My husband and I are handing out "You Matter" cards this month and the experience has been amazing! You touch people's lives and they yours that would never have happened if not for this marathon. I want to share one encounter that will remain with me forever.
I was in an elevator, at a motel, while on a weekend away. A young man, very emaciated dripping wet in his bathing suit got in with me. I commented on him taking a swim and he said he took a "soak" in the hot tub. The conversation went further, me asking him where he was from and was he on holiday. His response, "I have given up the will to live and I am checking things off my bucket list." My heart dropped and I reached into my purse, saying that I had something for him, and gave him a "You Matter" card as we got out of the elevator. He read it, shook his head, and we walked in silence a few feet to our room, which were next door to each other. I heard him mumble under his breath as he entered his room, "I'll be damned. I matter."
First off, Thank You Cheryl for taking a leap and bringing this project to life! I have given my cards in person to 11 strangers and it is an interesting experience. My inner critic speaks up and tells me "they are not going to get this or they will think you are nuts"! I'm happy to report that my inner critic has gone silent. Every stranger has had a positive reaction to these cards. I have given them for co workers to find and have sent a few in the mail. I love spreading kindness and love!
The cards arrived on time and I am enjoying distributing them so far. People have been positive upon receiving the cards. I look fwd to opportunities to put another smile on someone's face.
The "You Matter" marathon has been a heart-warming experience for me as I have secretly and sometimes not so secretly delivered this powerful message. These two words have touched the lives of family members, custodians, educational support staff, and security personnel at my school and people who are currently navigating difficult circumstances in their lives. Today over 50 teachers opened a training manual that contained a "You Matter" card. I saw the look on their faces. One person had tears in her eyes and others smiled. This group is preparing to facilitate conversations with our 9th graders on topics related to identity, dignity/empathy. stereotypes/biases and community. "You Matter" = "We All Matter." I can't be me without you.
I joined the YuMM at the beginning of the month after finding out about it from the GreaterGood website. I enthusiastically signed up to receive my You Matter cards and started my marathon with running shoes on! After handing out a few cards to unexpected strangers and realizing the impact these 2 little words made to each recipient, I decided to pass this good will message on! I lead an "Inspirational Discussion" group each week at a senior community where I work. 2 weeks ago I invitated participants to join in on the YuMM movement. I handed out 10 cards to each person to start with, and challenged them to give a card to 10 people of their choosing during the week. The following week at our discussion I asked who they chose to give to, what was the person's reaction and how the group members felt after witnessing their reaction? Each member responded with an overwhelming sense of joy and heartfelt impact from their ability to brighten someone's day and touch their life in an instant. The responses were priceless. More cards were requested and the invitation to join the YuMM was passed on to their friends and family. The ripple effect continues to grow spreading kindness, compassion, and most importantly the message that we all matter and are not alone! Thank you Cheryl for beginning this movement and all you YuMMies who continue this magical marathon!!!
I've been going to the same dentist for over 30 years. Most of his staff have been with him for as long (or longer). They have literally watched me (and my teeth) grow up. I brought cards for each of them. I took a moment to express how much they mean to me as I handed them a card. There were tears and hugs all around. They have been there for me through traumatic life experiences, not just dental work. They are family to me.
Day 17 of the YMM and unlike most marathon's this one actually empowers the participant (me) instead of making me way exhausted! Positive vibes incredibly produce MORE instead of less! Thank you for creating this wonderful vehicle to help turn on the light within. I relish each opportunity to share a card. I left one in the locked up postal box for the post-person to find, gave one to the "Apple Genius" when he was patiently listening to my computer's woes, the checkout person in the grocery store turned her yawn into a nice smile when she was presented one! And the list goes on....this is one habit I will look forward to integrating into my life, even AFTER the Marathon is finished! ?
Not being new to gifting, I found this gift opened up people's hearts even more, shown with their smiles, and emotions that could be described as close to
tears. One friend of a recipient came to tell me, "You don't know how much
that means to him." I now put them in library books, behind products on the
grocery shelves, on bulletin boards. under things! I love the idea of people
finding gifts and smiling, laughing, crying, etc.
A group of psychology students on our campus was participating in a "Random Acts of Kindness" event this past week - passing out treats and uplifting quotes at the entryway to the campus. I approached and accepted their offering and then had the joy of sharing a card with each of them. It was fun to add a twist to their activity - and be able to thank them for what they were doing for our community!
The first three cards were handed to my teenagers and they each asked for a couple to hand out as well. After coordinating days each would give out their card, they moved on with their day. When the first one handed out a card, they were so shocked that it was received so warmly that they asked to be able to hand out cards all year long. Can anyone say, Christmas presents?! They are having a hard time waiting for their "day".
On election day in the US, I handed out a card to one of our poll workers I've seen over the years. She started crying and said that she wasn't sure how I knew that she was feeling worthless and unimportant but that the card made her day! We hugged and I sat to talk with her for a bit. What a wonderful feeling for BOTH of us!
The next day I handed out a card to a man who said that he felt unimportant and unloved as a result of the election but that the card helped him realize that there are people who love him and his family and want them here.
This exercise has not only touched the student who felt suicide was the only answer, the vet on the corner and people normally overlooked but has enriched my life immeasurably. Thank you!
I gave my first "You Matter" card to my partner. He lit up and immediately wanted a bunch to hand out to people.
Today I gave 22 cards to co-workers. Most of them said they wanted to cry, some hugged me, some said this was EXACTLY what they needed right then, one said I LOVE THIS. It was wonderful for me and for them!
Today I sent out 5 cards (3 friends, 2 relatives) and slipped in a card for the recipient and two extras for them to share. I decided to 'spread the wealth' and get them in on this wonderful marathon. I have one sitting on my desk by the computer to remind myself that I too am special and worthy. My husband is getting one in his Thanksgiving card. Looking forward to handing out the rest.
In every case, each recipient of my card actually fought back tears. They all hugged and kissed me. It was a powerful reminder that doing the right thing, the loving thing, always works, somehow. They also, ALL, have said they'd put the card somewhere visible, to remind themselves that....they DO matter. Thank you for this fantastic opportunity!
Was hesitant at first to hand out cards but had a new insight the other day - went to the Dollar store and bought multiple thank you cards - for the past lady, the "paper boy" the trash collector, the yard man, the house cleaner, the local checkout counter clerk at Publix - and put a card into each card.. Just staring with that but seems comfortable to say thanks at the same itime.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this beautiful movement of love and peace! I was thrilled when I opened your handwritten envelope (a rarity these days) and found the cards! The first feeling that I had was gratitude to you for conceiving this precious gift. It is like a ray of purple sunshine!
My first card went to a counselor at the Hazelden Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, who is working hard to help people recover from their addictions. The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation has been saving lives and restoring families from substance abuse and addiction for more than 60 years. It felt wonderful to acknowledge his healing power.
The rest of the cards will be handed out randomly, as I travel across the country in the next month. They will go to people who do the simple tasks that help us flourish, yet, who are seldom recognized. In this way, with intention, they will help me to focus on the acts of loving kindness around me.
Thank you for your generous act of reminding us of this simple, yet, profound message.
Especially at this moment, in America and in the world, You Matter.
On 11/08/16 my husband and I went to our local polling place to vote. There was a problem with the machine that accepted the completed ballots. While waiting in line while the machine was being looked at, I spotted 2 on-duty police officers from our town standing to my right. I opened my purse and took out 2 YOU MATTER cards. Before we left, I handed one to each officer. Each thanked me as they looked at their card. With all the negativity in the news lately about police officers, I was so moved to pass out the first 2 cards I had given out to 2 police officers. This is a great "marathon" and I feel humbled to be part of it. Thank you so much!
I sent several of the YOU MATTER cards through the mail. One in particular was to an old college roommate. I received a heart felt emiail THANKING me for the card. She received it the day after the elections. She was very discouraged with the results and the card helped bring everything into perspective. She says she will pass it on.
Initially I was a bit embarrassed to give out the You Matter card ?. But I had pledged to do it, so I set myself to it. The first one I left to be found, then I thought that was a bit of a cheat. So the next one I gave to a supermarket checkout lady. "Thank you--you've made my day". That encouraged me to give out more. At first I gave them to women thinking men might think they were fluffy or embarrassing.
No, just do it, I said to myself. I gave a card to the male receptionist at a youth centre--a moment of incomprehension, and then a big smile. "Thank you!"
In this time of anger and alienation, I encourage you to reach out with two words, you matter. No matter how hard it is to get over that reserve, it is really worth it.
As I read the posts this morning, I realized I wanted to gift myself a card....or maybe several around the house where I will see them all day: to help me remember myself and my guy with more love and appreciation.
I have thoroughly had a blast with this Marathon! As I was leaving my weekly therapy appointment at the DPT Institute, the parking lot has designated parking for it's clients, Knowing how I FEEL after a group or individual therapy session a parked car seemed Just perfect to leave a "You Matter" card ion the windshield! ?