I was using Chipotle’s web site recently to order dinner so it would be ready when I went to pick it up. The ordering window for each item includes an open line for special instructions (like “extra sour cream”) but you can type anything in that field. Thinking I’d be funny, I typed, “Make it like you were making it for yer momma!” in the special instructions field. Then I was hit by a way to kick this up a notch. With help from my daughter, I put a joke in the special instructions field for each order. This did take a bit of work because there is a 50 character limit. (e.g. “Y can’t u hear a pterodactyl urinate? Silent P” or “What’s brown and sticky? A stick.”) I was curious about their reaction to the corny jokes. When my daughter and I arrived at Chipotle to pick up our food, the guy at the cash register told us they had passed the food ticket around the kitchen and then he asked if they could keep it to put on their bulletin board. Bull’s-eye! It felt really good to bring joy into the lives of the line workers at Chipotle.
I met a man once who was headed to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting because he was craving a drink. On the way he stopped to help someone change a flat tire on the side of the road. After helping with the tire change, the man felt so good that instead of going to his AA meeting he spent the next 3 hours driving around looking for people to help. He did this 2-3 nights per week for the next several weeks as part of his recovery.
Corny jokes may not be your style and you may not be able to help someone change a tire, but you have an opportunity to feel good today. That opportunity is intentionally using your interactions with other people to do nice, kind, helpful, uplifting things for them, whatever your style. Offer a kind word to the cashier. Let someone in front of you when the traffic is backed up. Purposely keep a box of granola bars or other non-perishable food in your car to give to a homeless person at a stop light rather than just looking away. It’s not complicated. Just keep your eyes open for chances to be kind.
Spreading joy is win-win because in bringing joy to others, you bring joy to yourself as well.