June 4, 2006 at 11:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A natural antidepressant

If you ever want a mood-lifter, and are up for some invisible theater action, try this: Go to Navy Pier with a clipboard and wear a nametag. Ask people to take a quick survey (say it’s for a class, if they ask.) If they agree, ask them to tell you the last good deed that they did. It’s a guaranteed way to brighten your day.

When we tried this on Saturday, we learned that people had done such things as: helped a friend stay out of the Latin Kings gang, flew in from Florida to visit family members in Chicago, helped a woman with her crying toddler outside the mall, helped an old lady with her luggage, and, oddly, decided to get married even though his wife’s family disagreed. After hearing about their good deed, we offered to reward people with either a hug, money (loose change), a sticker proclaiming their good deed, or a standing ovation. Several people choose the “standing ovation” reward, which was my favorite. The other 8 members of our class, who’d been standing innocuously nearby, suddenly burst into loud applause.

Thus ends my 6-week Neofuturist class.

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