The story behind the ‘lollipop moment’

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Have you ever had a moment in your life where someone said or did something that you feel made your life better? Chances are you have experienced the ‘lollipop moment.’ But what is it? And where does it come from? Well, there’s a rather interesting story behind it…

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The University fear

The lollipop moment came from a what appeared to be a very ordinary moment in the life of Drew Dudley, a very ordinary man. One day, Drew Dudley bumped into a girl he went to university with, and she told him a story. This poor girl told Drew all about how she had been so terrified of coming to university. The thought of being in a new place surrounded by strangers, all alone, scared her to death. Her parents tried to console her, and when she decided she wanted to quit university because she just couldn’t do it, her parents gave her another option. They offered to escort her on her first day and spend the day on campus with her, to see how she got on. If she loved it, great, if she didn’t, they’d take her home, and it wouldn’t matter.

Drew Dudley and his bucket

On her first day, she turned up at the university with her parents, and she already felt in her gut that she wasn’t ready for this. She just couldn’t do it. She wanted to quit. She turned to tell her parents she wanted to go home and give up on the idea of going to university, and just as she did, she saw Drew. He was wearing a silly hat and carrying a bucket of lollipops to raise awareness for a charity on campus. Drew approached her and smiled, before handing a lollipop to another boy stood near to her and saying, “You need to give a lollipop to the beautiful woman standing next to you.”

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Breaking the ice

A lot of things happened next. The guy turned red in the face and was clearly humiliated, but had no other choice than to offer her the lollipop. Despite being shy, nervous and scared, she felt so bad for this poor boy that she took the lollipop from him. Drew turned to the girl’s parents and said “Look at that. Look at that. First day away from home and already she’s taking candy from a stranger”. There were a couple of seconds of laughter before everybody in close proximity began to laugh- really, really laugh. And the girl knew, right there and then, that she couldn’t quit. She had to see this through.

The Lollipop Moment

The girl stayed on at university, and she never spoke to Drew again – that is, until she found out he was leaving. She sought Drew out and shared this story with him because she wanted him to know that he was a hugely important person in her life and because she was still dating the guy who was forced to give her a lollipop!

Drew Dudley shared this story via a Ted Talk and has also shared how he can’t remember the incident either. Now, he refers to it as the ‘lollipop moment,’ a phenomenon that has caught on rather quickly.

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You might be totally ordinary. You might be living in a totally ordinary moment. You might not give a particular moment in your life a second thought. But you never, ever know what that action or those words mean to another individual. You could change their whole world and not even realize it, impacting on them in ways you would never even imagine. You could be far more significant than you think you are – you could be someone’s lollipop moment.

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