The Ripple Effect of Our Actions
Disclaimer: Any opinions I write about my company or our patrons are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Meow Wolf', the company for which I work.
The other night at work, a co-worker came up to me and said, "I'm going to miss you."
I was shocked. Was she quitting? She had just been hired recently, and I liked her. Where was she going?
She clarified that no, she was simply on to our next shift rotation, meaning we would not be in the same area, but that she liked being around me and my positive energy and that she would miss that while she was in another part of the attraction.
That really meant a lot to me, both because I try to exude that kind of energy (see my pos on Lightbearers and Soulsuckers) and also because it reminded me that we never really know the influence, negative or positive, we are having on those around us. I had no idea she felt that way, but it made me feel good that perhaps I made a difference in her own mood and work attitude.
We briefly talked about other coworkers we whose energy we enjoy being around as well as mentioned, without saying any names, that the Debbie Downer sort of personalities could be more challenging.
That same evening, a security guard I am friendly with passed by me and said he always looked forward to passing me because my dancing (one of my characters I play dances a lot) always makes his idea. Again, I had no idea he felt that way, either.
And then, a couple of days ago, another coworker had also expressed to me how kind and even tempered I was. He said he admired that because he had a hard time with some of our more difficult guests. I said I was not insusceptible to feeling irked by unpleasant guests but that I really try to not let them affect me negatively.
On Saturday, when I pulled into the employee parking lot, I said to myself, "No matter where I am stationed tonight, no matter what the evening is like or how our guests behave, I am going to have a great, fun night."
Saturday's crowds seem to notoriously be the most challenging ones. That is the day we are usually the most crowded, and for some reason, it can bring out some of the less pleasant guests, who, while still a minority, can be challenging and make the evening less delightful. So I sent out an intention to gear myself up for the night.
When I came in, another coworker said, "What kind of night do you think it will be?" I told him what I had said in the parking lot, and he agreed that he, too, would put out that same intention in the hope of manifesting that sort of energy.
I will tell you this: The evening was not without its challenges. I personally dealt with two sets of guests that weren't particularly kind. But having set that intention, I was of a mind that made me think, "Yeah, those guests weren't very nice to me, but I am not going to give them any power over my mood. Why should I give them that power? I choose how I feel. They don't dictate that." (I've written about this before too.)
And you know what? I had a very good night that night. When I talked to my coworker who had also set that intention, although he, too, had faced challenging guests that night, he also said that his night had been very good overall. I was glad that we had made that intention together.
I'm not telling you any of this to make myself seem like I'm some paragon of virtue. I tell you this because I genuinely forget that my influence might actually be helping others. Obviously, I would like to be a Lightbearer sort of guy, but I also am intimately aware of the worst parts of myself, and just like everybody else, I have those self-defeating voices in my head that try to convince me I'm doing little good in the world. So it's just nice to know that I am.
So often we are just unaware of how much we might be helping someone else (or inversely, hurting someone else) with our words and action. Sometimes we get so locked into our own bubble that we forget that a seemingly small ripple we make in the water has expansive effects we just take for granted. I so hope to be someone who lifts and inspires rather than tears down and deflates.
I'm grateful for people who remind me that my words and actions matter. What about you? Do you have experiences where something you did influenced someone more than you thought it might? Share your comments below.