Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Writing on the (Bathroom) Wall

Today, for whatever reason, the writing on the bathroom stall in the library caught my eye. Usually, bathroom stalls are scribbled with nasty things. I've seen "so-and-so is a whore" or gang symbols and graffiti tags a million times. People's names or hearts with lovers are common too.

To my surprise, however, inspirational messages were written everywhere in this particular stall. Things like, "Be the change you wish to see in the world," and, "You are beautiful," were written in pen on the green doors. I would have taken a picture, but I thought that cameras in public bathrooms would be inappropriate. For a moment, it made me smile. While I don't condone vandalizing university property, I couldn't help but think how nice it was that someone had taken the opportunity to reach out to other women and share a moment of inspiration, one that they (most likely) could not avoid seeing.

I couldn't help but wonder how our world would be different if every ladies' room mirror had a sign that said, "you look great today," or in each stall, one that read, "you're brilliant!" instead of "wash your hands," "no smoking," or "don't forget to flush." Not that those things aren't important too, but I bet people would be more willing to keep a bathroom clean that made them feel good than one that made them feel like a child being scolded. I won't be writing on bathroom walls any time soon, but I might just start leaving some friendly notes in public places.

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