I came up with this concept a few years ago. There was a time I went walking for leisure on a trail near my house. It runs alongside a creek, so it's home to a lot of flora and fauna, as well as many different creatures. I used to walk there and feel very close to God, as I usually do when I am surrounded by nature. I used to think about how amazing creation is, as well as how everything in nature seems to know what to do, when they need to do it. They don't sit and agonize about the what ifs - they are created to trust their instincts. I was (and still am) in awe about that fact.
Anyway, since I used to work pretty early in the morning, there was still dew, and one could see the remnant snails moving off the path back into the vegetation, out of the rising sun. So many times on that walk I saw crushed shells (and I assume snails on the inside). It always broke my heart. It still does when I see that to this day.
I know that those in the gardening community really cannot stand snails, and I did look up what they did once and other than annoy people's gardening attempts, Wikipedia did not have a satisfactory answer for me. What I do know is that they are here and seem innocent enough just slowly crawling along - is it necessary for us humans to step on them all the time?
Humans don't look where they are going. And are in a rush a lot of the time. It makes a lot of sense why they wouldn't see the snail. I mean, snails are super small, are super slow and are super annoying. That is where I came up with this concept as an analogy for how we as humans treat other people.
How many times have you been with someone and checked your phone while they were talking to you? How many times have you not praised another person's efforts at work (or even at home)? How many times have you put someone down or judged them and let them know about it? How many times have you asked "What's wrong with you?" or another question in a condescending tone?
Our words are powerful. Once you speak something you cannot take it back. People always remember how they feel when they are with you.
Have you ever hear negative comments about your looks or abilities? Many times we think about this as kids, but we hear this from our bosses, our colleagues, our friends - even from television and movies (think unrealistic beauty standards) and now social media has amplified the bad even more. These comments and thoughts stick with people and if your self-esteem is not high and your self-image is one that internalizes all of these thoughts and comments, uncertainty will lead to fear and fear to doubt. And doubt will take you out of everything.
It's such a simple concept: don't step on the snails. It means to watch what you're doing and acknowledging the impact you are having on others. You have a lot of power and so does your tongue. Make sure you are using it to speak life, edifying and uplifting those who are slower, who are different, who aren't like you.
Especially after this weekend in #charlottesville, now more than ever, we need people who are willing to build up people, not tear them down.
So tell me friends, how are you going to show up today (and every day)? Are you going to frown, not hold the doors, speak down to your family and/or colleagues and bring people down to your unhappiness? Or are you going to see that your life can have a wonderfully positive impact on those you come in contact with ALL THE TIME?
I hope you choose the latter.
Tell me more about you! Have you been the victim of someone bringing you down? How did you fight it? How do you stay focused on having positive impact in today's workplace?