Noah and the ARK
Do you know who Michael Scott is? Or Dwight and Schrute Farm? What about Pam and Jim, the sweetest love story ever? If these are ringing bells, you’ve probably watched the TV show The Office? Most people either love it or hate it. Guess which boat we are in.
Yep. We love The Office. We watched the show as a family. All three of us would make time to sit down and watch it together, usually ending up howling with laughter and replaying certain scenes over and over. It became a litmus test of sorts, especially for Madi. Meet someone new, and this would be one of her first questions.
If someone asked her out, it would play out like this. Boy: “Do you want to go out on Saturday night?“ Madi: “Do you like The Office?“ And then her answer would usually depend on that.
Tyler, her boyfriend, has not seen The Office, or at least not all of it. There must be something special about him because she is willing to overlook this significant lapse in his education, and she is working on getting him up to scratch.
Michael Scott is the main character, and he is played by Steve Carell. He is one of the funniest men in Hollywood, and that’s probably one of the reasons I watched the movie Evan Almighty in the first place. It’s the story of a news anchor / congressman (Carell) who gets chosen by God (Morgan Freeman) to be a modern-day Noah. Freeman provides him with blueprints for building an ark.
The movie follows Carell’s misadventures in Ark Building 101, the defection of his family, the ridicule of his community, and it has you laughing the whole way.
At the end, Morgan Freeman appears to Carell‘s character, and explains the journey they have been on together and very poignantly points out that ARK stands for Acts of Random Kindness. I cry every time.
The Greek storyteller Aesop said “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.“ He was right.
The whole Pay It Forward movie and subsequent campaign is amazing. If you have ever been the recipient, I’d bet you didn’t quit smiling at any time in the following hours. I think it only happened to me once, and I was at the drive-through at Taco Bell. The cashier told me the car in front of me had paid for my meal. It was only four dollars, but it could’ve been $400. I was inspired to pay it forward for the car behind me. Turns out their bill was over $30. At Taco Bell? Really? So I chose the car behind them. Here’s the funny thing. Turns out that it was as thrilling to be the giver as it was being the recipient.
The Journal of Experimental Psychology did some studies on random acts of kindness; they involved things like offering someone a ride home, baking them cookies, or paying for a cup of coffee. The interesting thing is that the givers routinely underestimated the value of their actions. They constantly failed to see how much of an impact their acts made. Although it doesn’t seem like a big deal to undervalue small actions, it can lead to fewer acts of kindness, and at this time and place, the world needs all the kindness it can get.
So if it comes down to the question of whether or not to engage in a random act of kindness, just remember it makes a bigger impact than you think!