On March 17, 2016, a Sweetheart and Hero went to heaven. William “Billy” Wardell, was tragically killed in an ATV accident at the tender age of 12. Billy’s mother, Carol lost a piece of her heart that day and struggled to find a reason to continue. Call it fate, divine intervention, a little help from her “angel”, or just plain coincidence, Carol found Sweethearts and Heroes. www.sweetheartsandheroes.org. The bond was instant and we all knew that this would be the beginning of an amazing friendship. This would prove to be the first flap of the butterfly’s wings as related to the “Butterfly Effect”. The Butterfly Effect is the concept that small causes can have large effects. Initially, it was used with weather prediction, but later the term became a metaphor used in and out of science.
Starting with a presentation in Billy’s honor within the school district Billy attended, Billy’s legacy began to shine within the Sweethearts and Heroes message. It was quite clear from the first meeting with Carol, that Billy was the definition of a Sweetheart and Hero. A “Sweetheart” is a carrier of H.O.P.E. and a “Hero” is someone willing to do things others won’t do to jump into action and help someone in need. As Carol attended more presentations and events, the momentum began to grow, with Carol now regularly presenting as part of Sweethearts and Heroes Team. Carol always knew her son Billy was a special, kind, caring, beautiful soul, but the lesson that Carol learned from the events surrounding her son’s death, was that people forgot to take the time to share how special, kind or caring Billy was, until it was too late. Carol found that many people found Billy to be as special as Carol knew he was. Over and over, from teachers to classmates that Billy only knew for a short period of time, the comments were the same, “Billy was always so kind, always sticking up for someone, and a just a person that everyone liked to be around”. Yes, these were comforting things to hear, but what left Carol unsettled about these amazing comments and stories that were shared, was the fact that it was the first time these people thought of sharing such wonderful things about Billy.
Now wrap your head around that concept. What is the reason that people don’t share positive stories, thoughts, gratitude? Are they too busy, do they feel awkward reaching out, are they programmed to think you only contact someone with a complaint or problem. I think it is all of the above. We need to reprogram ourselves to recognize the amazing qualities of people in the present. We eed to take action and share these positive stories with others in order to create more positivity, compassion, kindness and caring in the world. Through connecting with Carol, Jason Spector, Sweethearts and Heroes, Co-Founder and Middle School Physical Education Teacher, very quickly realized that from a teaching perspective, the connection between teachers and parents is usually centered upon the reporting of bad behaviors, putting out fires and/or responding to complaints. These types of communications shouldn’t be the type of bonding between teacher and parent, nor should it be the bond between classmates, neighbors, co-workers, or anyone. A simple realization, that has an even simpler resolution. We all need to find ways to make connections with each other that are positive. Through these small connections, we can begin to make improvements in kindness, compassion and empathy, which studies confirm, have decreased by at least 40% in the last 20 years. With very little time required, we all can begin to flap our butterfly wings to cause a hurricane!
The birth of “Billy Mail”… What is “Billy Mail”? It couldn’t be any simpler! Billy mail is a short, simple email, letter, phone call or other communication with someone with the purpose of sharing something positive about that person or someone they are closely connected to. For example, as a teacher, Jason Spector sends out at least 5 positive emails (“Billy Mails”) a week to parents or guardians of his students. In starting this, he has found that most people are initially taken back by them. Although, as parents or guardians they know they have great kids, they are completely thrown off by receiving an email of that nature. The most common response: “Wow, I’m shocked, I never expected to get an email like this, but thank you, you totally made my day”. Think of that. Parents that have obviously put in great time and effort into creating good people, respond in that manner to a positive email. That shouldn’t be the case and Sweethearts and Heroes, Carol, Billy, and everyone that we can recruit in this movant, can change this! Jump into Action today and start getting that “Billy Mail” out! We guarantee the results will be nothing less than amazing. Live in the present, promote kindness, share positivity, and create a hurricane of compassion and empathy.