Monday, September 11, 2006

The World is a Mirror, Part 10

A is for ATTITUDE
B is for BREAK PATTERNS
C is for CONSISTENCY
D is for DISCIPLINE
E is for EVOLUTION
F is for FRIENDLINESS
G is for GOOD WITH NAMES
H is for HAPPINESS
I is for IDEAS (coming next week)
J is for JOY

For the past few months I’ve been writing essays on how wearing a nametag 24-7 for the past 2,139 days to make people friendlier has reflected back on my own life. (Hence the title, The World is a Mirror.)

If you’ve been keeping up, I’ve addressed myriad issues: personal, professional, simple and humorous.

None of those categories apply to today’s post.

When I got to the letter “J,” I thought long and hard about possible words to tackle. Job? Jerk? Jabberwocky? (Which, by the way, is my new favorite word.)

Nah. I’d rather pick something bigger.

I decided to go with “joy.”

The word actually means: “To feel great happiness or pleasure, especially of an elevated or spiritual kind.”

So, it’s kind of like happiness, but better. Deeper. Bordering on ethereal.

Now, I won’t waste your time with quotations or scriptures about joy. That would be too easy.

Instead, I’d like to share a few things that happened to me over the past year as a direct result of wearing a nametag that have been sources of joy.

1) Over the summer I gave a speech at a conference for The Washington Initiative for Supportive Employment. Many of my audience members had physical or mental disabilities, some of which were unable to speak. After my speech was over, a man from the front row whose badge read, “Hurricane Mike,” came right up to me a with a huge smile on his face. And even though he could barely put the words together to speak, he placed his hand on my nametag and said, “It’s not the nametag; it’s the heart behind it.”

2) Last year I received an email from a subscriber to my blog who said, “Scott, I’ve been having a terrible time moving my bowels lately; but thanks to your blog, apparently daily hysterical laughter has kept me regular!”

3) When I returned home from giving a speech in Orlando, I received an email from a fellow blogger who said, “Scott, your speech changed my life. I am serious. You got me thinking in completely different ways now!”

4) Yesterday I met a woman who had just heard me give a speech to 2000 people in Salt Lake City. Her only comment was, “Scott, I want to meet your parents.”

5) My older brother and I were hanging out in Chicago a few weeks ago for his birthday/engagement celebration. On the way to the airport he said, “Scott, I know I gave you a lot of shit when you first started wearing a nametag, but I’m really proud of you.”

Truthfully, stuff like this makes me tear up. But these are tears of joy. Tears that I’m happy to shed. And tears that in no way compare to the tears shed by thousands of people five years ago who lost their lives - or the lives of someone they loved – in the 9/11 attacks.

Here’s the point: today when you open the newspaper, turn on the TV or listen to the radio, you will be exposed to articles, interviews, pictures and stories about the horror that was 9/11.

And it’s going to be sad. It’s going to be tough. It might even scare you a little.

So, when that happens, I want you to do three things:

1) Mourn for the people who lost their lives during the attack.
2) Pray for the intrepid soldiers defending our country to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
3) Give thanks for all the things in your life that give you joy.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
Author/Speaker/That Guy with the Nametag
www.hellomynameisscott.com