What does goodness mean to you?
Goodness, to me, is collective optimism. It’s a moment of hope, cheer, or positivity, shared with the intention of changing someone’s outlook or attitude for the better.
What do you enjoy doing?
Making Lists. I love documenting my life and keeping track of change through lists. I enjoy meeting new people and making new friends. Connecting good people to other good people. Long meals without phones and adventures without concrete plans. I enjoy the creative process– writing, playing music, or making art that is not only meaningful to me, but resonates with other people. And most of all, I love traveling with my wife.
I try and remember one positive thing each day; sometimes it’s a quote of the day, or insight/lesson of the day, or what I’m grateful for, or the best moment of the day
What is something that you have seen/read/heard lately that has brought a smile to your face?
The Cubs winning the world series was a pretty special moment. I’ve been a Cubs fan my whole life and my grandfather, who passed away at 94 years old was, too. They hadn’t won the world series in 108 years, so even my grandfather never got to witness the magic of seeing his team win. Beyond that, the 108 year “curse” being broken brought to mind several themes. Being patient and delayed gratification. Faith and believing in something out of your control. And change. That the Cubs have become a metaphor over the years for losers and for holding on to hope despite bad odds. And now, they can’t represent that idea anymore. They’re just like any other team and that’s humbling because what makes them special now, is that they’re ours. It’s not that they’re inherently special or different, except that they’re our team. Mine. My grandfather’s. Our hometown’s. And that intimacy makes it meaningful. But enough of the rant, it was just a very surreal and magical moment to witness the victory in such a dramatic way.
What are some ways we can become aware of the goodness in our lives?
I take screenshots of every chat, text, and email that has any kind of compliment or positive thought. I put them in a folder on my computer and read through them from time to time. I’ve also kept a daily log with lists of what I do every day for the last 5 years. Each year, the goal is different, but I try and remember one positive thing each day; sometimes it’s a quote of the day, or insight/lesson of the day, or what I’m grateful for, or the best moment of the day. Any regular reminders of goodness remind you to appreciate that there is already goodness in our lives and to continue to notice it.
Jake Kahana is a creative director who uses art to help people engage with the world in new ways. He writes about navigating through life's challenges and teaches about creative process. He currently lives in New York City.
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