Last week I started a social experiment without even realizing it.
Let me back up a bit and explain.
After having a great conversation with a friend Friday morning, I found myself with this burning desire inside to spread some love.
I’m weird like that.
So I came up with the idea to offer it up freely on Facebook. This is what my post said, word for word:
“Comment on this post with your favorite emoji and I’ll tell you one way you have been an encouragement in my life. This isn’t one of those chain thingies, I just really want to love on you guys today— especially if you’re having one of those days, weeks, lives where you feel like nothing you do matters. I got you! ❤”
I had no idea what to expect. Part of me wondered if everyone would ignore it, though I hoped they wouldn’t.
Emojis started to slowly trickle in and I was excited to get the chance to love on a couple of people that day.
But then they kept coming. And coming. And next thing I knew, I had 39 people to respond to.
I had people from all walks of my life in there. Friends I see on a daily basis, friends I haven’t seen since high school, and friends I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting in person.
It took me all day to send a response to everyone. I made it a point to really think about it. I wanted to give true, genuine, individual responses to each person.
I didn’t get an ounce of work done that day. The laundry sat, the blog stayed untouched, and I didn’t ship a thing—but it was amazing.
By the end of the evening, I was in such a state of euphoria over loving on others all day long, that I was literally giggling like a mad woman as I was telling my husband about the whole experience.
Some people went out of their way to respond to what I said. Some even loved on me back. The exchange of encouragement within this thread ended up being 135 comments of pure goodness.
And I realized that the world needs this. It needs more of this right here. People offering their love, but also—people willing to accept it.
When someone tries to help you to your car when you’ve got your hands full of groceries + kids, do you let them? Or do you gently say, “thanks, but I’ve got it!” and handle it yourself?
Let me tell you, I lean toward the latter. I pride myself on my ability to do things by myself, by not needed other people’s help. But when we never let others help us, we never let them serve us. I love serving people and I would feel uselesss if I couldn’t do it, so why don’t I let others serve me?
If someone I hadn’t spoken to in years had posted the exact same thing as me, I would have never commented on it. I would have wanted to maybe, but would have rationalized that they would think it was weird, that the post wasn’t meant for me, etc.
That is some serious backwards thinking. What I learned through this accidental social experiment, is that if you give people the chance to receive love, they’ll take it. And that you too, should do the same.
I also learned just how much I wanted to love on those people I hadn’t spoken to in years.
People die, and I’ve lost my fair share. One of the hardest things about death is that you always feel like you never got the chance to tell that person what they meant to you.
But what if we could do that now? Right now. Today.
What if we chose to tell those old friends and new friends and everyone in-between about the impact they have made in our lives. What if we left no story untold?
That’s how I want to live.
And if you’re looking for a full heart, no page unturned kind of life, give my experiment a try. You can copy and paste exactly what I said and watch how encouraged not only everyone who comments on it feels afterwards, but how encouraged you feel after a day of loving on everyone else.