December 2016

Since my visit to Seattle this past September, I have immersed myself in the FISH Philosophy.  It began with a brief visit to the Seattle Market where we stopped to pick up fresh veggies for dinner and happened to walk by the Pike Place Fish Co.  I quickly tried to normalize the scene.  In front of us there was fish flying, men singing and rhyming, all amongst exchanges of smiles, conversations and dollars bills.  I tried to normalize the scene, curious as to if this was an impromptu show, or the everyday scene.  My friend quickly informed me this was the Pike Place Fish Co. and everything was happening as it should.  I was amazed at the energy, the playfulness and pure happiness that was an embodiment with both the customers, fish employess and all those passing by.

My friend’s husband gave me his book, FISH Philosophy, as I continued to talk about the scene we witnessed at the Market that day.  The FISH Philosophy embodies three principles:  

1) Presence
2) Play
3) Make Their Day

I immediately connected with the all three , more recently attempting to embody the principle of ‘Make Their Day’ with an intention and awareness to act in ways that are kind and compassionate and as a result in service to the good of all.  In addition, I have been practicing making the assumption that everyone is out to make the day of everyone else, trusting that they are doing the best that they can for that to happen.  This was challenging the other day when I saw the parking ticket man write out a ticket and when I heard a woman cursed pedestrians for walking on the snowbank brushing snow back onto the driveway, however, with a great amount of curiosity, I silently wonder how they are simply abiding by the principle ‘make their day’ in their best possible way.

This morning, I caught myself forgetting..  It was early, ~ 5:30am and I was across the road shovelling my neighbours driveway so that both of our cars could get out of the driveway.  After about 15 minutes of shovelling heavy, icy and wet snow, a large plow drove by.  I watched him do a U-turn and make his way back towards me.  I stood back waiting and assuming (the moment of forgetting) that he was going to push more snow in front of me and was silently dreading it.  Instead, he drove his plow into the driveway and cleared the rest of the snow out of the way.

I waved with as much gratitude that could be expressed from a smile and a hand in the air, but my heart was full and my day was made.  I also paused to catch myself in my first assumption – remembering that I was standing there waiting for him to plow more snow into me.  This assumption was the  easiest.  The more challenging assumption and harder to receive was that he made an intentional U-turn to make my day in the best possible way.

I didn’t get a chance to use my words to think him, but I sure did in my wave and my silent extension of gratitude.  To the snow plow driver, thank you for starting off my day with your generous and kind gesture.  It spiralled into a change in my attitude for the day, and one that I intend to bring forward into the season and beyond.

What if we were all out to make each other’s day?  What words and random of kindness, of appreciation or of gratitude would serve in making the day of another?

For random acts of making someone’s day and the mirror of happiness, this short video says it all.

May the FISH philosophy of ‘making their day’ be a spiral of happiness onto ourselves and others.