Delight 8: Rex Chapman’s Tweets

There are many delightful people tweeting delightful things. But perhaps the best known is Rex Chapman. I actually remember him as a basketball player. His twitter account has emerged over the last year by building off the “block or charge” meme which is a riff off the basketball call officials have to make every time a foul around contact is called.

He has a knack for curating great video tweets. Many are funny but he also seems to have coined the tweet, “This is the content I’m here for” which are typically stories that show the best of humanity.

Case in point…

There are so many adjectives to describe that, everything from beautiful to heart-warming. I see it as delightful, a little sprinkle of goodness that reminds us of the kindness that still exists. For Chapman, he’s using this partly as an antidote for his time addicted to opioids.

… it’s a way to bring some joy to himself and to everyone who clicks.

“It’s so silly,” he says. “It’s the dumbest, lowest form of entertainment. I’m happy to be alive and share some laughs with people.”

In today’s world and particularly as we navigate the craziness that the Covid virus has brought us all, I’m going to suggest that we distract ourselves from the news and constant updates and consume content that brings us delight. And then even after this all passes, we consider this not just as a distraction but as delightful medicine that is good for our souls.

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.

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, that is a delight.

Delight 5: The Intentional, Unintentional Nap

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 the final group is on about the 7th hole. If it’s a really important event, I press record. Either way, I nap between 20-40 minutes and wake up late in the 3rd quarter or as the leaders are on the 13th or 14th hole. Sometimes it’s a full out REM sleep but more often than not I’m drifting in and out and occasionally hear an update along the way. When I do finally come out of my sleep I’m usually surprised by the change in the score. After the standard 1-2 minutes to get my bearings I make my self a coffee and settle in for the last hour of the event. Delightful it is. And the part about it being so natural is a big part of it. For those less enamoured by the nap, it’s the same feeling you get when you wake up and find out you’re meeting is cancelled or it’s a snow day or you just get up earlier than you needed and get to go back to sleep. It’s a free nap.

Fair warning, I can’t guarantee this will NOT be my only nap related delight. There are many things to be found within this timeless delight.

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 me to bed, sings me a song and then mimics turning out the lights. My heart.