When I was sixteen, the most massive zit I’ve ever seen erupted on my chin. It was one of those cruel zits that ache before they surface, a warning that whatever pops up overnight is going to seriously mess with your social life.
The aching, red mountain sat on the edge of my chin like a beacon. By that age I was a makeup wizard and could cover up most of the zits I’d gotten—except this one. I remember spending the day with my hand over my chin, as if I were considering everything I heard very seriously.
“Do you believe Death of a Salesman is a criticism of capitalistic America?”
“Do you want tater tots with that?”
By the end of the day I felt like the most hideous creature in all of suburbia. I was five seconds from screaming, “Pray thee, father, cover my head in a potato sack with haste lest the villagers turn to stone!”
And here’s where I’m going to tie everything into the Kindness Project. (Not sure what that is? Here’s an explanation. As is this. )
A few years ago I came across Operation Beautiful. The idea is simple: Leave a note for a stranger letting them know that they’re beautiful. For instance:
What I love so much about this is that it’s easy. Write on a Post-it. Stick it somewhere someone will find it. It asks you to be kind without thanks; chances are you’ll never know whose day you brightened.
I imagine my sixteen-year-old self finding one of those Post-its. She has a giant zit on her chin, but she’s trying to cover it. She feels disgusting and ugly. I imagine her reading that she’s perfect just the way she is, and feeling a little less crummy.
Maybe she doesn’t remove her hand—these aren’t miracle-working notes, you know—but maybe she doesn’t knock herself down some more.
Posting today for The Kindness Project:
Be sure to check them out. We post the second Wednesday of every month. Want to join us? Grab our button and spread a little kindness.