All Right?

Coming up to four years since the first big earthquake, and progress seems so slow in so many parts of the city that there are understandably a lot of frayed nerves around the place.  One simple but strangely effective antidote to this has been the All Right? campaign (or rather, series of campaigns), a mental health initiative that’s attempting to promote wellbeing through everything from posters acknowledging that Cantabrians are feeling emotional and that that’s a reasonable response (instead of just labelling us all as “whingers”, as certain of our (un)esteemed leaders are wont to do…), to random acts of kindness (my favourite was when they had a limo cruising around the city for the day, randomly picking up people waiting at bus stops and taking them to their destination in luxury), to ads suggesting simple ways of improving your mood on a grey winter’s day.  Their cheerful posters somehow manage to tread that fine line between giving advice and being condescending, and, for me at least, bring a smile to my face.
Their latest poster is an invitation to give someone a compliment.  It’s designed with a series of rip-off tabs along the bottom, each with a compliment printed on it, so you can select one and give it to someone.  There’s a few of the posters scattered around our building, so every so often one of our team will select a compliment to leave on someone’s desk – it’s amazing how such a silly little thing actually does make you feel good.  I’ve got my compliments pinned up on the noticeboard beside my desk, next to my to-do list, so whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed by the ever-increasing list I can glance at them and smile:  “You’re O for awesome” and “You’re the best thing since sliced bread”.

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