Matthew Lickona 9:46 a.m., May 20
What do we think of this?
It's like, "you know what could be a lot more complicated? Smoking weed! Let's make that harder than it already is." Either that, or stoners need an excuse to make their smoking habits even more complex and ritualistic than they already are.
My carefully culled selection for the Runner-Up award:
Points for (apparently) trying to do a good deed, that much is certain. But you lose the top spot for acting shady (and maybe a little bit serial-killer-esque) in your dealings. I would say, consider a degree of openness in your dealings, lest people suspect you want to chloroform them and build cages from their bones.
ANYWAYS, for Achievements in UnSpooky and Charitable Acts of Nicety, the daily Best Of No-Prize goes out to:
Free flowers. Inexplicably obvious spelling errors aside, what's a better way to "bting [sic] some beauty to this world?" Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but it seems to me that there's something tremendous about this little gesture. It's a very simple movement; one person's attempt to put something beautiful into a world which can, at times be very, very ugly. Don't get me wrong, the world can be beautiful. Most of the time it is, but there's no reason it can't use a little help every now and again.
Look at it this way, the world is a huge and complicated place. Countless forces are always at work, pushing and pulling in all directions, making a mess of things. It can be so easy to get lost in all the noise and chaos that characterizes a very tumultuous existence. It's borderline impossible to make sense of everything, and there's little to be gained by giving up and putting all your chips on nothing. Maybe the best that can be hoped for is something.
Maybe something little. Something like flowers.
The ad puts it best, "just shake them out onto the ground SO EASY." Maybe that's all there is to it, make the small movement and bring some beauty into the world that wasn't there before. No grandstanding, no epic gestures, just a patch of flowers. A little something wonderful springing from the otherwise empty ground.
It seems like the simplest of things, too small to be taken into account. How much good can a few flowers really do? What does it matter in light of Rembrandt, The Beatles, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Gandhi, or anyone else towards whom we might point to as having made the world a more beautiful place? Well, firstly, I don't think it's a contest. What's the purpose of stacking these wonderful things in piles and weighing them against each other? Do we get some final word on what is or isn't of value in terms of beatifying the world? I think not. The fact of the matter is that the little things--like giving away flowers--accomplish the same goal as the big things.
And it's hardly like giving away a flower hasn't--at one time or another--proven to be an enormously significant gesture worthy of inclusion in the annals of history.
Arrange the circumstances a little bit and all of a sudden it's the biggest thing in the world to give a way a flower. The gesture never changes, it remains, "here, have some flowers and see the world for what it is, something beautiful."
Do I venture too far in saying that the little gestures are no different from the Big Ones? That the Big Ones were, in fact, just little ones that got out of control or happened at exactly the right time and in just the right place? Maybe, but maybe not. I can say that it doesn't hurt to plant a couple flowers, and make the world that much nicer for the looking.