Many consider Mondays to be the worst day of the week. And for many years, so did thirty year-old Washington night club promoter Massoud Adipour. A little more than a year ago, he decided to change that, both for himself and his community. Little did he know, the project would evolve to something much larger. He says that making Monday commuters smile has had a big impact on his own life.
“My life has probably changed 180 degrees since the start of the project just because by doing these projects I am reminded of these simple messages that I need as reminders in my own life.
My name is Massoud Adipour and I am the founder of Make DC Smile.
I decided to put on my 'bucket list' [list of things someone wants to do before he/she dies, or “kicks the bucket”] to hold up a sign 'Honk if you love someone' at a busy intersection. So I just got a couple of people involved and we started in August of 2012 and we did it for 6 months straight every Monday once a week. And it kind of developed into other projects and we turned it into an overall project called 'Make DC Smile'.
It was kind of like a social experiment at first but at the end of the day it turned into more than that. We realized after 5 minutes a lot people of were waving, they were smiling…you could just see the difference in people’s faces.
Of course at first you think its kind of weird because it’s like what are you doing? You’re going to a busy intersection on a Monday morning? I decided Monday is the day of the week that no one looks forward to the most…including myself.
Every day is like a battle sometimes because we go into work and sometimes we don’t have time for the things we truly love in life…
People expect when you’re out here that you’re protesting or something that is very political or negative since we’re in DC but I don’t know its just something that is just vey simple that everyone needs.
Today my girlfriend joined me for sign holding. She’s been there since the start. It was like a week after [I met her] that I wanted to do sign holding so I told her hey we’re doing this sign holding event and we’re just showing positive messages to random strangers.”
“You know of course at first I was like this is crazy. Why would we do this? But we were pretty quick to realize that it was making a bigger impact than we all realized," said Bonnie Culpepper.
“It’s been great because we’ve been able to share this special project not just with ourselves but with the entire community, the country and the world. So it's been very special," said Adipour.
“I think that stepping outside of your comfort zone is a really big drive of the project and that’s something that I’ve definitely learned from Massoud. You know you learn to live a fuller life by doing so," said Culpepper.
“Its just one of those things that sometimes its hard to get up but when you come out here and you actually experience it first hand then you realize the difference that you’re making…so I don’t know its just a small thing that add up to something bigger in life. So this is kind of the point of the project. I don’t know I think there’s a bright future for it," said Adipour.