My Mother-in-law is hands down the quirkiest person I know. She reminds me of Ruth Bader Ginsburg. While she is not a Supreme Court Justice, she is a piano teacher and she is a powerhouse. She’s hardworking. She fights for what she believes. She falls asleep at the dinner table and she accessorizes like a boss. Her favorite accessory is a rubber frog purse and it goes with her everywhere. When I first met the frog, I thought it was an interesting fashion choice. It never really matched any of her outfits and let’s be honest, she was carrying around her belongings in a fake amphibian. It wasn’t until I went out in public with her and that bright green frog that I truly understood the magnitude this frog purse was having on the world.
I can only liken the experience to that of walking down the street with a celebrity. People get so excited to come over and talk about the purse. They ask to take photos with the purse. Sometimes they even pet the purse. If you take the purse to a crowded place, it becomes a sort of group flocking. Lines start to form and instead of asking for an autograph, they want a glimpse of the frog. The airport becomes a social experiment. People will get out of the security line to visit. They always walk away smiling. Never in my life have I seen so many people smiling while waiting for the TSA as they watch people take off their shoes and locate their electronic devices. The greatest thing about the frog purse is it speaks to all demographics and all walks of life. I’m almost certain I saw a dog smile at it once.
What my mother-in-law and her frog purse are spreading is positivity. The dynamic duo is making people smile every single day. There is such power in a smile. Smiling is contagious. Smiling is universal. My mother-in-law doesn’t know these people or what they might be going through, but in that moment she can make them smile. What can you do every single day to spread joy? My mother-in-law found her catalyst in the form of a bulging-eyed frog purse. Where can you find yours? In the book suitably named “The Orange Frog,” Spark the frog is different than his frog friends because he has an orange spot. Spark quickly discovers that when he does something positive, his orange spot gets bigger. Spark must decide; does he fly under the radar and try to fit in so he can look like all the other frogs? Or does he do things that “spark” happiness and turn completely orange? Spark chooses positivity and quickly finds that his “orange-ness” rubs off on all the other frogs and they too start turning orange! You see, a single act of kindness can spread roots in all directions and can impact far and wide. There are so many people carrying very heavy loads or immense grief. Maybe that person is you. Where can you find your frog purse? Can you embrace your orange-ness in difficult situations? In our fast-paced world, human interaction and kindness often take a back seat to Instagram, selfies and the number of likes you have. None of that matters. Open your eyes to the opportunity and places you can spread kindness and go spread it like wildfire!