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That’s What It’s All About

Phyllis Brinkerhoff, fondly known as Mrs. B in her Prairie Village, Kansas, neighborhood, loves one thing more than anything else in the world. And that one thing is the song “Hokey Pokey.”

Wanting to share her love for the song, she gave a CD with her favorite rendition of the Hokey Pokey to her neighbor, Melanie. 

Melanie politely thanked Mrs. B and put the CD away. But Mrs. B was not going to give up that easily. She left dozens of messages on Melanie’s voicemail asking if she had listened to the song and if it was on repeat yet. She was absolutely perplexed that anyone who heard the fun, joyous song wouldn’t be immediately hooked. “Not quite yet,” Melanie would laugh when she saw Mrs. B while getting the mail. Mrs. B would shake her head, muttering with a smile that Melanie’s lack of love for the song was positively shocking. 

Mrs. B’s 93rd birthday was approaching. And as she was trying to think of some special way to celebrate Mrs. B – a chocolate cake, a potted plant or a spa treatment – something clicked for Melanie. And she knew just what to do – to give in to what she had been resisting. She made invitations for all the neighbors and coordinated a flash mob to the Hokey Pokey in front of Mrs. B’s house. As the neighbors performed, Mrs. B stood on her porch, smiling the widest smile and dancing along. 

It’s beautiful to know the little things people love about the world. It doesn’t really matter what they are – rainy days or peanut butter cups or the Hokey Pokey – it’s enough that the people we care about love them. And that makes us happy, too. 

Putting your whole heart in… That’s what it’s all about.

Author: Alyssa Forcehimes, PhD

An expert in behavior change, substance use disorders and empathic communication, Dr. Alyssa Forcehimes serves as President of The Change Companies® and Train for Change Inc.® She lives in Arizona with her husband and two daughters.