This weekend was a huge rite of passage for me.
I had the distinct privilege of helping my 7-year-old niece sell Girl Scout Cookies. We didn't take to Facebook to solicit orders. We did it the right way; the old fashioned way. We went door-to-door, put on a smile, gave our pitch and let the Thin Mints do the talking.
Before we set out, I asked her to present her sales pitch to me. Without question, I was going to make sure my niece would ace the "BIG 3": handshake, eye contact and language. Originally, she introduced herself, her troop number and then came right out and asked, "Do you want to buy some cookies?" I suggested perhaps we should tweak the pitch by asking, "Would you like to support my troop and buy some cookies?" She didn't really understand what the difference was between asking someone to buy some cookies vs. "supporting her" and buying some cookies. So, I had to explain. I wanted her to understand the concept of people supporting her, ergo, supporting her cause. I think that after a couple of pitches, she started to understand the difference.
We started at my neighbor's, from whose son I have purchased countless boxes of fudge for various fundraisers. Now grown, he was the one who answered the door and was extremely polite while listening to Hazel's pitch. Hazel proudly extended her hand to shake his, introduced herself and proceeded with her request. One box down, 24 to go.
Next we went to visit one of my closest friends, someone whom my niece adores. This time, prior to the pitch, Hazel went in for a huge hug and then asked if my friend wanted to support her efforts. After the transaction was complete and we got into the car, Hazel said very earnestly, "Kimby, I prefer hugs to handshakes." There it was. Out of the mouths of babes. I welled up with tears and said, "You know what, Hazel? Me, too."
Countless boxes later, I was still taken by my niece's admission. I couldn't help but think about the power of something as simple as a hug. In light of all that is going on in the world today, I am desperate to find a way to give the world one giant hug. I want to find a way to give our leaders a hug. Maybe I just really need a hug myself. I realize that it's going to take a hell of a lot more than hugs to solve the problems we are faced with. But as I went from door-to-door with my niece and she skipped the whole time and focused on her goal of 25 boxes in order to earn her badge, I was reminded that there is a lot to be said for the simplest, kindest of gestures. Maybe we just need to get back to some basics like doing things the right way; the old fashioned way.
I mean, if the Girl Scouts have upheld a successful cookie campaign since 1917, why is it so hard to find a way to perpetuate a successful campaign for kindness and compassion today, 100 years later?
Food for thought. Literally.