Delight 7: When Someone Falls Down

One element that is often closely associated with delight is surprise. It seems like delight often catches us off guard. That is certainly the case in many cases but not always. Sometimes delight happens even when, and especially when you know its coming.

Slapstick humour is not my thing. I don’t think it’s funny and certainly isn’t clever. My wife thinks The Three Stooges and Marx Brothers humour is low brow too. However, it’s a guarantee that if she sees someone fall down, she will laugh. Whether it’s me or even someone on TV or the movies, if it seems natural, she will laugh. Even if I hurt myself, she will laugh and then apologize. She cannot help herself. I’ve seen it coming and like pepper elicits a sneeze, a fall elicits laughter from her. But knowing that a fall will make her instantly laugh is equal parts annoying and comforting. Somehow that combination is a formula for delight. … Read the rest

Delight 6: Be My Eyes

It’s only happened about 4-5 times over the last 2 years but whenever I get a call from Be My Eyes it immediately brings a smile to my face.

If you’re not familiar, Be My Eyes is an app for those with visual impairment. If they are in a situation where they need someone to assist them, they use the app and a stranger answers the call and helps them. I’ve been able to help someone with a thermostat in a hotel, reading the label on a can and last night helping a colour-blind nurse pick out her outfit. (Actually, I passed the phone to my wife as she would be a better helper. If you saw my pants collection, you’d agree.)

I’m not saving the world or curing a disease. I realize it’s the tiniest bit of human kindness. It’s a simple lift for me and while I am hopefully helping someone else out, I think it does more for me than the caller. The internet has provided society with a mixed bag of good and evil to be sure but when it creates opportunities for us to be more human in these little, surprising and previously unthinkable ways, … Read the rest

Delight 5: The Intentional, Unintentional Nap

This post was last updated on 5 months ago at 5 months ago

Occasionally I meet someone who doesn’t nap and who doesn’t find value or delight in them. I don’t really get these folks. Ever since my public declaration of naps, (I have no way to prove this but I take credit for the #napchat hashtag), people continue to send me research and findings around the merits of naps. I don’t need convincing.

One of my favourite kinds of naps is on weekend afternoons while watching sports. Usually, it’s football or golf but golf is preferred mostly because the announcers talk quietly anyway. I like the idea of drifting off to sleep without trying or planning. That makes it feel like it’s more of a gift or a happy accident. While that can happen, I don’t want to leave such a delightful thing to chance. I want it to feel serendipitous but in reality, it’s totally planned although I work to make it seem like it just sort of happened.

Here’s how it’s done. You turn the volume down and wait for an opportune moment. With football, I like the 2nd quarter. If it’s golf, I start when

Read the rest

Delight 4: Her Little Voice

The easy thing about my Delight Project is that I have the two cutest grandchildren ever. I could simply share a video or picture of them and know that it brings me delight and likely you too. The challenge is I have to be specific which makes it a bit harder. But make no mistake, I will be sharing my delights that feature my two babies.

Listening to toddlers grow their vocabulary might be the most precious thing I love about children. Mispronouncing words and improper grammar are cute. It’s always strange to think of the things that children do and know that we would be appalled or just feel sad for adults who portray these traits. Yet with children, observing this childish behaviour is truly delightful.

Harriet’s voice is enchanting. When she plays she morphs in and out of characters at a moment’s notice. From “I’m the Momma” to “Now I’m Peppa” to “Ina be Hay-it” (I’m going to be Harriet), she changes her voice and begins to use the posture and voice of her character. This soft voice of the Momma is my favourite. It’s soothing, comforting and slightly condescending. It’s the best. In this clip, she puts … Read the rest

Delight 3: Kaleb Rashad and his Icebreaker

This post was last updated on 5 months ago at 5 months ago

Part of the new series on delight.

Many people, including myself, have an aversion to the icebreaker. Too often it’s a somewhat disingenuous activity assuming that random people have a desire to connect with other strangers in a confined space when in reality they had no intention of doing anything other than listening to a presentation or at most working with people they already know.

You’ve probably been in that room where it’s just awkward. If you lean towards introversion, these experiences can be painful. If the speaker engages in a long setup of the activity, you either get up to use the restroom or pretend you have an urgent phone call and leave the room. (Confession, I’ve done both)

But when one of the goals of a meeting or gathering is to build community, then it can actually make sense and if done well provide purpose and context to the upcoming work or learning. At this point, it’s not an icebreaker but a learning activity.

I’m currently involved in coaching 4 school divisions in Virginia as a part of a larger initiative called VaLIN or … Read the rest