Upward Spiral

Your ability to understand and empathize with others depends mightily on having a steady diet of positivity resonance, as do your potentials for wisdom, spirituality, and health.” – Barbara Frederickson

On Monday Mr D and I went to the grocery store between dropping Miss O at school and dropping him at daycare. While its our special time together, I also love to get some things done and he gets to ride in an elevator so it works all around.

As we were going down a narrow aisle, two boys from the nearby middle school or high school passed us and I thought to myself about the one with the blue hair, “What a nice kid!” I can’t put my finger on exactly what he did – maybe it was the way he looked me in the eye or moved his body to the side to give us extra space, but it was a noticeably pleasant passing.

Two mornings later, we were in the same store, doing the same thing when we came upon the blue haired boy in the self-checkout section. He was asking the attendant to cancel his purchase because he didn’t have enough money. But before they could do that, I stepped across and put my credit card in to pay for the $5.46 purchase. I suspect the boy had $5 and hadn’t counted on the extra cost.

He thanked me, no big deal, and went on his way with his friend. It was a beautiful full circle moment.

It feels like several things I’ve read and listened to lately have had a similar theme – the science of how much our bodies respond to the people around us, even strangers at the grocery store. That our nervous systems are wired to pick up signals from others. The more that we focus our minds on what our bodies already know which is that even our small connections to other people matter, we create an upward spiral of positive resonance.

With the mask mandate lifted in my state so that I see more faces, it feels like I’ve been noticing so many delightful moments of connections with strangers. It’s amazing how wonderful they feel when I make an effort to notice them, recount them to others or remember them and feel the little zing again.

So I pass this one on to you and the upward spiral of positive resonances continues!

(featured photo is of Mr D in a grocery store at a younger age)

25 thoughts on “Upward Spiral

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! The gesture was easy – I could imagine it being my kids in a few years. But it gave a delightful bump to the day and now again in the retelling. Glad you liked it too. Happy Friday!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. We were created for community and connection. It’s a beautiful thing to hear and see kindness in action. Thanks for sharing your experience, Wynne. May it continue through all of us!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen, Nancy! I love the way you say we were created for community and connection. That is so true and these last 2 years have put such a strain on those dimensions. Thank you for such a lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful story. This made me smile. I love that you had a positive experience with the blue haired kid and then paid it forward when he was in a bind.

    When I was in high school, I often ate at KFC at the mall during my dinner break when I worked my part time. I always had short pleasant exchanges with the older Indian lady cashier. One day, I didn’t have cash and their debit machine wasn’t working and she spotted me. Just trusted me to pay her back next time. Her supervisor was standing next to her too. I will never forget that moment.

    Stories like yours remind me of the goodness in people and in positive resonance as you called it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love that story about KFC. And I’m sure you did pay her back making sure she would feel emboldened to do it again. Beautiful!! I love that in sharing my story, I get to hear one of yours – it does feel resonant!

      The other lesson I thought of from my story is to only let your child dye their hair blue if they are kind to strangers because they’ll be noticed and remembered. 🙂

      Hope you all have a good weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Very funny you say that. Growing up I always got the impression from adults that kids who dye their hair or get tattoos or piercing are ones to stay away from. It goes to show how we must continue to learn to not judge others by the cover!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. What a lovely comment, Ritish! I’m so glad the positive resonance spread to you. Interesting that you should say that about talking to strangers. I hadn’t thought of that angle but yes, those encounters can leave some pretty remarkable memories. Wonderful!

      Liked by 1 person

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