I’ve been jotting down some of the more beautiful things and some of the more ugly things I’ve seen happen the past few months. Every day I am reminded of just how wonderful many strangers are around me. I am given examples that I am able to learn from and live up to. I’m also reminded just how far we have to go.

MADE ME HAPPY: I watched a man who must have been ninety or so stand and hold the door open at the gas station for at least twelve people coming and going. Such a simple act of kindness made him so happy.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: At the gym, a meathead yelled at a stranger’s child for taking too long to get through the door that he wanted to get through.

MADE ME HAPPY: A little boy and his mother were walking down an aisle at the grocery store singing a cute song together.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: Some guy at karaoke grabbed a microphone and jumped into almost everyone else’s routines, whether they wanted him to or not.

MADE ME HAPPY: I baked and took cookies to a new neighbor to welcome them to the neighborhood. We had a nice chat and got to know each other.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: My doorbell rang. I peeked out and it was a neighbor. I didn’t have a shirt on and wasn’t showered so I tip-toed away and never bothered to find out what they needed.

MADE ME HAPPY: I went on a first date and found out that she played tuba in high school. This of course was awesome because I also played tuba in high school. And that made us both awesome nerds.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: On a first date, within 30 seconds of meeting her, a different woman grabbed my thigh, pinned it down, and angrily demanded, “quit shaking your leg.”

MADE ME HAPPY: I saw a grandma greet her five grandkids, grab them all, and lay a big fat loud kiss onto each of them. They pretended to hate it, but to watch was proof that they all loved her all the more for it.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I watched her husband do nothing but grunt and get into the car while she loaded the kids up into their vehicle.

MADE ME HAPPY: Noah was laughing hysterically while he told me about a YouTube video he watched at mommy and Chappy’s house where a guy gets in a fight with a bear. I could barely understand a word out of his mouth between the laughter.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I watched a man yell at his daughter to “speak up because he couldn’t understand her.” There was no patience or kindness in his voice. Just extreme anger.

MADE ME HAPPY: I received an email that said, “life has a way of teaching you what being rich and poor really means. Your definition now will change again, I bet. Thank you for your perspective.”
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I received an email that said, “You jackass. You have no idea what it means to actually be poor. And then you have the balls to act like a $600,000 house makes you rich. You really don’t know anything about money do you.”

MADE ME HAPPY: I watched for at least an hour while the most beautiful birds came and went from my mom’s bird feeder.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I screamed the f-word at an obnoxious bird outside my window who wouldn’t shut up at five in the morning.

MADE ME HAPPY: My brother-in-law announced to the family a very tough decision he had made based on his own beliefs and his own convictions. He received nothing but love and support.
NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I flirted with a pretty girl. The very first thing she asked me was, “are you a Mormon?” I told her I wasn’t. She said, “sorry then,” and walked away.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS. Using this same format (just for fun), what are some of the beautiful things you’ve seen lately, and what are some of the things that need a little improvement?