Why Confetti in Your Pocket Matters

Written by Maria Sirois
July 9, 2024

In 2020 a story went viral about an 8-year-old boy who had the habit of carrying around confetti in his pocket, in case of “emergency good news.”  I love everything about this simple tale:  a child who knows who he is and what he likes, an optimistic outlook, and a willingness to add some shimmer to the world. The boy is not alone in how he sees the world:

Photographer Ansel Adams, once wrote:  “Yosemite Valley, to me, is always a sunrise, a glitter of green and golden wonder, in a vast edifice of stone and space.”

Author Edith Wharton:  “The early mist had vanished and the fields lay like a silver shield under the sun. It was one of the days when the glitter of winter shines through a pale haze of spring.”

Emperor/Philosopher Marcus Aurelius: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Producer Oprah Winfrey:  “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” 

The more we celebrate…the more there is to celebrate. Let’s pause here for a moment and consider. What does happen when we develop the 8-year-old lens, a lens of readiness to find the good and cheer it on? We experience expansion. Research in the fields of resilience, happiness and thriving at work show just how profound this expansion can be:

When we look for the good and celebrate the good, we experience more of the good:

a. happiness grows

b. a sense of contentment ensues

c. negative social comparison is reduced

d. our bodies and brains become calmer

e. we build better relationships at home and at work

f. satisfaction at work increases

g.  we reduce the amount of time spent in negative emotions or thinking  

h. our sorrow, fears, doubts are softened for a time

i.  we bring joy

j.  we experience more hope

k. we are more likely to note and invest in the success factors that enable better performance at work

l.  we are more skilled at recognizing the value of others, thereby increasing esteem in both ourselves and others

m. we experience a greater fullness to our days

n.  we handle the strains of the day with increased ease

o.  we ignite cycles of kindness and generosity

Why wouldn’t we then carry confetti in our pockets?  Realists might suggest that it is a temporary bandaid over the wounds of the world. Pessimists might say that it has little value, and doesn’t help us prepare for stressors headed our way.  But think of your own life, of our own lives. Aren’t we each of us able to say that the sweetest moments, as well as the moments that sustained us enough to carry on, were the ones bedecked with literal or metaphoric confetti?  Weddings, births, engagements, new homes, for certain, but also the times old friends visited, a child learned to write their name, puppies were born, or the 98-year-old neighbor welcomed a new young couple to his neighborhood with a cake, hoping they too would come to love the area for 5 decades as he has – as was just reported on July 8th from Richardson, Texas. 

Appreciating the good isn’t merely for show or a temporary fix. It is a choice, that when carried out as a disciplined practice, changes our experience of living.  

One final thought…as we become adept at savoring “emergency good news” we model for others the possibility that they too might find a way to live a life rich with a glistening awareness: there is truly much to bedazzle with the shine of our own gratitude.

Perhaps you will join me in August to learn more about the power of the simple act of appreciating the good. Perhaps then, you too might become the kind of person who stashes sparkles in pockets and purses and the chambers of your heart.

Love, Maria

Photo used above by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash.

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