The triumph of #nplove
This blog post almost didn't get written, for all of the usual reasons blog posts don't get written: no time to focus, other projects that felt more pressing, and a need to sleep and eat every now and then. I was running behind on life, not to mention my YNPN responsibilities, and I didn't know how I would get it all done.
But if I'm honest with myself and with you, another reason this post almost didn't get written is because I was scared. Let me back up and tell you why.
When I found out that Random Acts of Kindness Week would oh-so-serendipitously overlap with Valentine's Day, I knew that I needed to figure out some way to incorporate it into YNPN's #nplove content for the month (a nonprofit communicator never sleeps, y'all). I decided it would be fun to send valentines to a few organizations and people I really admire to acknowledge the fantastic work they do. Who doesn't love a handwritten note? Also, it was an excuse to go to Paper Source.
You can always count on Paper Source for a good pun.
And then I got busy. Really busy. And before I knew it, it was the evening of the day I had planned to send the cards so they would arrive in time for Valentine's Day, and I hadn't even thought about what I was going to write.
So I started to talk myself out of it. Here's a list of the reasons why I told myself this was a bad idea:
Reason: "Well, it won't arrive in time for V-Day and people will be confused."
Reality: People know how calendars and the USPS work. Being in the vicinity of Valentine's Day would be good enough. This is one of those times when it's the thought that counts.
Reason: "They don't know who I am, what do they care that I think they're awesome?"
Reality: One of the reasons I love these folks is that they are so thoughtful and audience-focused in everything they do. They may not know who I am, but I bet it will make their day to hear about why their work matters to someone.
Reason: "Uhh, isn't a little weird to just tell someone that they're cool?"
Reality: Of all the silly reasons I came up with not to do this, this one might be the most silly and a little bit sad. When did it become weird or uncool to tell someone else that you think they're pretty stinkin' great? (No, that's literally what the card said.)
It was around then that I realized I was a little bit scared to do this. I was scared to step out and acknowledge the importance of someone else's work in my life because I was too busy to do it at exactly the right time, because I felt I wasn't significant enough for my opinion to matter, and because I thought it might be weird. All of those reasons are pretty stinkin' bad.
One of the best parts of managing YNPN's social media accounts this month has been seeing all of the #nplove tweets and comments. But I also know that there are a lot more people out there who are feeling the love but haven't shared yet, maybe for some of the reasons I was scared to do so. This post is for all of you.
Yep, that's a Johnny Cash stamp. Who's uncool now? Still me? Ok.
So I want to know: Whose work do you think deserves a valentine, even if it's a virtual one?
Jamie Smith is the Launchpad Communications Fellow for YNPN. In addition to her work for YNPN, she works with nonprofit organizations to amplify their impact with clear and compelling communications. As a freelance writer and content strategist, she loves helping organizations across the nonprofit sector connect with their supporters.