Last night's upset of the New England Patriots will go down in history. Whether or not most folks remember what happened in the waning moments of the big game, the sixty minutes of action last night will always be referenced by sportscasters and journalists as an example of the night perfection almost happened.
While sports analysts and writers more skilled than I can poetically recount the ups and downs of the gridiron spectacle, I'm nearly always interested in what happened off the field. And for me, last night was the greatest Super Bowl ever not for the ending, but for the statement being made by nearly 100 folks tucked away in a community gathering spot in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.
The Mug Project hosted a great gathering and challenged all of the attendees to live out the organization’s namesake. As people entered the doors of Milky Ways Lounge and Lanes, they came equipped with their very own drinking glass, doing their small part to cut down on beverage waste.
Members of The Mug Project take mugs and cups with them wherever they go. At Starbucks, they ask for their own Mocha in their own mug and their own Chai in their own cup. They visit restaurants and convenience stores and bring their own drinking mechanism, foregoing a paper, plastic or Styrofoam cup, thereby reducing the billions of cups that are tossed out annually.
And, since one tree makes roughly 300 paper cups, this group of individuals is truly saving the world, a few forests at a time.
Last night's get together was, for me, the greatest Super Bowl ever. Even though the home team lost, people left having made an impact. Once again, I witnessed the beautiful revolution taking place all over the world of individuals and groups looking to bust a nasty myth and destroy an ugly rumor.
Because for too long, we've been sold a lie that real change only happens when we amass big money, time and people and make a big statement. We've been wistfully lulled to sleep by groups and companies making us think that unless we drop a very big rock into a very big pond in order to make a very big splash with very big ripples, we'll never be able to reverse the tides of poverty, global warming, homelessness, or racism.
And so, paralyzed by the impossibility of it all, we'd rather not act and fail than try and see what happens.
But, last night's party showcased the heroism and greatness that is possible within all of us, and the good than can be done when we meet with others face to face in order to enact change. A small act of carrying along a mug when you venture out to pay for a drink can indeed save the world. The smile we share with a stranger, the changes we make to our refrigerator, the online petition we fill out, the errands we combine and the nonprofits we support all add up. And, just as tiny raindrops soon form into a monsoon, a flood and even a river, we, too, can move mountains and carve canyons with our dedicated and commitment single acts of great impact.
In a room of idealists and dreamers, we watched a great game. But we also did some great good. Just as an extra bit of strength by a lineman can hold back the defender to give the quarterback an extra second, allowing him to throw the ball an extra yard, carrying a mug with you can allow us to do an extra act of extra impact in order to make a difference in this whole game.