This showed up on my Facebook feed today and it was too good not to share. It comes from an Australian site called Humans in Melbourne and it’s the story of Nathan, who carries absurdly large objects around the city with the goal of making people smile.
When asked why he carries a handmade carrot the size of an adult human, this was Nathan’s answer:
“To make people smile. You see, one day I went to a shop and I bought a giant turnip. I was carrying it home and noticed how much it made people smile. That made me feel really good! So I decided to try carrying other giant things around. I carried a giant octopus and a giant squid, then I made the giant carrot and carried it around town and I noticed a big difference. The diversity of people smiling and the number of people smiling was much greater. So I just kept carrying the carrot around because it was the most successful thing at making people smile.
Personally, I would have loved to keep carrying the squid but it was the carrot that everyone loved.
I’m on a disability pension, you see, and this is my way of giving back. I’m part of the community, putting smiles on people’s faces. Like today for instance, I was at home watching a DVD and I just thought, nah, I’m going to go out and make hundreds of people smile instead with the carrot.
Last year there was a big protest at Parliament, right wing people and anti-racism people and I was at home watching it on TV thinking, how awful, this could end up in a riot. So I picked up my carrot and wandered down. It worked so well, people started smiling when they saw me and the carrot and I think it helped them calm down.
I try to get out as often as possible but you have to be in the mood for something like this. Today I’ve been out here for about an hour and a half and I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of smiles. This is what’s so good about it, if I want to do something good I just grab the carrot and head on out.”
I loved this article. It reminded me of when my daughter was small. We’d go pick my parents up at the airport, wearing paper bags over our heads covered with crayon, glitter and feathers with holes cut out for our eyes and my little one holding a sign with their names on it, as if we were picking up strangers who’d flown in for a conference. Everyone around us was smiling. Sometimes I think about the time we saw a mom at the grocery store in pajamas, bathrobe and slippers. “It’s COVID!” she cackled. “I’d get dressed, but what’s the point?” I thought about that for days, she was hilarious. Every time I saw her in an aisle she was talking to someone and they were laughing.
The aging and gentle Pomeranian/Chihuahua mix with a haircut like a lion, who slips out of his house to greet me and my dog enthusiastically every chance he gets, his tiny pink tongue poking out of the side of his mouth. He’s utterly delightful.
I think about children, the ones that wear their Spiderman costumes to the hardware store and their Snow White dress to the bank. The toddler all bundled up in the wagon yesterday who turned completely around and hollered at me while I was walking the dog: “HOW ARE YOU TODAY??!” while her dad and I snickered. Last week a baby smiled at me in line at a store and it made the rest of my day. First he did a double-take, then appeared to radiate delight that we were reunited, at long last, although I’m pretty sure we’d never met. I told him, “it’s so good to see you again!” and his mom looked at me, startled. I shrugged and we all started laughing.
Amusement is so powerful. In an instant the vibration lifts you up and transforms whatever situation you’re in. We focus so much on the serious stuff and if you get caught up in the news, there’s plenty to go around! But amusement is a higher vibration than serious energy and as a practice, it can literally change your life by knocking that heavy energy out. Notice the Dalai Lama, who spends a lot of time giggling.
I go through phases where I look for something amusing about each day. I’m never disappointed. Some boring study says children laugh about 300 times a day and adults, less than 20. Which is better, laughing 20 times or laughing 300? It’s really a matter of intent, of mocking that up for yourself.
So thank you to the Nathans of this world that are willing to go out on the limb of amusement, and for such a noble cause! You can google Nathan + Carrot Man to see some fun pictures of him and his orange sidekick. I hope they make your day!
Blessings to you all,
Rt. Rev. Katie Heldman is the Co-Director of Psychic Horizons Center, and wrote this article for the December 5th, 2022 eNews.