This week's blog post comes from Isabella Gibson, President of the North Catholic High School SPARK Club in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. SPARK stands for Strengthening Positivity and Reinforcing Kindness and these groups act as Happiness crusaders (okay, and ambassadors), supporting The Smile Project and promoting random acts of kindness in their communities.
Alone, my abilities are pretty limited. I understand that it may sound dark and brooding, but it’s true. In fact, I really can’t do much of anything without some form of guidance. Most people would think that is a terrible outlook on life. They may be right. However, my way of seeing it is different.
Let’s paint a picture: you have an incredibly bright and ambitious group of people, each with their own ideas that have the potential to change the world. But all of those bright and ambitious people are also incredibly independent. Don’t get me wrong, being independent is lovely. However, there is a certain point where independence turns into arrogance. So those same independent, ambitious people choose not to work together or apprise each other of their ideas. Instead, they all tried to accomplish their dreams solo and ultimately ended up failing miserably. Now parents are outraged, a group of incredibly intelligent individuals are victimized by their monstrous egos, and the world is still stuck in the sinkhole we call a society with virtually no change at all. The end.
Sounds scary, doesn’t it? What’s even scarier is that this is the reality for most of us. We let our own minds get in the way of what we accomplish. It is vital to understand that with independence, there is also an element of guidance that is needed. There is only so much that one person can do alone.
The phrase “there’s strength in numbers” really does apply now more than ever. And I am blessed that I got to witness this phrase first hand through the mission of the Smile Project and my own SPARK club. Through my own observations, I found that no body is the same. With this diversity in personalities and abilities came new insights that ultimately bettered not only the club, but my perspective on working together. It was through all of our different levels of experience that we were able to accomplish more and formulate new ideas. But above all, it made me realize how I never could have done nearly as much alone.
The fact of the matter is that without all the minuscule components of The Smile Project, it simply doesn’t function properly. In order for kindness to spread, we all must recognize the issues at hand, and then address them with open and accepting minds together. That is what the essence of the Smile Project is. We all have brilliant minds with wondrous ideas. However, it is when we all come together that we can truly observe the immensity of our impacts on the world. We can all change the world and make it a kinder place. Just remember that we can’t do it alone.
Isabella (second from right) with members of the North Catholic SPARK Club.