Monday, February 6, 2012
When I set up my "rules" for this project, I noted that I wanted the vast majority of my intentional acts of kindness to be for strangers rather than my friends and family. This was not because I didn't want to be nice to people close to me, but simply because I wanted to extend myself beyond my normal comfort zone. That being said, being kind to those closest to me is obviously important and will sometimes constitute my intentional act for the day. Today was one of those days.
I attended the Super Bowl party today that my sister and her husband host each year for friends and family. As with any party, the host/hostess shoulder the bulk of the load for pulling things together, though help from others can make a big difference. I made sure to get there a couple of hours early so that I could take care of a few "assigned" tasks and help out with anything else that was needed. As importantly, when the party was over, I made sure to stick around (with some others, as well) to pitch in and help clean everything up. Sure enough, with everyone's help, we had the entire house back to "normal" in short order once the party was done.
It was interesting to observe how a number of people seemed to pitch in to clean up, without needing to be asked. People saw things that needed to be done and just took care of it. That type of seamless teamwork is fun to behold and to be a part of. It makes me wonder what causes that to happen in some situations while it doesn't happen in others. I suppose it's probably a combination of circumstance and the personalities (and upbringing?) of those involved. It's certainly true, though, that a great team is more than the sum of its parts.