I remember at one point a couple years ago, I wrote about how celebrities, like us, are human. True, they make a lot of money and have throngs of screaming fans who would chase them for miles (if given the opportunity!) But when you strip away all the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, you're left with a person. Someone who just works hard to get where they are in life, nothing more (nothing less.)
Unfortunately, many others don't seem to grasp this concept. I choose not to name names, mainly because I still have some respect for privacy with the parties involved. But also, this story is just crazy! Case in point: today while checking my Twitter, I came across an enthusiastic fan who shared with their followers a video of a big celebrity smoking a cigarette outside of a hotel. At first, I was mildly upset (for a minute) to see the celebrity smoking, but just like a normal person....I got over it. Yet some of the other fans....did not.
As I scrolled down the page, I read comment after comment about how many were turned off by the smoking, outraged that it happened, and heartbroken by the revelation that the perfect 'squeaky-clean' image of this celeb had been tarnished in their eyes. There were mean and immature comments; a few concerned comments about the dangers and health risks involved. (Mainly, I just rolled my eyes at each comment, even chuckling a little at the use of caps and exclamation points littering the web-page, but thought it was sweet that some cared enough to express concern.)
In life, just about anyone and everyone will do something that you don't agree with (even celebrities.) When I was younger, I was soooooo pissed that Justin Timberlake announced he was dating Britney Spears, but I got over it (especially when I grew out of my teeny-bopper phase and realized that reality is much more fun.) The thought of Taylor Hanson married with kids made me sad at first (that I didn't get to marry him), but glad that he was getting to live his life the way he chose to. I wasn't okay with the times my friends would exclude me from hanging out because of our interests (and I found friends who wanted to include me in everything instead.) And even when a few of my friends took up smoking, while I may have cracked a joke or two that "they should quit" and "it's bad for your health," I encouraged them to make their own choices and be who they are.
The minor flaws & bad habits can't change a person's kindness or their character. Quite a few of my friends still do things like smoke and drink and party hard, but they're still my friends and I love them. They're there when I need them (and even when I don't.) Same goes for family. A person is still a person, even those in the spotlight. True, what they do is under a giant magnifying glass, but I can assure you that there are plenty of other people in the world who have done worse things than smoke a cigarette.
It's amazing what a few simple words can accomplish....
let me explain.
Over a week ago, while at a school in Asbury Park, I couldn't help but notice that many of the students were wearing bracelets that read "I am a Bucket Filler." I was intrigued, considering that I had NO clue what the bracelets meant. I mean, what could filling a bucket have to do with life? It wasn't until I took the picture of one of the faculty members that I noticed she was wearing a pin with that same phrase on it. I had to know everything.
She explained how the children were learning the importance of kind words and appreciation towards one another, and that when you "fill" someone's bucket, you give them positive and uplifting statements. As I finished taking her picture, I smiled and wished her a wonderful day.
As the day continued, the idea of being a "bucket filler" made me think. Being a child who was once bullied and taunted on a regular basis, my heart filled with pride and joy that steps were being made to show how positive reinforcements are better than sharing a negative one. On a regular basis, we hear stories in the media about bullying & school shootings, the effects of peer pressure on children. Frankly, it saddens me to believe that in a society where the media focuses on mostly the negative, that there are very few positive things that are shared.
But what about those positives? Is it so hard to fathom that maybe every once in a while, something that touches my heart is more important than all of the injustice and pain I see in the news on a regular basis?
So to take this whole "bucket filler" movement one extra step, I have made those simple efforts to bring a little more light to my job each day. Sometimes, a kind word or smile brightens another person's day. Sometimes it's leaving a little extra in the tip jar when you're buying coffee in the morning or maybe hugging a friend that's having a hard day.
To continue my "bucket filling" efforts, I figured a Top Ten was in order:
1) Apartment - Young The Giant
2) We Belong - The Colorful Quiet
3) It's Not Easy Bein' Green - Kermit the Frog
4) Your Hand in Mine - Explosions in the Sky
5) These Photographs - Joshua Radin
6) A Boy Like That/I Have A Love - West Side Story
7) Human - Darren Criss
8) Air - Ben Folds Five
9) My Sundown - Jimmy Eat World
10) Through Your Eyes - The Honey Trees
It's important to fill each other's lives with love and kindness every single day. There are too many negative people in this world and maybe, just maybe, the negativity can be cancelled out by something greater than we know.