So I had this idea to bake cookies for my entire building for Valentine. That is 7 apartments filled with people varying from category ‘I never spoke to you before’ to ‘I might have had a little chat with you but don’t know your name’.
We have patterns and social norms and ways we ought to behave. Like you are not supposed to play hopscotch on the street. You are not supposed to talk to strangers on the bus and you are not supposed to bake cookies for your neighbors. But the thing is, some of these rules are there for no reason. It somehow just ended up being the main pattern in which people choose to behave, but that doesn’t mean that we should be limited in any way by them. If you want to make positive contributions to this world it is very likely that you will have to break these invisible patterns. So I challenge you to take a look at your daily life and question everything you do. And then question what things you might want to do. Just because no-one does something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t.
Baking was the easy part. Well, apart from the cookie-bake test I did last week to ensure result. My oven is broken so I baked 1 cookie at once under different conditions to find out under what circumstances I can bake cookies without burning them (150 degrees Celcius 14 minutes I found out after 4 tests). But that was not the point I was trying to make. The point is that ‘creating’ is my comfort zone. It is what I do. Now, when the time came to ring the doorbells of my neighbor’s houses I suddenly wasn’t too sure anymore of my plan that had seemed so awesome until then. I thought: ‘what if they think I am weird and that I have some kind of Valentine complex’ or ‘what if his girlfriend wants to hit me because I give him heart-shaped cookies’ and all these kind of thoughts that hadn’t occurred to me before. But hey, I had baked all my cookies, and I couldn’t eat them all myself. So I bravely rang doorbells.
The reactions were overwhelming. People smiled. They kissed me and hugged me. They invited me for Saturday night pizza and coffee. They invited me to future summer garden parties. They screamed enthusiastically and said they were gonna ‘Facebook it’. They liked it, very much.
I still can’t help but smiling with a big big smile when I think about it. It really is true that the way to be happy is to make others so.
(Oh and if you liked this story, you might like my last year’s Valentine action as well)