Halloween parties are like movies: they are guaranteed to be entertaining. As adults dress up in costumes and pretend to be someone they are not, something wonderful happens. Guards are let down and a good laugh is had. Laughter is the root of open learning, and learning is a treasure that will follow its owner anywhere.
Dressed up in my Halloween best last night as a farm-girl (and with my co-worker dressed as my cow), I learned a thing or two about what happens to people when guards drop: we connect. It is in connecting with others that we most learn about ourselves. In country-style pigtails, cowboy boots, and with painted-on freckles, I spent my night being reminded of this simple basic truth that drives human wellness. People need people; the more we understand one another, the more we will love one another. The more we love one another, the more we ourselves will learn and grow along our own journey. The more we learn, the more we will be able to teach, and, as Henry B. Adams once said, “A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
Too often we just don’t express ourselves enough, that is, until we let our guards down. When that mask is unveiled, amazing and beautiful things happen between people, whether they’re your co-worker, significant other or friend. This acquired understanding of people is the key to wellness and personal growth.
The value of words of affirmation and communication can never be underestimated. Speak up to those around you: give a compliment when you’re thinking it, take the time to write a “wow” testimonial about great customer service you receive somewhere, and write your parents a thank-you note for the unconditional love they have showered upon you during your life. These small actions change both you and the world, one small connection at a time. Your influence can last an eternity, if you allow it.