Lessons from The Lorax
Last Thursday night we took out 5-year-old daughter to a theatre production of The Lorax (the Dr. Seuss character who “speaks for the trees”). She was enthralled with the stage performance, the dancing, the singing and the large puppet that was the Lorax. There were a few scenes where she laughed out loud, so hard that she inspired a ripple of laughter from the adults around her. People turned, smiling, to see where the sound of joy was coming from. The woman in front of us told her after the show “You have the best laugh!”.
I share this story as a precursor to the article by Kelly McGonigal in The Daily Good that I want to draw your attention to this week. It’s about sharing joy as a way to mitigate stress. The author notes that it is possible to “catch happiness” just as it is possible to be impacted by someone else’s stress. I thought I would take a break from the negativity that D&I work sometimes has me living in, and “look at the bright side”.
The impact of “catching happiness”
It occurs to me that we don’t take enough time in our days to cultivate, appreciate or share joy. And I’m struck by the impact this could have on community and collegiality, and in workplaces on engagement, productivity…and innovation and creativity.
If leaning into and sharing in each other’s joy helps to mitigate stress, and if mitigating stress positively impacts belonging, and since belonging positively impacts engagement and teamwork, and leads to inclusion…what if we spent some conscious time cultivating and celebrating joy? Or at least acknowledging it when it arises?
How might your environment (work or otherwise) change, as a result?
Try it, and leave a comment!