Inspiration and the Art of Bug Flipping

Personal DevelopmentNot every day inspires us to be or feel our best.  To recognize and appreciate the many ways in which we are blessed.

Some days, we need a little help.

Recently, I was at the gas station when I noticed a beautiful little bug on the concrete island around the pumps. Maybe “beautiful” and “bug” don’t go together for you.  But this bug was a nice lime green color and in the shape of a small leaf.

She was flipped over on her back, all of her tiny legs flailing wildly in a futile effort to right herself.

I wondered how long she had endured this struggle as I took my thumb and gently flipped her over.

She resumed her journey, and I imagined a look of relief on her face and a thank you on her lips.

For some reason, I felt really good about my little act of kindness all day.

The next evening, I was at the skating rink for my daughter’s lesson.  My boys were being energetic, to put it nicely.

I was at my wit’s end with them.  On the brink of forgetting all those lessons I try to implement about good parenting.

A woman who I know casually from skating approached me.  “You are such a good mom.  You are so patient with them,” she said.  “I wish I could be more like that.”

I immediately thought – she just flipped me over.

Her comment of course made me feel good, and put things back in perspective for me.  Of course she had no idea what a difference she made in my day.  She inspired me to regain my patience.

Some days you will be the bug.  And some days you’ll do the flipping.

And keep in mind, that while there will be obvious opportunities to “flip” somebody, far more often you will do it unknowingly.

You never know when even the smallest comment might make the biggest difference in someone’s life.  So it’s important to never leave something positive unsaid.

“I like your haircut.”  “That color looks good on you.”  “Your kids are so nice.”  “I enjoyed your last blog post.”

I used to keep small compliments of this nature to myself.  But now I say them.  I go out of my way to recognize positive things and tell people about them.

Certainly, at least, you’ll make the other person feel good with a compliment, or any random act of kindness.  And who knows, you may flip her whole day around.

As a bonus, you’ll also make yourself feel better.  If you are thinking, saying and doing nice things, you’ve got to feel good.  And, you’ll find that others will think, say and do nice things for you in return.

Take a minute and think about what you can do today to inspire someone to have a better day, to get more out of their day, or to more fully recognize life’s blessings.  Then, go put it into action.  And share with me below who you flipped, and how it made you feel.



  1. Great article! That is so true! I can still remember some compliments that were given to me that really impacted my life – like my first grade teacher telling me how great of an artist I was. It was the first time I remember an adult praising me for something I did. My teacher’s compliment literally changed the course of my life – I taught myself how to do all sorts of artsy things. I pursued a career as an artist.

  2. I really enjoyed the story and analogy. So true!

  3. Thanks Kelly and Lori!

    I love your story Kelly. It’s a good reminder to me to always chose the words I use with my children carefully. As adults, we so often underestimate our impact on the little ones — good and bad!

  4. What a great way to put it. I am gonna use this one! If you see someone being bugged….just go flip ’em!

  5. Thanks Tamarah. I’m not sure why that bug flipping incident stuck with me so much, but I still think about it often when I need to be “flipped!”

  6. I love this one! Being positive can put a smile on someone’s face.

  7. I love the story! I used to work with a wonderful man that could always snap me out of a bad mood when I was really busy. As he would walk by he would say, “Excuse me, I think you dropped your smile”. It would take me a second to get what he said but it always got a smile back on my face!

  8. I loved this article. What a great analogy. It is so easy to flip someone–hopefully always positively, yet we often fail to take advantage of the opportunities. I will definitely be looking for some bugs to flip throughout my day tomorrow.


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