Have you ever seen a professor include the following on his or her opening slide for a PowerPoint lecture? “How did you start the day? Consider starting your day by giving yourself the gift of happiness.” Well, I have!
It was incredibly refreshing to see those words projected onto the big screen for all one hundred or so of us in class to see. On any given day, we might sit through eight hours of lecture taught by four or five different lecturers. The ritual of class becomes all too perfunctory; the teachers and students have expectations of each other and fall into traditional roles of disseminating and storing information, respectively. But every now and then, one person enters the classroom and defies the norm. Those days fill me with such joy. Our professor mentioned to us how he keeps backyard chickens, and that feeding them and spending some time with them every morning is a source of happiness for him. How cool! Not only does he have some awesome pets, but he and his family do not have to worry about getting eggs from the grocery store!
I share this with any readers who feel as though they sometimes function like automatons, performing routine tasks day in and day out. While I find no inherent problem with this mode of living, I find that breaking the mold to make yourself vulnerable to others by sharing a personal story or thought can have very meaningful and lasting implications for other peoples’ lives.