I wonder if the creator of the arcade knew the phenomenon they would cause. I wonder if they knew how many pockets and purses they would empty so that a desperate child could play one more round of skee-ball in an attempt to earn a measly 500 more tickets in order to buy the red parachute man behind the glass.
Tickets, tickets, tickets.
My children can go years without thinking about them, but once they step into an arcade, something triggers in their mind, and all at once, tickets might as well be the only source of happiness that was ever made. They count them again and again. They fold them back and forth, back and forth, until they are in a tight handful of possibility. Losing even one would be a tragedy. In a child’s world, tickets are diamonds.
Imagine my delight last week when I felt a tap on my lower back at our local arcade. I was helping my daughter pound the moles into oblivion, and turned around to find a little boy with hands full of unravelling tickets. He held them out with a big grin and said, “Here. I think she wants these.” He dumped the whole lot of loot into my daughter’s hands. She didn’t even know how to respond. Her grin got bigger as he dug deep into his pockets to pull out even more. After he had sufficiently recreated Christmas morning for her, he skipped off with a joyful, “See ya!”
The tickets that I had hated just moments before became a Godsend. Why did they make me so happy? The best part of the story was my aunt’s reaction. “Was your Multiply Goodness post on Instagram today an invitation to give a little girl a bunch of tickets??” We just laughed! I laughed because I thought the question before she asked it.
I realized three things that day.
One — it is so easy to multiply goodness.
Two — even though I don’t follow through on every specific invitation from our Instagram feed (@multiplygoodness), I am already noticing how much easier it is to find opportunities to do good. It is on my mind more consistently. Habit has trained my heart to see more clearly. I read a line from Tim Keller today that seems fitting here. “Actions of love lead to feelings of love. Not the other way around.” My heart is more consistently filled with love.
Three — I think I am going to buy an arcade. They must make a killing.