My boys helped me pass out fliers a few weeks ago, inviting people to our house for a cookout. Together we would walk up to someone’s door and knock. When they answered, my older son would say, “We’re having a get together at our house this Sunday,” and my younger son would finish, “…and you’re invited,” then hand them a flier. I would follow up with a quick affirmation that what my kids said was true. My kids had a blast! But, there was one house on the corner near us whose owner answered our invite in the strangest way and I find myself still thinking about it.
We knocked on the door and my kids went through their spiel and he responded by saying, “I’ve lived on this street for 40 years and it’s never been a particularly friendly street.” To be honest, he didn’t seem particularly friendly himself and I went home feeling sad that he had lived there for so long and never even tried to fix the problem. It reminded me of a lesson I learned in college.
Junior year was one of my favorite years of college and I lived in a dorm with some great guys. But, sometimes I wouldbe sitting in my dorm room and hear about all the crazy stuff the guys in a dorm near us would be doing and get jealous. One night we got all the guys together to talk about life and somehow it came out that the guys in that dorm were doing the same thing. We realized it wasn’t going to do either of us any good to sit in our rooms and mope and so made a pact to never do that again. We had to initiate and create the fun we were looking to have and invite others to join us- no more waiting for an invitation.
In a lot of ways, the lesson I learned that night influences my life in a major way. I now believe you have to create the fun you’re looking for. No one should ever sit around wishing or waiting for someone to call and invite them to hang out. If you want to hang out with friends, you need to invite them out to do something. Otherwise, I imagine everyone sitting in their houses, moping around, waiting for their phone to ring, feeling lonely. The only way you’re ever going to have any fun is by deciding to do something and inviting others to join you.
I wonder what would have happened, if 40 years ago the guy who lives on the corner tried to make a difference in the area of friendliness? There’s a good chance, our street would be one of the friendliest and most connected streets in the entire city!
I want to challenge you to not wait around for fun. Decide what you want to do, invite a friend, and go do it. Don’t wait for change to happen around you, or sit around complaining about it. I believe I should never complain about something beyond the effort I’m willing to put in to changing it. If I’m unwilling to help fix a problem, then I should probably be quiet (not always successful on this one).
Be the fun you’re looking to have.
Start the change you wish would happen.
1. What kind of changes do you want to see happen around you? (Another way to ask this question is, What bothers you?)
2. What’s one step you can take towards making that happen?
Note: I love this idea, but find it challenging too. There are times I’m better at this and other times I’m not. There are places in my life I take more action while others I don’t.
Here’s a few pics from college- enjoy.