles. Plus, it’s chalk. Dependent upon the weather, it’s gone in a few days or weeks. An arrest made no sense at all, yet I noticed that Lakey’s circles were left incomplete.
It was true. As Lakey was creating, two men approached him, one kicked his chalk. The other discouraged his associate from creating further incident. The police became involved and when it became clear that Lakey’s freedom of expression would not be honored in that location, he moved. He commenced his creations downtown on public property in an area now dubbed an art district. Soon after, the police arrived and arrested him. Long story short, charges were dropped, and he received an outpouring of support from the community. However, the damage was already done. But he didn’t quit and went on to finish that project and others, which were enjoyed by many.
So why am I sharing this story? Because we have a choice every day. We have a choice to share or not to share. We also have a choice as to how we choose to react to things, how we choose to perceive things and how we choose to treat others. The choices we make are often a reflection of either the joy or the hurt in our hearts. Lakey fell victim to the hurt in someone’s heart even though he was using his gift to inspire others and create joy. This is a common occurrence. It makes it easy to see why people may choose not to share.
So, when I ask myself if what we do with Come Together with Kindness is worth sharing, I realize I should focus on the word, “worth.” If you are sharing something positive, inspirational, beautiful, even if it is your own success, happiness, or gift, it adds value to the world. It is worth sharing. Negative responses to your positive contributions are only reflections of the hurt in someone else’s heart and have absolutely nothing to do with you. We cannot let other’s negativity devalue the worth of the positives we are brave enough to share. Gifts are meant to be shared.
If Lakey didn’t share his gift, one less person would have shown Drew, and countless others, that we are not alone in trying to make the world a better and more beautiful place. One less person would have reminded me that all of our efforts really do matter. It is easy to lose sight of that amidst all the negativity we face today. We must make a concerted effort to focus on the positive and choose to be inspired instead. This is yet another reason we should share. We should let people know when they inspire us! If we don’t, they may never know, become discouraged and stop sharing.
Imagine if everyone simply chose NOT to share their gifts. Or, what if every person who was brave enough to share never shared again because of a negative response? This would be tragic. Think of the talents and gifts of others that we rely on each and every day and, at times, even in life or death situations. No matter the gift, we should never trivialize someone’s contribution. Even if their particular gift doesn’t directly impact us, it does impact someone else. Think of the many times you have been inspired. How different would your life be with no inspiration?
I share what we do with Come Together with Kindness because each time someone tells us that we have inspired them, it just inspires us MORE! We all get discouraged sometimes, but I know that it is absolutely worth it to share. As a matter of fact, our new 2020 blog series, Inspired to Share, will feature regular people doing amazing things. People who have inspired us so much that we have to share because there is no way these folks won’t inspire you, too! Of course, Lakey is one of those people. But don't wait on us, check out his work and learn more about him HERE.
In the meantime, if you haven’t yet, join our site at the top right on our blog page so inspiration comes straight to your inbox! Speaking of inspiration,
FREE kindness kits are about to go out! Once you create a log in, sign in and request your free kits now through February 10th, while supplies last.
Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and is the perfect time to
SHARE a little extra love and kindness.
Share a little love and let people know that kindness is always, always the way to go.