As I walked past the large TV in the gym locker room, my son sat in a chair waiting for me to check him into the kids activity area before my yoga class. My day went on, but my mind kept rewinding to that sight. I tend to use yoga as a time for gratitude prayer. That day, I just kept asking what I was supposed to do to change this world we live in. The sight of the parents and students in tears, the sight of the college that had just become the next major news story, the sight of another day discussing these acts of violence just replayed in my head. As with most Americans, my evening went on. That evening I prayed for those involved, I prayed for the boy/man that felt compelled to kill and hurt other human beings, but I still felt with the rest of the world, confused and frustrated.
Then, this Sunday I went to church, as we do every Sunday, but this day was a little different. There was a guest speaker by the name of Samuel Rodriguez and he spoke on "light". While I love attending church, it is not often that I leave with written notes from the service. This week was again different there. While Reverend Rodriguez was speaking, he said something that really resonated with me..."For when light stands next to darkness, light always wins." Following this week and that vision stuck in my head from the gym TV, this is exactly the answer I needed to hear. So, how do we create more light in a world that is struggling with darkness?
From the very beginning of RuffleButts, I felt led to do something more than create adorable clothes for adorable kiddos around the world. While that job description is certainly an honor, I have always wanted to use this company as a platform to do good. Sometimes that "good" is obvious and other times it is not. Sometimes it is complex and often times it is quite simple.
While our business is a business for profit, which means we do have to make a profit to stay in business, it is truly built on a foundation of love, goodness, honesty, and optimism. While we mostly talk about products, as most companies do, this week, I want to do something a little different. Many would not consider this to be the best business decision, as it will not drive sales, won't contribute to our revenue goals, and won't help to spread the word about RuffleButts. With that said, I feel like it will do something even more important. We have the most AMAZING customers ever! Our customers have had my back since the very beginning. They have supported this dream, the business, they have sang our praises and decorated their loved ones in our creations. Even those that have outgrown our sizes still show their loyalty with baby shower gifts and notes on our social media pages. I know that our customers have so much light to shine, so this week, I am calling on you to shine it.
So, here is my simple request...do something kind for someone else this week. Shine your light! Show love, show support, encouragement. Pay for the dinner of a random stranger, maybe pay for their coffee ahead of them in line. Support a co-worker who you do not know well, who may need the support more than you know. Whatever it is, just shine brightly. Then take a moment to stop by our facebook page and share your story. It doesn't even have to have a result that you know of, just let us know what you did to join in our quest for light. Who knows, maybe we'll pay it forward too!
*When searching for his quote, I came across this post on Maria Shriver's website. Looks like she found him inspiring too. Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez was also nominated by TIME Magazine for their "100 Most Influential People in the World" list in 2013. After hearing him speak, I can certainly see why!
Also turns out that Gateway Church is doing a re-air of Rev. Rodriguez's service at noon Central today. If you would like to view, click here.
Seriously, we have the most amazing customers ever!! Okay, I'm already totally over the whole "rip-off" thing. You guys are the best, and reminded me to keep looking forward. We are too busy here creating new and exciting RuffleButt products for our fabulous customers, to be concerned about others and their bad judgement. I honestly can not tell you how much your support means to me personally and how appreciative we are of your business!
Oh, and by the way, my photographer informed me that this business owner contacted her to try to do their photography as well. She is a fabulous photographer, but are you serious?! Well, I guess I'm glad I could provide some inspiration!
I never lost faith that, overall, people are good. I have to be honest, this has all been a little rough on me, but I couldn't be more appreciative of your supportive comments from my earlier post. That's not quite what I received via email this morning. I was accused of everything from " being stupid" to not having a very good "business tactic". Wow, all of this from a decision to help someone in need! I understand the emotions that have been evoked, as a mom, I find myself in an ocean of them today. But, I do have to admit, that was a little hurtful!
I know I can be a bit of an optimist, although I definitely am not naive. I want to have hope, but right now, I am faced with a bit more disappointment. With all of that said, even if this one person, or even handful of people, did lie to world, they are still the minority. The world is full of good people and, if nothing else, this potentially evil action brought out so much good in so many people. So many of you put them ahead of yourselves, you prayed for them, you thought of them, you sent them gifts, you cared. This is why people are good, when put to the test, there are still so many incredibly supportive, loving, giving people out there and please, do not let this experience take that away.
Thank you for taking the time to send me your kind words...they do not go unnoticed!