About this time last year, I had a little idea, half of which I stole from Haley Joel Osment (where is he now?). I noticed how Twitter was often being used in quite a negative way, what with all the sarcasm, the trolling and the Joey Barton. At the time I was thinking a lot about the Spiritual Disciplines, one of which is Celebration, and involves being deliberately positive, joyful and encouraging. So, very simply, I started making a habit of sending messages of encouragement to three of my twitter friends each Monday. I called it Love Monday (or #LoveMonday, to follow twitter etiquette), and encouraged others to do the same.
You only get 140 characters to play with in a tweet, but that forces you to be raw and real with your encouragement. There’s no space for caveats – you just have to get out what you want to say. I found that I’d say things to people much more honestly and with less reservation than I usually would.
Guess what? The people I sent these tweets to were tremendously encouraged. You have no idea what impact positive words can sometimes have into the day of someone who isn’t expecting them. As ridiculous as it may sound, a few kind words can be the difference between an awful day and a bearable one – or between an average day and a great one.
A fair few people took up this idea for themselves, and now, a year later many of them are still doing so. I’ve heard a number of stories of people who have been massively impacted by a few helpful words at the right time. For others it has been a way to express positive feelings when they’d struggle to do so verbally.
So – let me encourage you… why not build this very modern spiritual discipline into your life? Take a few moments every Monday to think about the people you know who deserve encouragement (and not just the twitter celebrities, who get far more praise than they healthily need). Send three tweets – and encourage those people to pass on the encouragement by doing the same to three more people. In theory, if just a small number of twitterers did #LoveMonday every week, we could impact the whole world…
Probably even more important to do this when you’re having a particularly un-lovely Monday! Great way of lifting us out of our own self-pity as well.