I have been woefully absent, not necessarily from giving out gold stars but from reporting on my efforts. I should have been writing every day, as I have learned much in my travels from Maine to Chicago to Iowa.
It is clear that while people may be surrounded by different terrain, have different accents or different cultural norms, they are the same in that they appreciate being rewarded for their efforts, they love it when someone else notices that they are trying.
From the gentleman gripping tight to the armrest on the puddle-jumper from New York to Chicago to the one who sat next to me as I gripped myself and cursed mightily on the little plane that dipped and dropped all the way from Iowa City to Chi-town, I encountered a lot of instances of people needing and people giving.
Summertime is like any other time in that we are so very focused on ourselves, on what we have to get done in order to complete our tasks, to get to the fun. So much of the time, if we are not careful, such self-focus makes us oblivious to others. I know I am a culprit, caught up in my own head so much so that I don't think in a moment of others' thoughts or feelings.
Back in Brooklyn, faced with a multitude of new faces, the absence of others (gone like I have been to escape the city in the heat) I am presented anew with opportunities to get out of myself and give out gold stars. I am always amazed at the smiles brought out simply with a kind word, a noticing of someone's...something, anything. It's just important to notice.
This morning, my lovely husband's 40th Birthday a fond memory, kids happily ensconced in camp, I am clearing out and cleaning up, getting ready to get back to work, writing and rewarding others, at least for a few weeks, before we get on a plane yet again to foreign lands. It will be fun to see if people in France and England get the gold star thing...We'll see!