I have always loved water, from looking at the millions of sparkles and bold reflections, hearing the soft trickles and also the powerful waves, and feeling it cool my skin on the hottest of days. Now, drinking as much water as I should, that is an entirely different story!
Leonardo da Vinci said, “Water is the driving force of all nature.”
There are many ways in which water can be used as a force, or even witnessed as a force of nature. We can see countless examples of raging seas, the breathtaking effects of water erosion, and even water wells that are saving lives in countries that do not have access to water. Water is truly a powerful natural force, capable of inspiring awe, admiration, and gratitude. It is essential to our survival. The same can be said of our interactions with others, and even with ourselves. Are we being a fountain or a drain? Are we quenching thirsts or creating a drought?
What I’m talking about here means creating more and consuming less. More positive and less negative. Every single person that you come in to contact with is fighting their own battle(s); something or maybe even many things that they are struggling with. Don’t be a drain. Don’t just merely survive every day while only going through the motions. Don’t take more from others, and from YOURSELF than what you are giving. Pour out good and positivity. Be a fountain. You might be surprised by what can happen when you allow yourself to be vulnerable and communicate with others; your vulnerability can be an inspiration to others. Be a fountain. Ask others how they’re doing, and genuinely CARE.
Author and mental-health advocate, Kevin Hines threw himself off the Golden Gate Bridge 21 years ago and miraculously survived. At the time, he was a distraught 19-year-old college student with bipolar issues and voices in his head that he had kept a secret from his family and doctors for 15 years. Hines had taken a bus to the bridge visibly in tears and shared that he looked to the different strangers he encountered along the way hoping that just one would ask him what was wrong. Nobody did– and Kevin ended up vaulting off the bridge. He has also shared accounts from others who jumped off the bridge, including the story of one man who wrote a suicide note saying he would not go through with it if just one single person smiled at him that day. Don’t be afraid to ask your friends and family members if they are okay. Be a fountain.
We all have days where we just want to be mad, or sad, or plain pessimistic. That’s fine- this is normal and allowed; but keep going! Try again for a good attitude the next day. Set a personal goal to make each day an above average day or as Simon Sinek tells us, an “ahead” day. Work to encourage someone who’s having a worse day than yourself. Be your own kind of happy and let that happiness flow from you. Be a fountain.
Here’s your challenge. Pick out one day of the week and devote it to making the lives of others better. I guarantee you that YOUR day will improve as well. Be a fountain. Share your experiences below, or you can even email me; I’d love to hear your stories!
Tonya Hitschmann, Director of Community Programs