Chicken soup for the soul No 2

Chicken soup for the soul No 2

I'm back with more.... Enjoy and there's more coming!

Chapter 1

Operation: heart attack

Sometimes the benefit of having friends isn't just the relationship, but the life lessons you learn. This was the case with a group of friends I had during my sophomore year of college at Brigham Young university. There were five of us who formed the little group - four roommates plus one that just fit in. The combination of personalities in our group-Jessica, Julie, Kathryn, Robyn and myself-provided hours of deep conversation, giggling parties and heartfelt confidences.Because we had so much fun together, we didn't make much effortto socialize with many people outside our group. we had group dates together, ate meals together, went shopping together and held silly late-night parties together. It became a common pastime to sit around on Sundy afternoons and discuss the other people in the apartment omplex where we lived. Usally that meant a fairly brutal critique of clothing, dating, personal habits and anything else we could find to joke about or make fun of. Anyone outside of our circle was fair game for a gossip probe. One lazy afternoon as the conversation waned, kathryn said, "you know, we sould get to know some of the people who live here. We sit around and make fun of them, but maybe it's because we really don't now them." There was a lukewarm response to the suggestion. what Katheryn was suggesting would require moving outside our comfort zones, and I wasn't sure that any of us wanted that. Then Robyn chimmed in, " actually, that's not a bad idea. We don't have to try to be everyon's friends, but maybe we could do something nice for everyone. It's hard to not like people you do nice things for" This was sounding more interesting. "But there are probably two hundred people in thisconplex- how can we do something for everyone?" I protested. Jessica jumped in "I think I have an idea" she said. Operation: Heart Attack began. we set three rules for this project: We had to do something individual for each person, it had to be carried out in secrecy, and it had to require some sacrifice on our parts. Every Sunday, we wouldgather in the living room and cut out hundreds of construction -paper hearts. Then we would decide which apartments would e attacked during the coming week. Each of us would then reeive an assignment to find out who lived in a particular apartment and discover some amirable qualities about each tenant. A couple nights later we would gather again and review the information. Jessica would carefully write out a note on beautiful heart shaped stationary for each recipient. Each one listed at least three things that we truly admired about tha person. The noteswere lways signed anonymously with "JADDA" a word made by combining the first intial of our iddle names. Plans were then made for step two. Step two invoved breaking up into teams. we would look at our calandars and divide in partnerships based on schedules. On the appointed night, two at a time, we would wake up at 3:00 A.M , dress in dark, heavy clothing, fill a bag wiht hearts, tape and notes, and be on our way. we would slip over to the chosen door and began taping paper hearts al over it. Often we had to go hide in a stair well when the night watchman or a night- owl resident came by. When the door was "attacked," we would carefully place the notes to each tenant right in the middle, sure to be seen. we'ld then quickly race bac to our apartment for a few more hours of seep. This went on for several weeks. questions began to arise about who the mysterious JADDA was. we often came upon groups of people debating who was responsible for the strange phenomenon. we would pretend to be as stumped as everyone else, then race back to our apartment and applaud our success. Some people even tried staying up ate at night to catch us but we always managed to evade detection. Everyone in the complex seemed friendlyer, more interested in each other. Our adventure was bringing consequesnces none of us had ever dreamed of. I noticed the greatest benefit a few weeks after operation: Heart attack officially ended It was a typical Sunday afternoon, and we were sprawled out in the living room discussing the people in our apartment compex. Instead of the rude comments,sinickers, and criticism that had been the content of previous Sundays, there were concerned inquiries and tones of admiration. As a different person became the topic of conversation, everyone would chime in with the things they liked abot him or her. we ad become aware of thechallenges each of our neighbors faced and were touched by their achievements. None of our felow tenants ever knew who was behind Operation: Heart attack, and we wanted it that way. Everyone inthe apartment complex gained their own private cheering section that year. But our favorite reward was the friendship the five of us gained. where we had been united by common interests and situations in life, wewere now united by a powerful experience of learing to love. We've often looked back on that adventure as the bonding experience that sealed our friendship- a bond that has been unbroken as the years have gone by and scattered us across the country. Sometimes, the best lesson we learn from friends is simlpy how to be one.

Wendy Simmerman


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