One of my favorite things about the holidays are the ads that sometimes cut through the clutter of sale/save messaging – and actually touch your heart. The latest is the Apple’s ‘Misunderstood’ in which we see a slightly awkward teen embracing his iPhone as he makes his way through a family holiday – only to later learn that he’s actually been filming stolen moments with the family, which he then cuts into a sweet, sentimental video for his loved ones to watch to watch as they open their presents.
You can watch it here. If it doesn’t make you cry – or at least tear up a little – there’s something wrong.
But then I read that Business Insider conducted a poll and found that many felt that ad could have been stronger if it had “showcased Apple’s hardware more.” I completely disagree. The value of this ad – and in fact all acts of kindness – is that they emotionally engage those who witness them, and thereby promote others to do the same. So, if one kid watches that ad and comes away realizing that his phone could be a tool for ‘change’ – not just texting or Candy Crush – and could be used to engage and motivate people, then I would say that the ad was an overwhelming success.
And these acts of kindness don’t have to just be media-based. This week, totally on their own and without any formal ‘corporate’ structure, Banyan staff in St. Louis and Atlanta raised enough money for local food banks to feed nearly 5,000 families over the holidays.
In the midst of gift shopping, planning for family get-togethers, and finishing work before the holiday break, they took time out to think of others. To come together, pool their resources, make a plan, and provide help to an unbelievable number of families who are less fortunate than themselves.
In A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens writes: “I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their hearts freely…”
As true now as it was then.
I cannot say how proud I am to call my fellow Banyanites friends and colleagues. I am much richer for knowing them.
And just like the Apple ad, this kindness and altruism from the people I work with every day is another moment in which I am reminded that this is the season when we all have the opportunity to open our hearts and our hands, see the world as a place where hope and change are possible, and finally become the kind of people we originally set out to be.