I had several errands to run Friday and I was deeply embedded in the I’ve-got-so-much-to-do –get-out-of-my-way frantic kind of holiday mood. I wasn’t upset, just focused and abrupt and herky-jerky. I was moving fast, with my head down, not tuning into anything around me. So, it’s a surprise actually that I noticed the bell ringers at all. Truly, I think it’s their energy I felt first.
One, sat in a chair, a hand jammed in a pocket the other clenched tight into a fist around the little bell, ringing it sporadically. He sat with his chin on his chest, never raising his eyes to the people passing by. Occasionally, he’d murmur a Thank You when coins fell into the pot, though he never looked up.
The second bell ringer, stationed in front of a grocery store, walked around helping people unload their groceries. She held the bell loose between her fingers and shook it with such enthusiasm it that the cheap little bell sounded like a choir voice – alive and gleeful. This bell ringer wished everyone a Happy Holiday in a sing-song voice. When she caught my eye, she smiled so big that it spread to me and left me smiling too, while I shopped.
I didn’t give either of them money. But the second bell ringer gave me a gift. She made me think. And feel. She reminded me of the power of the energy we bring. I wasn’t bringing much positive energy before I ran into her. I was unconsciously constricting the flow of my own good vibes and that left little good topass around.
Energy, by its nature, flows and spreads. No matter what we are feeling, we are giving out energy. If I’m going to be passing it around anyhow, I sure want it to make a positive contribution.
The bell ringers reminded me what a difference that can make. One was passing around joy, the other despair. I don’t know their personal situations and there is no reason to judge. But I do know this: we all have hardship and challenge. And right in the middle of that we all have a choice to be grateful, kind, loving — anyhow. We can all decide to pass around good energy, no matter our circumstance.
A Facebook friend wrote last week that there are some people who bring so much of the negative that they seem to suck the good feelings right out of others. You know these people – we’ve all been around those who leave us feeling exhausted and low. Then, there are the others that bring light –no matter their circumstance. Not only do the light-givers brighten up the room with their positive brand of energy, they improve their own situation.
In a very real way, when you spread joy, you feel more joy. When you love well, you are well loved. When you are grateful, you see more to be grateful for. When you share your positive energy you are infused with even more.
We have a choice as to which energy we’ll bring. No matter our circumstances, we can make a positive contribution simply by giving a big smile. Simply by saying thank you and pausing just long enough to meet the eyes of another. You can make a choice to bring your best energy and that alone can make a difference in your world and mine.
Both bell ringers changed my day and reminded me of how powerful we are. How we are all connected, tethered by the energy between us. But, only one bell ringer infused me with her good spirit, and inspired me to be better in that moment and to pass those good feelings on. That’s powerful stuff.
So, what kind of energy are you bringing? It could be a difference-maker for you and the rest of us.
Post originally ran on this site in 2011.
Photo by Stock.xchng