OK, this may seem strange but my post today is inspired by a bathroom stall. I recently spoke at a leadership conference on a university campus and I was struck by the positive tone that all the scribbles on the wall shared.
I remember a time when the things people wrote were overwhelmingly negative — either criticizing others or themselves — comments about someone’s physical attributes, or sexual behavior, or personality defects.
But that is not what I saw — what I read was an incredible outpouring of uplifting and inspiring messages. Check these out:
And it wasn’t just these four in a see of negative comments — everywhere I looked was a message that was positive.
I can’t help but believe that this means something good about our society. That our young people are seeing hope and possibility, and more importantly, are using their words to uplift others, rather than cut them down.
And the more I think about it, I realize that there are other signs that we are becoming a kinder society. Like how the judges on today’s reality TV shows, like American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, now focus on building up the confidence of the performers rather than tearing down their self esteems. They still deliver constructive feedback while also highlighting strengths and opportunities.
Or how parents and schools are taking an active stance against bullying and holding people accountable for harm done. All around us are signs that we are at some crucial tipping point of becoming a society that is truly based on love, kindness, and a deep respect for humanity.
Now, I know that if you want, you can look for and find examples to the contrary — but that is not where I want to shine the light nor devote my energy. I want to celebrate the good and add one more drop to this movement. If we are at some crucial tipping point, then every contribution matters.
I don’t have a bathroom wall to write on, but I have this post. And here is my quote:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” Ghandi
What about you? How can you contribute?