I’ve noticed a change over the last few years.
There is more positive energy flowing along the roads and byways of this country of ours. Like a breath of fresh air. And no where is it more apparent to me than in, what I feel, is the least likely of places.
You heard me.
Typically you go into a bathroom at a bar or a rest stop or a gas station and it’s rude comments, or people calling other people out for being a jerk (that’s a much nicer word than they usually use) or movie quotes or whatever. The tone was usually darker or mean. But I slowly started seeing a change over the last two years. And not just in one place, all over the place. West, North, East, South -the whole country. A little bit here and there, then more and more and more.
But the first place that completely blew my mind was in Montana. I went into the bathroom of a total dive bar, and, as was expected, the entire thing was covered in comments. But here’s the thing – Every. Single. One of Them. was POSITIVE.
“You are perfect just as you are.” was written in the stall. On the mirror was “Wow – you are so beautiful today” on the other wall was a longer piece about overcoming adversaries to claim your true self. This totally caught me off guard. Especially in this place. I’d never seen a WHOLE BATHROOM covered in nothing but beautiful words. In a dive bar. All in different handwriting. Not one person, mind you. Many people.
But it didn’t stop there. I kept noticing it everywhere. In every bathroom. And lets be honest here, you guys. When I’m on the road I use a LOT of public bathrooms.
Which is where it gets even BETTER! I also re-visit a lot of bathrooms. And the graffiti is changing. Negative stuff is either crossed out, or painted over. New comments are positive and uplifting. “Follow your Dreams” “All you have is right now. Enjoy it’s perfect imperfection” “You are so loved”
It’s become more and more common. Now I EXPECT to see it. I’m actually surprised now when I use a bathroom that has graffiti and I don’t see at LEAST one “You are Beautiful” somewhere. At least. You get me? There’s more likely going to be around five or six.
Here’s a little fun serendipity bathroom stall moment – One time while I was in this shiny dark metal style stall, I was enjoying reading the surprising amount of poetry on the walls. (Actual poetry. Think about that for a moment.) “This Must Be the Place” by Talking Heads was playing overhead, and right as it gets to one of my favorite lines in the song, I look straight ahead and there is the same line written right in front of me: “Sing Into My Mouth”
(Sigh of contentment)
What started in bathrooms is trickling down elsewhere as well – I’ve been noticing little bits of happiness on sidewalks, and at restaurants, at gas stations and grocery stores. Little positive notes all over the country. Notes that take real effort. And I love it.
I love it because these tiny little messages scattered all over are such a beautiful and perfect example of THIS:
“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” Keri Russell
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi
“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” Maya Angelou
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” Margaret Mead
“Things do not change; we change.” Henry David Thoreau
“Without change, something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” Frank Herbert
And on and on and on and on and on…
Can I just take a moment to look at the whole world and say “YES. Thank you for the inspiration. Beautiful work, everyone. Yes yes yes. Please please keep it up.”
I very well may begin carrying a sharpie around in my purse just so I can help spread the love.