Tag Archives: kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Day

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I didn’t realize until just now, that today was “Random Acts of Kindness Day.” I guess I don’t think there should be only one day for this. They should be carried out everyday. Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost a thing. They might not even always be noticed by others – but you will know because “no act of kindness , no matter how small, is every wasted” Aesop.

 

Resolutions

resolutions

I am at that time in December where I start contemplating my New Year’s Resolution. Back on this day in 2012, I decided that my resolution was to write every single day on this kindness blog and I did it. I actually kept it going for two years. Much longer than I had expected to.

As I do every year at this time, I have been thinking about what my resolutions for this year will be. A few choices I have thought about:

  • Lose a few pounds
  • Continue to get to CKO (my latest gym obsession) at least 3 times a week
  • Daily Random Acts of Kindness
  • A photo a day
  • Write everyday again (I really fell off the wagon with this one this past year)

The last few months have brought major changes in our family’s life. DJ is now in the middle of his sophomore year in college and loving it. He’s become so grown up and independent. I am so proud of the man he is becoming. Drew started high school, made the varsity football team, (all 93 pounds of him) and although isn’t loving the academic rigor of school, is starting to find his place there.

Dave has found a steady job that he enjoys. He has found a reason to get up and out every day. He had become quite depressed, rarely leaving our home and it was putting quite a strain on all of us. He is motivated and inspired. He has lost nearly 30 pounds, is getting up and out of the house each day, found a support group and with his transformation we have a happier home. We are all grateful for this.

As for me, I am half-way through my masters program for Restorative Practices.  RP  has “the potential to positively influence human behavior and strengthen civil society around the world.” I am learning so much and enjoying it immensely, but it is a lot of work, hence one of the reasons my blogging slowed down so much last year.

So now onto my resolutions. Every year I vow to lose a few pounds and I do. I just gain them back, lose them again and gain them back. It is always those same five pounds.

I’ve always loved kickboxing and thanks to a trial membership to CKO this summer, I have found a place where I can give an hour a day a few times a week and feel good about my body. I have developed more stamina and strength than I ever thought possible. I currently go at least three times a week so while this isn’t a new resolution, it is one that I just want to continue. If you live locally and want to try out a class with me, let me know. I’d love to show you why I like it so much and get you addicted too!

Daily Acts of Kindness aren’t hard. I try to do this all of the time. I would love to push it towards a “Pay it Forward” program and make it bigger and more widespread – but that is something I need to spend more time thinking about…it is always great when I have time off from teaching, I come up with brilliant plans and then once reality strikes and I am back to work, I run out of time to implement them!

As for a photo a day, I have pinned a bunch of “photo a day” ideas on Pinterest. I use my Canon for my photo shoots and when I want to get really great photos, but I use my phone as well. I don’t need to post them all on Facebook, (I am on there too much already) but maybe the photo a day will help me find a way to write everyday again. I can share the photos here – sometimes with a story and sometimes without – it wouldn’t necessarily be a Kindness Blog, but it would get me back on track.

It has been a rough 2016 for many – the loss of loved ones and celebrities who were icons of our childhood. We went through a tumultuous and bitter election and while my candidate of choice was not elected, he is still my president and while our opinions differ greatly, I will be respectful towards him. Despite this, I cannot condone hatred from others and seeing so much come from this election has been devastating to me. Living in my sheltered bubble here in Maplewood, New Jersey, I had no idea there was still so much prejudice, racism and bigotry found in this country. This is something I wish to see change in 2017. If there was a way to tie this into my resolutions, I would – I just wish I knew how.

We have no idea what the future will bring, but I wish peace, love and a safe 2017 for all of us.

 

 

 

 

Upworthy

love who you love

Getting back to the original intention of the blog. To share stories of kindness, whether experienced by me or by others.  When I see inspiring stories, I will share, giving credit where credit is due.

I found this story on Upworthy.com.  After some fans were furious about The Oakland A’s announcing LGBT Pride night, one fan bought all of their tickets.   She will donate all of those tickets to a local Youth Community Center for LGBTQ youth.

http://www.upworthy.com/when-one-stadium-announced-lgbt-pride-night-angry-fans-sold-their-tickets-so-she-bought-them-all?g=2&c=ufb1

Global Pay it Forward Day

pay it forward

It is here.  Global Pay it Forward Day.  A day that I  think should be celebrated more than once a year!

For this year’s international Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) we are aiming to inspire over 3 million acts of kindness around the world. Imagine the difference that would make!

During Lent, my “Lenten Sacrifice” was doing a random act of kindness every day for the entire Lenten period.  Everyday, I put something in the mailbox of a coworker with a little note attached.  A few times it was an orange with a note, “to add a little sunshine to your day.’  Several times it was chocolate or cookies with a note saying, “To add a little sweetness to your day.”  None of it cost a lot.  I don’t know if anyone realized who it was  leaving the treats in their mailboxes.  I never stayed around to watch the reaction when they went to their mailbox and found it there. That wasn’t the idea behind it.  I didn’t do it for the recognition.  I did it because it felt good.  I did it with the hope that it would inspire others to do a random act of kindness of their own.

This afternoon, we were out for a bit and Drew came across a row of vending machines.  He always looks inside the coin slots to see if any coins were left behind.  Today, he found that $1.50 had been left in one of the machines.  Not in the coin slot, but in the machine itself.  He is convinced that someone did it because today is “Pay it Forward Day.”  We have no idea if this is really the reason money was left in the machine, but the fact is, it got all of us thinking about what RAK we should do for someone today.

Tonight, the kids played another game of miniature golf.  There are some amazing mini golf courses down here and they’ve tried them all.  For our RAK, we left money for two kids to play the course.  The woman working there didn’t know about Global Pay it Forward Day, so it was fun to tell her about it because it got her excited about it too.  We don’t know who will get those next two games, but hopefully whoever does, will pay it forward by doing something else.  That’s the whole idea behind this day.

While Pay it Forward Day focuses on marketing the concept of selfless giving for just one day a year,  everyday can be Pay it Forward Day by connecting to the Pay it Forward Foundation at http://www.payitforwardfoundation.org/

 

 

Mighty #FMF

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Linking to Lisa-Jo Baker for another 5 Minute Friday. The object, to write for 5 minutes on the topic.  That’s it.  No longer, no less.  Today’s word is, MIGHTY.

Mighty is defined as, possessing great and impressive power or strength.  Kindness is defined as, the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate.  Imagine what we could do if we were all mighty kind to one another?!?  The possibilities are endless but the effect would be powerful!

The population of our world is 7 billion! If each one of us did even just one act of kindness…the impact would be HUGE!  Now imagine if they did more than one…that, would be mighty!  7 billion acts of kindness?  The result would be incredible.  We can start with baby steps.  By teaching and modeling for children how even the smallest act of kindness can cause a big reaction.  The ripple effect!  What a wonderful world it could be!

 

Perfect Kindness

perfect kindness

In my coaching group, we are talking about “realizing our Epic.”  Not an easy task.  We are thinking about the path that it will take to get us to reach it.  What do we truly want to do, or be?  How will we be fulfilled?  For a few of us, we aren’t really sure what it is yet.  We talked about what we want.  What we need.  How we will get it…

Our group leader Tammy, gave us an assignment.  She wants us to write about how we’d like to be remembered.  I haven’t begun to write it, but the more  I have been thinking about it, the more I hope that I am remembered for being a good friend and a generous and kind person.  I know she wants us to dig deeper than that.  Perhaps when I do, I will be inclined to share it.  While trying to think about it, I came across this quote, “Perfect kindness acts without thinking kindness.”  That is my hope, not just for me but for others.  Being kind doesn’t have to be a hard thing.  It can just happen if we let it.  It should not take a lot of effort to be kind.  Random acts of kindness are what made me start this blog in the first place.  I still hope that when people read it, they are reminded just how easy it is to be kind.

A Drop of Kindness

drop of kindness

Now that Little League has ended, we are back to going to The Newark Bears games so that Drew can do his job as Bat Boy. He loves it. It keeps him busy and gives him responsibility. I only wish he would work half as hard at home keeping his room clean, as he does keeping the dugout spotless – but that is a whole different blog!!

The stadium is quite close to our home, just a quick fifteen minute drive. We drive through an area where for the last few years, we often see the same homeless man standing on the corner with a sign asking for money. I have written before, that I won’t give money to people who beg on the street, but when I can, I try to bring a small bag of food for this man.

Tonight I had a bag all ready for him. It had a banana, a few apples, a granola bar and a bottle of water. Hopefully enough to sustain him until he can get another meal. Unfortunately he was not in his usual spot. I saw all of his “stuff, ” but not him. I will bring it home and prepare another one for him the next time we come.

We never know what gets a person to the place they are in their lives and who are we to judge?? There are many stereotypes people have towards those who are homeless. I have no idea what this man’s story is, but if giving him a few bites to eat can make even the smallest difference in his life, then I am glad to do it. Most importantly, my kids get to be a part of it and see how they can help those less fortunate and appreciate what they have.

Organ Donation

organ donation

Tonight, my family went to dinner along with Tim’s good friend Michelle and her children.  He had played Francine’s “numbers” in the lottery and won!!  Not a lot, but enough to treat us all to dinner.  We all thanked Franny at the end of the meal.

While at dinner, my brother brought up a topic that caused a heated conversation between a few of us.  We were talking about a person that we all knew, (he must remain nameless even though I highly doubt he’d read my blog), because he is the most hateful person I have ever met and is one of the reasons I decided to write this kindness blog.  I honestly do not know anyone that has more hatred in his heart.

Tim’s question was, “If he needed it, would you donate one of your kidneys to ____”.  My first response was, “Absolutely NOT” and I have to say that I totally shocked myself for even saying it.  This person hates anyone that is not like him and lets them know it.  He is a racist, a bigot and overall just an unkind person.   I would not want a part of me inside of him knowing that hatred would just continue.

Tim said, “I cannot believe someone that writes a blog about kindness would ever say that”, to which I replied, “he is the exact opposite of kindness”. Yet, the more I thought about it, I know that I actually would do it.  There is no way that I would let someone that could benefit from my organ, die because I was selfish.  There is a quote from the bible, (and I don’t read it much so forgive me if I have it wrong), “Love the sinner, hate the sin, for who among us is free of sin”?

What surprised me even more, was that we were having this debate after he was so adamant about NOT donating Francine’s organs, (her wishes though – perhaps not his).   Knowing how many lives could have been saved through the tragedy of Francine’s passing, was very hard for me to deal with, but not my decision and therefore not for me to judge.  We had planned to donate my mother’s organs, but none of them were viable so sadly, no one was able to benefit from them.

Just a few weeks ago, my dad’s friend, (who is about my age), just received a new heart.  He is now home with his family.  Given a second chance at life.  That is pretty amazing.  Yes, it had to come from someone, and that family is probably experiencing terrible sadness but they were able to create complete joy out of their sorrow.

Dave and I have had this discussion many times and it is on our licenses.  We both are willing to donate our organs after we die.  After death, we are just a body.  We believe that our soul is in heaven.  With thousands of people dying as they await an organ, it just seems to be a “no brainer” because as they say, “you can’t take it with you”.

That leaves me with a question though… “If you refuse to be an organ donor, do you think that you should be able to receive someone else’s”?

Blogging as Therapy

do for others

The last five weeks have made me fall off track a bit on the original intention of this blog; yet, the amount of readers has grown immensely.  Perhaps it is the personal twist I have put into my writing.  I have written about my mom and Francine over and over again, and used my writing as my own “therapy” to get through this sad time.   It has been my way of dealing with it and through my writing; I have been able to let others know how we all are doing.   It has amazed me to see how my blog has been shared.  People are telling me over and over how grateful they were for it because it helped them understand what we were going through and it gave them some peace of their own.

So today, as I sat down to write, I really felt stumped.  Not that my grieving is over, just that I am not sure what else I can write about it.  I am sure there will be difficult days…Mother’s Day is going to be rough this year for all of us.  On those difficult days I will write about them.  When I find myself missing them immensely, I will write about them.  I don’t want to wallow in grief. I want to get back to the original idea of my blog and continue to look for the goodness around us.  I have said numerous times that my mother embodied goodness and kindness. There was nothing that she would not do for someone else.  In Francine’s obituary, we asked that instead of flowers, that donations be made to two animal foundations.  She had a special way with animals and did so much to help them.   The two of them did kind things all of the time.

During this time, of grieving, it is important for all of us who have been touched by these two women, to try to live our lives as they did.  Do as they did.  Find what is important to you and then find a way to help or contribute.  As you go about your daily routines, be grateful for what you have and inspire others to do the same.  There are so many ways to do good and at a time where we are seeing so much tragedy, it seems that it is even more reason to do so.

A Regular Day

the present moment

My New Year’s resolution was to write something about kindness everyday.  I have definitely had days that I have not been inspired to write.  My kindness blog has branched out to include a lot more than just kindness.  Most of March was dedicated to my mom.  I did not have trouble finding things to write about during those few weeks.  They may not have been directly about kindness, but my mom was definitely one of the kindest people around.  I knew that before I began writing about her, but so many people shared stories about how she touched their lives that I guess it really did fit right into the idea of a kindness blog.

Yesterday, I wrote about some struggles we are having with our son Drew and how we are going to deal with his mood swings after the concussions.  That blog had nothing to do with kindness, but in response to it, I received an act kindness from a friend who shared her own personal medical struggle and how she felt it was “brave” of me to talk publicly about it.  So although, I did not feel kindness while writing it, I received kindness in return.

I sat for over an hour trying to decide what to write about today.  I googled ideas, looked for great quotes, but still was stumped.  I realized that writing everyday was going to be difficult.  I am not going to give up though.  Some days, I have so many things I want to write about and other days are like today.  So instead, today, I tried to think about those “jelly belly moments” I wrote about months ago.  Those times that I found sweetness in my day.  One sweet spot was when I took my boys mini-golfing.  It is Spring Break for us and we are not going anywhere this year, so we decided to make it a fun “stay-cation” for them.   They played a round of golf and then tried a silly arcade like game.  They were laughing so hard and enjoying it so much, I could not help but laugh with them.  Now that we finally have Spring like weather, another one of those moments was hearing them play in the front yard at dusk.  Despite their nearly five year age difference, those times that they get along like best friends, still gives me that feeling.

I know that this is not what people are going to be coming to my blog to read about.  Nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary.  Just a regular day for us, but after a very long, hectic, busy and sad few weeks, maybe regular is just what we needed.