Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Is your EQ higher than a 7-year-olds? Get inspired by Jesus Portillo and his Magic Marbles

Have you ever noticed there are a lot of awards out there that honor grown-up humans? My guess is they created formal recognition systems to make themselves feel good or important or both. And that's OK, but if you ask me, I think there's a major segment of the population that is overlooked during award season for the difference they make.

I'm talking about kids. In my book, they have a pretty well developed EQ and we can learn a lot from them, especially those in the single digits.

Case in point: Today, I met 7-year-old Jesus Portillo from Bakersfield. I was just hanging out in my office when this cheerful ray of sunshine came looking for a playmate. Eager to distract myself from the barrage of emails I've been receiving (thank you all for sharing the love!), I welcomed him in my usual way – rapid-fire tail wagging followed by uncontrollable wheezing followed by spastic jumping up and down followed by moi executing a top to bottom tongue bath on the wee lad. Lather. Rinse. Repeat!

I consistently unleash this patented, 4-point strategic welcoming system to ensure new friends feel loved and accepted. I hear humans can be arrested for similar behavior. Silly humans. When are you going to learn to let love rule?

But I digress ... after composing myself following this initial seizure of excitement meeting a new friend, I connected with Jesus, eager to learn what put such a big smile on his adorable little face.

As he pulled some treats for me out of his shorts pocket, I noticed several shiny, yellow marbles emerge. I asked him why he would have marbles in his pocket – especially on a travel day from California to Las Vegas. He humbly replied: "They remind me to make a difference."

OK. I can't be the only one who would be curious at this point, right??

Upon deeper conversation, Jesus revealed that every morning he puts 3 marbles in his right pants pocket. As he finds opportunities to perform random acts of kindness throughout the day, he moves one marble to the left pocket for each good deed completed. His goal is to move all three marbles each day from one cozy confine to the other. The marbles are merely a reminder to do good in the world.

When I asked him what he did the last few days to warrant the movement of marbles, he had a laundry list of difference-making to share. For example, he had:
  • Surprised his sisters by making their beds (when was the last time you did that just because!)
  • Gone out in his neighborhood and picked up trash (hello! how often do you talk about greening the earth without doing anything about it!)
  • Helped his mom clean the house (without her asking, mind you. Selfless!)
  • Taken bread to some firemen (and thanked them for the work they do)
  • And opened the door for customers at a local business (when was the last time you looked up from texting long enough to even notice there was someone behind you going through the same entrance).
I mean, come on. Aren't you impressed by this kid?? I bet those middle-aged humans haven't come up with an award for any of that, but gosh is it worthy of someone out there taking notice. Jesus is 7-years-old for goodness sake! That's like a 10-month old puppy in dog years. Bravo, Jesus. Bravo.

The Wisdom I'm Unleashing
Grown-up people often talk about changing the world, but how many take action – and "just because." Little Jesus isn't looking for any recognition, he told me he goes out and supports others simply because it makes him feel good.

If 3 marbles a day will put that kind of smile on a person's face, we ought to buy stock and fill our pockets full. Imagine the exponential difference Jesus makes. I'm sure every person he touches is inspired, as I was, to go out and pay the random acts forward, and to share his story with at least 3 others. If you do the math, that is what, like several dozen people he touches in one day. Amazing.

In honor of what I am dubbing the first annual Jesus Portillo Make a Difference Day, I challenge you to fill your pants with marbles tomorrow and go unleash as many random acts of kindness as you can throughout your day. Not only will it put some much needed love and compassion out in the world, I bet it lands a big ole smile on your face.

Win win. Live in pawssibilites, and don't forget to look for wisdom in the single digits of the world. Magic is all around us.


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