In February I was in NYC to do run our latest†Chief Happiness Officer Academy and while walking down a street in midtown Manhattan, I passed this lady standing on the sidewalk in front of a church.
Her sign made me so curious I had to stop and talk to her to learn more and I loved what I learned.†Rev. Adrian Dannhauser serves as an Episcopal priest at†Church of the Incarnation and every Tuesday morning 9:00-9:30 she stands on a busy New York sidewalk and blesses anyone who asks for it,
Here’s how she describes it on her blog:
During the half hour I’m out there, most people walk by me without making eye contact. Several smile and nod or say, “Good morning.” Ten or so actually stop and request a blessing. In that moment, I introduce myself, get the person’s name, and ask if there’s anything s/he needs prayer for. Responses vary but I’ve noticed some themes – a sick loved one, a struggling child, an upcoming job interview, the need for more peace and less stress, the state of our nation. Half of those who stop are in crisis. Someone always cries. And a few are simply curious or just looking for a good way to start the day. Each time, I offer a prayer based on the need expressed. Then I close by making the sign of the cross on the person’s forehead and pronouncing a blessing in the name of God Almighty, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
I just love this. It’s a wonderful way to put yourself out there and brighten other peoples’ day.
We had a really nice chat about the nature of happiness, in particular how happiness comes from serving others – not yourself.
I am of course an atheist, but I did ask for a blessing anyway – and she gave me some really nice, uplifting words. She even remembered our encounter and wrote about it here.