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September 4, 2012
Goodness Matters
Weapons of Mass Awesomeness
by Vickey Pahnke Taylor

We live in a world in which weapons of mass destruction are continually being created, upgraded, and made more powerful. What if we worked on making weapons of mass awesomeness?

Rather than focus on negativity, harm, and so-called power, we could invent ongoing gifts of goodness and happiness. I’m thinking we could create a giant club — worldwide — and share fun, joyful ideas and activities. What a beautiful thought, right? Stay with me. This is a concept we can actually build upon.

Robert Fulghum, who gained fame writing the book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, shared a great idea that I’ve included in presentations from time to time. People love it. (Thanks, Reverend Fulghum.)

So I thought I’d share it with you, and maybe you can participate, even though we’re not all in a classroom together. This is what he suggests:

“Maybe we should develop a Crayola crayon bomb as our next secret weapon. A happiness weapon. A beauty bomb.

“And every time a crisis developed, we would launch one. It would explode high in the air, softly, and send thousands, millions, of little parachutes into the air. Floating down to earth — boxes of Crayolas. And we wouldn’t go cheap, either — not little boxes of eight. Boxes of sixty-four, with the sharpener built right in. With silver and gold and copper, magenta and peach and lime, amber and umber and all the rest.

“And people would smile and get a little funny look on their face and cover the world with imagination.”

Doesn’t that sound heavenly? And awesome — in its best use of the word, meaning: phenomenal, fantastic, wonderful and awe-inspiring.

Imagine living on a street where we could see Crayola boxes coming down from the sky, and everyone came outside to share pictures they’d drawn from the last time the crayons descended. Or chalk — so that we could draw happy pictures on the driveways and street.

Or, imagine that, instead of developing such a secret weapon, we determined to be the secret weapon.

With all the gentleness and joy of a box of sixty four crayons and a heart full of optimism, we could offer imaginative and do-able ways to get through a hard day or know just the right things to say (and offered with a hug) to a family member or other loved one who is feeling down.

What if we asked our Father in Heaven to bless us to be true instruments of His peace? What if we chose to ingest President Gordon B. Hinckley’s counsel to:

“Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism.

“Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.”

Taking the Crayola Crayon Weapon challenge symbolically, we could color this world in beautiful shades of kindness, civility, and goodness.

More important than our looks, our clothing, our so-called status, education, or circumstances, we could give up our weapons of war: you know — the harsh words, the backbiting, the whining and finger-pointing. The things that tear down and destroy.

Instead, we could dig into our box of colors and be the kind of disciple of Christ that — when all is said and done — we really want to be. This, my friends, would be awesome, wouldn’t it?

Pass the crayons. Let’s build a little more goodness!

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