Throw a Shaka and Open a Door

Years ago, I challenged friends on social media to join me playing the Shaka game. I’m a life-long athlete who loves both games and challenges. Thought it would be a unique, fun way to add a bit of aloha in our lives. Here’s how the game works.

someday

As you go about your day, look for opportunities to help other people. For example, if you’re driving your car, let another driver merge in front of you when they aren’t expecting the courtesy. What happens? Sometimes the driver might hesitates to move. They’re surprised someone would open a lane for them. Yet then they smile. You have lightened their load. In many cases, they acknowledge your act of kindness in return.

How wonderful! You surprised someone with kindness and compassion. And, for those of us living here in Hawai’i, such a humanitarian message is frequently rewarded when the recipient of the act “throws a shaka” in return.

The message is especially powerful to those who often feel invisible. So many swim through each day feeling alone, just wishing someone would call them by name, say hello, extend a hand, share some joy, show kindness.

To play the game, count the number of shakas you receive and report back. Person with the most shakas wins!!! And, for those who play, anytime we receive a shaka, we have won! Try it for yourself.

shaka
Play the Skaka Game Today

I found a truly generous, compassionate and kind article today written by Jason F. Wright. Jason is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist and speaker. I repost his story here.


Jason F. Wright: How to help others – Start by practicing the lost art of opening doors

Look closely at the candid photo below. I mean really look.

Too often we think helping others means donating time, money or emotional energy we just don’t have. So we live life looking down at the concrete, avoiding eye contact and counting sidewalk cracks.

In the meantime, we’re missing mini-moments to put a smile on someone’s face by simply seeing them.

Try it today. Open a literal and figurative door for someone — in every imaginable way. And please don’t ask their religion, education, party affiliation or whether or not they support the president.

I took this photo while my darling daughter Jadi was home from college for the holidays. (She doesn’t know I was watching from the car or that I’m writing this. Surprise!)

door
Author Jason F. Wright’s daughter Jadi holds the door open for patrons at a Post Office in Virginia. (Courtesy of the author)

Oh, how I adore this moment and the lesson behind it.

It’s a small thing, I know. Just a digital photo of a young smiling woman holding the door at a quaint and cozy Virginia post office.

But it’s not about the glass door or the people passing through.

It’s about the seeing. It’s about the habit of looking over your shoulder.

Try it today. Open a literal and figurative door for someone — in every imaginable way. And please don’t ask their religion, education, party affiliation or whether or not they support the president.

It’s about never being too busy, too hurried, too wrapped up in your own atmosphere to really see those around you.

I often speak about the lost art of opening doors when I visit schools around the country. I begin the discussion with a fun role-play and silly anecdote about opening the door for a woman at a convenience store.

We talk about the pull of the door.

The look back over the shoulder.

The scan.

The wait.

The hold.

The smile.

By the time we wrap, even pint-of-chocolate-milk-sized elementary school kiddos understand that we’re not really talking about doors anymore.

Think of it as developing your own kindness muscle memory.

It’s learning to really see others. Developing good habits. It’s never stepping through a door to something good without inviting someone near you to come along for the journey.

The message is especially powerful to those who often feel invisible. So many swim through each day feeling alone, just wishing someone would call them by name, say hello, extend a hand, share some joy, show kindness.

They’re so used to the world slamming doors in their faces instead of looking back and scanning, waiting, holding, smiling.

Try it today. Open a literal and figurative door for someone — in every imaginable way. And please don’t ask their religion, education, party affiliation or whether or not they support the president.

Don’t ask a thing. Don’t judge. Simply open a door.

It just might change the way you see everyone and everything.

Yes, to you it’s just a digital photo of a young smiling woman holding the door at a quaint and cozy Virginia post office.

But to me, it’s a tangible canvas of kindness and a simple lesson to live better.


Remember you heard it here first. Please leave your comments below and be sure to FOLLOW ClearHeath Life Strategies. We provide News of the News You Wish You Knew.

Ko’olau of Kaua’i. I am the Defiant One
“I Believe We Can”

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