Your Voice Can Change The World

I climbed into the back seat of a red sedan recently, beside a woman in her mid-thirties with curly blonde hair. The driver, a middle-aged man whose name I couldn’t pronounce, verified my identity, replied to my buoyant greetings, and then the car went silent. Driving to the woman’s drop-off point in Brookline Village, the only sounds I heard were the horns and sirens filling Boston’s streets. Respecting her silence – she was in the car first – I only offered her a smile, but from the minute she left the car, the driver and I were in constant laughter and conversation. “You know, where I come from,” the driver said, turning onto my street, “we laugh like this with all our neighbors. You don’t see that in the States.”

The next morning, I took the bus. There, too, all I heard was silence. One man was on his laptop, a handful on their cellphones. Nearly everyone wore headphones. But no two people said much more than ‘hello’ aloud. In my thoughts, I whispered, “I wonder what my Uber driver would say.”

Hours later, in the basement of the dental school, I was again in the thick of silence. Granted, this time, I was alone. But, as a special surprise, Allen came walking in, a slight limp in his step. Allen was the air conditioner maintenance man, the regular for the dental school building. Though I had never seen him before, I pulled out my own headphones and smiled his direction. Accepting the invitation, Allen sat down. He told me his story. He told me his jokes. And he told me I must not be from the East, because I was much too conversational. “People keep to themselves out here,” he ended, moving on with his day.

We live in a busy world. People have place to go, tasks to complete. Students and businessmen alike use the bus or the cab or a moment alone to finish their work.  We, too, live in a world that’s afraid. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t upset the other riders with your chatter. Don’t break the norm.

But are we really too busy to meet a new person? Are we really so afraid that we choose to live in silence? Are we really so connected that we can’t handle a greater community?

Sitting on the silent bus, I wondered whether some sort of a ‘chat prompt’ game would encourage conversation. We were already surrounded by positive messages on sticky notes in this uplifting bus. Maybe a set of game-like rules would encourage connection in the way the sticky notes encouraged positivity?

In actuality, though, I stuck to the rules. Thinking of the norms of the bus, I, too, waited until my stop to say hello to a man I see each day. I, too, upheld the silence. And, in doing so, I probably missed the opportunity to hear an incredible story or to share a smile with a workplace neighbor. In doing so, I too  too, contributed to the absence of community that my uber driver and my new friend, Allen, experience in this Western world.

And I started to wonder: Are these positive messages scattered on sticky notes – ‘You are beautiful.’ ‘You are worthwhile.’ ‘You are valued.’ – really what we need? In the absence of connection, how could these messages mean anything?

  • To tell someone he is valued is to allow him to add a moment of laughter or joy to your day.
  • To tell a neighbor she is beautiful is to look up with a smile instead of looking down at your smartphone.
  • To make a difference is to make a sound, starting with a ‘hello’ on a bus or a ‘good afternoon’ in an Uber.

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My challenge for all of us is to start making this difference in the world today. Our challenge is to start making a wave of sound.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

 

What Truly Matters

You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.

“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”

For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.

 “And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”

You listen, and respond with a step.

“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”

You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.

“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”

Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?

And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.

If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.

If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!

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You lost someone from your life?

Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.

You faced a roadblock in your job?

Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!

The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.

So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”

You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

It’s a rainy day, and yet it is filled with such sunshine – The Sunshine Blogger Award to be specific. Thank you Didi’s Art Design for adding this light to my week and for sharing such warmth on your blog. Be sure to check out all poetic thoughts that Didi’s Art Design has to offer!

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The rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award are simple:

Rules:
1) Thank the person who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

2) Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

3) Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

4) List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

So for Didi’s Art Design’s 11 questions:

1) What are your hobbies?

I am a dental student by day and a writer by night; and in the in-between, you’ll find me on the comedy stage! It’s a busy life, and I love it!

2) What is most important to you?

Laughter carries me through every moment of every day.

3) How can we achieve harmony between nations and people?

Peace begins within each of us, and from there, we can share peace with others.

4) What kind of improvements you suggest for your our society?

There are oh so many opportunities for growth in our world, and they all stem from a growth in not only random, but intentional acts of kindness.

5) What is your biggest wish?

What a hard question! I am so caught up in the beauty of this moment that my mind can’t seem to land on something more I would want in my day!

6) What was your biggest mistake in your life?

There have been only endless opportunities before me, opportunities for growth and opportunities to learn.

7) If you could bring a new subject to a school, what would it be?

I have done just this! Crafting Yourself brings lessons in self-efficacy and resiliency to the hands of middle school children, all through the creativity of art!

8) How do we end poverty in our world?

We begin to create equity in our world by creating equal opportunity in each domain of our world: health care, education, employment, and more.

9) What book do you find most interesting?

There are so many options, but I do love the concept of “If on a winter’s night a traveler.”

10) What is the meaning of friendship to you?

Friendships is laughter and joy. It is sharing moments of both pain and hope with someone you trust, and exploring this world with someone who can share with you a new way of seeing things.

11) What does, “Man know thyself,” mean to you?

This question is truly wonderful, because each day that I grow, this sentence means something new. I simply can’t wait to see what this phrase will mean to me in the morning.

My Nominations for The Sunshine Blogger Award are:

  1. Safarii + Co
  2. Poeta da Garrafa
  3. In a Messy World
  4. Christine’s Collection
  5. Hope Dealer
  6. Written by an amateur human
  7. How to Climb a Mountain
  8. Safira’s Journey
  9. Naturally Nuri
  10. Forged from Reverie
  11. Write Ally! Write!
  12. And YOU! Add your blog url to the comments and share the sunshine with all of us! You most definitely deserve this blogger award!

As for your 11 questions:

  1. What are you most passionate about?
  2. How would anyone know?
  3. Who most influenced the person you are today?
  4. What is one thing you wish you could add to your day?
  5. What is stopping you from adding that in?
  6. What is one thing you could empty from your day?
  7. What would you do with that freed time?
  8. When did you decide to pursue your profession?
  9. What is one thing you love about your profession?
  10. Why are you so good at what you do?
  11. If you closed your eyes and imagined the perfect day, what would you do first?

Happy blogging, and enjoy the sunshine! I can’t wait to see how far this sunshine spreads!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Hear Me Out

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Today, I told an uber driver that I was there to listen, that his story mattered. In return, he gifted me the honor of learning about his journey as a Lost Boy, and at the final destination, neither of us wanted to leave.

There is human strength all around us, but sometimes, we simply forget to stop, ask, and listen. So today, let’s empower one another. Let’s lift our neighbors with our stories. And let us all begin to stop and listen. We are here together, and ‘here’ is truly an incredible place to be!

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

The Versatile Blogger Award

The prolific and stunningly creative blogger, Ally L Mare, has nominated me for The Versatile Blogger Award!

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Thank you Ally!

Be sure to check out Ally’s free online e-books.

This award is created in the spirit of getting to know our fellow bloggers, and the rules are quite simple:

– Display the award on your blog.

– Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to his/her blog.

– Share 7 facts about yourself.

– Nominate 10 bloggers for the award and link to their blogs.

So with the first two tasks complete, it’s time for 7 Facts about Mirissa D. Price:

  1. My favorite tooth is the mandibular first premolar; something about that mesiolingual groove just offers such a great story for the imaginative dental student!
  2. I have been teaching and working with children since I was only a child! And I love every second of it!
  3. My most productive time of day is after dark, but I still love to wake up before the sun rises.
  4. I will jump onto any stage you put before me – comedy, karaoke, theater; I’ll be there!
  5. I am named after a Great Aunt Miriam – hence the ‘Mi’ in Mirissa ♥
  6. I fall head over heels in love with this world every time I take a step out into nature.
  7. I just opened an etsy shop where you can buy some tidbits of inspiration to keep in your home and on your fridge! CLICK HERE to check out my growing shop, A Smile Blooms.

Now, for the best part – I get to pass the gift of this award on to the next 10 bloggers! My 10 nominations are:

  1. Lifes Fine Whine
  2. Word Prints
  3. Angie Trafford
  4. EDC Writing
  5. Palabras DelMar
  6. Comically Quirky 
  7. Blog of a Mad Black Woman
  8. Keep On Moving
  9. Playing By My Own Rules
  10. Ohm Sweet Ohm

And, of course, YOU! Add your blog to the comments and consider your blog nominated! Nothing can stand between you and a little self-determination to join in!

Thanks again for the nomination, Ally. Now, nominees, readers, anyone choosing to jump in the game, go forth and have a blogging good time!