I have been watching the Sochi 2014 Olympics quite a bit, no shocker I imagine. I noticed how eager myself, my Facebook circle and the world really, are to share the ‘good stuff’. The stories of the Canadian Coach that helped a Russian skier who broke a ski by giving him one of ours so he could finish the race, because they work too hard for too long not to at minimum finish. And the other Canadian speed skater who gave up his position in the 1000m race because he knew his teammate was better suited, but had lost his opportunity due a fall in another race. Denny took silver in that race, the Russian finished with integrity and the Canadians are heroes.
So that got me thinking, we celebrate goodness. We celebrate the ‘right’ thing loudly and it made me wonder if maybe we just don’t see a lot of the goodness around us? Or maybe we don’t celebrate enough?
As Canadians we will champion those do-gooders. We will spread the word, we will proudly talk about them and we will hold them up as an example of good. Admittedly, the Olympics are a pretty good stage to showcase ‘goodness’, but what about in your own backyard? What if we celebrated the average Joe or Josephine’s goodness? What if we looked around and held up people in our everyday life that did a good thing?
Think about it, if you are a leading a team and remember your team can be your family, your colleagues, your friends, your staff or your organization, what if you remarked at their ‘goodness’ daily? Weekly? Of course, this means you have to pay attention and you have to notice in order to be able to call out the ‘good’.
Here’s what I think; I think it would breed other goodness. I think people would notice you noticed and want to be noticed too. I think it would be contagious. I think you would start seeing and hearing your team remark at the goodness they noticed, and better yet I think people would be on the hunt for opportunities to be good, because it feels good to ‘do good’. From an early age we are encouraged to do the right thing, whether it’s peeing on the potty or not hitting our sibling. And like a lot of things in our childhood or youth, we have a tendency to stop celebrating.
Listen, we love to celebrate the right thing, when people display a willingness and courage to do what is right, even when it means giving up something they want very badly, is selfless. And the world loves selfless. Good doesn’t have to be big.
It can be simple or it can be hard, it’s a choice. You can think it’s too much work and you can get bitter if no one seems grateful for your shout outs. Or you can seek joy in celebrating the good you witness and understand that the gratitude and the contagion may take consistency to become habitual and dispersible. When you see the opportunity to do the right thing, do it. When you see someone do the right thing, mention it.