I’m one of those people who believes that every time I inhale, something good happens. Oxygen is metabolized in my lungs sending quality blood to my heart and brain. Coleridge wrote, ‘Nothing is insignificant.’ I may not think about every breath, but I do try to take into account that every moment is an opportunity to do something good. No moment, or act, is insignificant.
Back in 2009, I had an idea – what if I said, “I Love You” in my social media streams? Would anyone notice? Might someone who is lonely, feel less so? Could three little words randomly flung into the universe actually mean anything?
By the end of the day on April 4, 2009, tens of thousands of people posted ‘I Love You’ in their social media streams; the post received 80,000+ unique views; the movement made it to CNN and USA Today; and ‘#ILoveYou‘ even became a global trending topic on Twitter.
This year on April 4, I’ll post ‘I Love You’ into my streams again. And the reason is the same as that first year–to turn fear into love. You see, on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. As a result, this day has been made famous by a senseless act of fear. For some reason I doubt Dr. King would want April 4th to be remembered that way. Rather, I’m betting that he would want to turn the tables on fear. And the only way to do that is to replace fear with love. Thanks to the internet, we can.
As the digital age speeds news and information around the globe at rates we can’t even wrap our minds around, it often seems as though the negative stories get the lion’s share of attention. War. Deceit. Politics. Disasters. The media shoves these themes down our throats because we can’t keep our eyes off of them, and eyeballs equal revenue. However, in the age of accelerated connectivity, it’s pretty cool that we have the opportunity to give positive ideas a fighting chance. At least for one day. At least for one moment.
Nothing is insignificant.
Mostly, I’m doing this again because I believe in the power of words to move people. If I didn’t, I’d probably get into banking or retail instead of wasting my time as a writer. And even though a word like Love is too big to put a lasso around, from what I can tell, no matter where you live, no matter what your gender, ethnicity, sexual preference, or religion–Love has a universally positive connotation.
The thinking behind I Love You day is that if someone (anywhere) happens to see a tweet containing ‘I Love You,’ then there is a chance that this person will feel something good, if only for a moment, and that this positive momentum might parlay into more good. An avalanche contains stones of all sizes.
April 4. Three words. Ten characters. The chance to push something good into the world. For a change. #ILoveYou
Jim Mitchem is no angel. Please don’t misinterpret this effort as anything like an attempt to become one. I’m just a guy who believes in the power of words.