Imagine if your job for a year was to make people smile. Envision yourself spending fifty-two weeks undertaking the boundless task of turning blue skies just a bit bluer, launching toothy grins, and occasionally driving out a giggle from deep inside someone’s belly. Not a bad gig, right? That’s what I thought, too, and thus the Hokey Pokey Project was born.
Over the course of fifty-two weeks*, my family will strive to create a weekly project that will serve no other purpose than to make people smile–perhaps hundreds of people or maybe just one. But smiles are the primary goal.
Secondarily, the goal of the Hokey Pokey Project is to teach my own children that they have vast power, even at the tender ages of two and four, to better people’s lives, one smile and one moment at a time.
That sounds lofty, doesn’t it? I’m not proposing to change the world with this modest project, but think back for a moment: How many times has your day gone sour because of a negative comment someone said in passing or because of an ill-timed sneer? More times than you can remember, much less count, right?
So right now–while my children are still young–I want them to understand that they can choose to be a source of joy for friends, acquaintances, and strangers, and that whenever they have the option, they can (and should) use their imaginations and talents to turn mundane moments into wonderful occasions for the people they love, as well as for people whom they don’t know and may never meet. They can bring joy to the lives of others while enriching their own lives by giving and creating happiness.
If you choose to pass our lessons along to your own children by undertaking some of these projects with us–and we sincerely hope you do–please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post a comment on the blog and tell us how to reach you. As we share our stories, we’d like to hear yours, and if we like your idea, we may ask your permission to share it on our blog or borrow it for a future week of the Hokey Pokey Project.
Thanks for visiting our blog and sharing our project with us. We hope we made you smile.
*Warning: Those weeks are non-consecutive, so this will take us over a year to finish. That wasn’t our original plan, but we’ve learned the hard way that the needs of the family (and two small children’s immune systems) often thwart the best planning.