Do Good. You Never Know Who (or How Many) Are Watching.

Yesterday was a fun day.

The Becoming Minimalist Facebook page passed 1,500,000 followers.

The milestone caused me to reminisce a little bit about the page.

I can remember exactly where I was when I started it. I was upstairs, in my bedroom, in our house in Vermont. I had been introduced to minimalism 18 months earlier by my neighbor.

January 3, 2010 was a Sunday. My kids were in bed and my wife was downstairs with a group of ladies. I was a bit bored and looking for something to occupy my time… so I created a Facebook page to supplement this blog.

My first post was nothing fancy:

“Hey everybody, this Facebook page is dedicated to sharing information about the webpage. It is also created for you to share your own stories and/or photos of your journey towards minimalism in all areas of life.”

My second post, two days later, was equally exciting:

“Just posted a review of my spring/summer wardrobe experiment. Now if I could just get my wife to try it…”

I didn’t know much about Facebook and knew even less about Facebook pages.

  • The page started on January 3rd, 2010 with 0 followers.
  • January 3rd, 2011, one year later, it had 1,000 followers.
  • January 3rd, 2012, two years later, it had compiled 4,000 followers.

If you think I took any shortcuts growing this blog… those numbers should tell you otherwise. The growth of Becoming Minimalist (both this blog and the FB page) has always been slow, but consistent and meaningful.

Nevertheless, because I put myself out there, the page grew… and continued to grow… and yesterday we celebrated a milestone.

Friends, I want to encourage you today with a simple thought:

Put good out into the world, you never know who (or how many) people are going to see it.

You see, my inspiration for this website was simple: I wanted an online journal to document our family’s journey into minimalism.

My inspiration for the Facebook page was no different: a place to talk about minimalism—our journey and yours.

I wanted a place to talk about the joy of owning less. A corner of the Internet dedicated to pursuing a bigger life than the accumulation of physical possessions. It was the good that I wanted to put out into the world.

Somewhere along the way, more people started watching than I ever imagined.

But this is what happens when we put good into the world…

  • When we offer a listening ear to a struggling friend.
  • When we give a loving embrace or say a loving word to our children.
  • When we encourage and lift up others on social media rather than tear down.
  • When we publish our poetry, our story, or our writing for the world to see.
  • When we serve others with the talents and abilities that we possess (whether we help a friend change their oil or give our all to a classroom full of children).

When we put good out into the world, people notice—often more than we realize. And our good deeds and kind words hold the potential to change more lives than we ever thought possible—starting with those who are closest to us.

We may not do good for the sake of being noticed, but in a world that seems to be growing in hostility more than ever before, we desperately need to see yours.

More people are watching than you realize.

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