Oh the humanity!

Someone on my team told me yesterday about how “Cards Against Humanity (CAH),” the brilliant card game gone wild, released a Black Friday stunt of sorts to “experience nothing for $5.” The company made $71,145 in sales on Black Friday. That is an average of 14,229 people who decided to give up $5 for nothing — if all donations were at $5. Their site indicates that some individuals gave more. This link shares a list of what CAH did with the cash. My favorites:

  • Alex: 760 pounds of cat litter: $500 — how many years will it take to use that?
  • Amy: 1.5% of my student loan debt: $2381 — the comment to that list item says “$100,000 for a BA, $60,000 for a MFA and now I design dick jokes for a living.”
  • Jon: Dinner for 2 at Alinea in Chicago: $840 — Jon I am with you. I know all about the talents of chef Grant Achatz and that is definitely an experience I would have on my list.
  • Kevin: Not sure what you need 11 boxes of Tylenol PM for, can we talk? ($60)
  • Nick: Taking CAH team to mini golf, batting cages, and ice cream ($500) — I am a kid at heart and I love that you are thinking about your team.

I loved seeing (whether by request or design) that most of the lists had one or more listings for charities of their choice, and most lists were balanced.  My curiosity is, for those that donated was their $5+ tax-deductible? Was it worth it? What was the reasoning for giving $5 for absolutely nothing? Would you do it?

Whether or not the $71,145 should have gone entirely to charity, it was great marketing. If you had not heard of Cards Against Humanity before their stunt you may know about them now. Whether you can appreciate the game for its crassness or vulgarity, everyone has to play at least once in life. I mean we have to make sure Amy truly uses her education to its fullest.

Moved by Greatness

You get a chill that runs up your arm. You are inspired to workout and challenge yourself after hearing about someone who has to break through extreme physical boundaries. The words in a speech or talk leave you pondering your life and what changes you can make. What do they each have in common? Greatness that moves you to be, do, and live better.

I love the idea of greatness. Whatever part of our life where we can encourage, demand, and honor greatness. It is something I look for in others. What are they doing in their life to raise their game? What are they doing to raise the game of others? A second day in a row I am sharing a Daily Om that made me think about life. This particular email titled “The Greatness in Others” made me think about how often we forget that it is already within us:

“We are all moved by greatness when we see it, and although the experience is to some degree subjective, we know the feeling of it. When we encounter it, it is as if something in us stirs, awakens, and comes forth to meet what was inside us all along.”

I want to always be awake and aware for those moments when I find greatness deep inside. The question is, what do we do when we find it? How do we bring it out in others? I hope to always be around people who inspire greatness in themselves and those that they are around. It keeps life real, interesting, and allows us to grow.

Who has inspired greatness in your life?

She talked for 5 hours straight

Somehow every time I come back from a trip I have annoying airplane stories. For my flights to/from Maui I think the worst was the woman sitting directly behind us on our way to Maui who literally (I am not exaggerating in the least) talked for the entire flight. How the poor woman sitting next to her made it through the flight I will never know. Chris kept offering me his noise canceling headphones but I do not think I should have to block it all out. Rather I think that individuals need to have more self-awareness! Especially when you have a high-pitched voice.

I did tell Chris that he can NEVER tell me I talk too much. I do not think I could ever talk for that long!

The next story has nothing to do with my trip but was an article I read last week about a man on a Portland bound Jet Blue flight that was sleeping and woke up and began peeing on neighboring passengers and their belongings. What, what, what? What is wrong with people these days? What has happened to the art of traveling, the luxury, and the excitement? We no longer seem to care about what is happening around us.

I definitely think a lot before traveling these days. What will my TSA experience be like? What will my overall travel experience be like, and how will the other passengers around me act? A colleague of mine’s spouse is a flight attendant, and they share horrifying stories about the things that people do on airplanes. We need to elevate our travel experiences both for ourselves and those around us.

Surprise tactics

How often in life are you surprised? Once a month? Once a day? Do people easily shock you? There is a little part of each of us that loves to be shocked and in awe. Whether it is our husband that is capable of keeping a secret, our closest friend, or sister — not having a clue something is going to happen can sometimes be an amazing thing.

I have the hardest time keeping a secret from Chris (that should be a good thing). We talk about everything, and sometimes it is hard to keep my excitement inside or hidden from him. I am crazy transparent so he can probably pick up on the fact that I am hiding something. Take for example his 30th birthday. I wanted to surprise him and take him to San Francisco for a week. I could not keep it inside and I wanted to plan the trip with him and let him research a bit of what he might want to do. A week before we were to leave I decided to tell him — I could not resist! I wrapped a box of Rice-a-Roni (you know “A San Francisco treat.”) and my secret was finally out.

Somehow though Chris loves giving me the element of surprise and he enjoys the shock value it leaves. He can easily plan things and not tell me because he knows timing can be the perfect way to surprise someone, especially me. He is good. What if the many companies we are patrons of shocked and surprised us? Many companies do not even come close, so the smallest detail could result in a surprised and happy customer. How often are you surprised by a company? It is nice when it happens. It makes the experience more memorable.

I am going to hone my surprise tactics. Just you wait, Chris. Just you wait.

I heart good people.

It has been a good week. I have been surrounded by genuinely good people. It makes my heart flutter a bit to be reminded of the preciousness of life, of meeting new people, trying new things, and having a wonder and awe that sometimes when you go outside of your routine you are able to look at life differently.

I actually love my routine. I love the structure it provides in my life, what it allows me to do. However, we all need moments, days, and weeks in our life where we live outside the bubble we live in. Where we feel uncomfortable, do something different, and have moments where our awkwardness sheds light into a different or new view on the world. Maybe that is through a new experience or challenge, new food, or a new culture.

I am on my way back from Shanghai, China. I have been here for two weeks, and in a few hours I will be flying back home. Next week I will share some highlights from my trip. It is a fascinating city, different from Portland in so many ways. I will not tell you about that now, as I want to savor my trip and let it marinate a bit. I will tell you that I am inspired by the conversations I had this week, the different individuals I met, the new friends I made.

As I said I want to process it all, put together the story of my week, but all in all, I feel blessed to have been surrounded by good people. It makes me optimistic about the world, it inspires me, and brings a smile to my face. We like what is comfortable. So often we go to work and interact with the same people, get into our car, drive home, and do it all over again. Sure we interact at the grocery store, or Target, or with the gas station attendant, but how often do we get to meet new people and truly connect with them for an extended period of time?

Good people. We should always surround ourselves with good people.