Lent began today. Forty (+) days of no dessert. That will be my “sacrifice.” Some days that is harder than others. I will also do an act of kindness each day. This morning I found this cute graphic that I am going to use for some of the treats I might give out.
I tied it to a yummy KIND bar and put it in the mailbox of a coworker today. Today’s photo prompt is XOXO and although it doesn’t say it, here…I think it has the same meaning.
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/
My Lenten “sacrifice” this year was to do a Random Act of Kindness everyday. I should not say it is a sacrifice because I have been having so much fun leaving little treats for my coworkers. I don’t sign who they are from, I just place it on their desk or in their mailbox each morning. A few days ago, there was something in my own mailbox and I have been seeing little treats in other mailboxes as well so someone else…or maybe a few others are doing the same thing! The students are talking about it with their own RAK’s and sharing their ideas of paying it forward.
Right now at our school there is some sort of outbreak of illness going around and a large number of students have been out of school for the week. Our school nurse has been busier than ever. We joked that she needs one of those, “take a number” machines they have at deli counters with the amount of kids showing up at her door! Hopefully, whatever it is that is going around ends quickly. This is one thing spreading around the building that I hope ends soon!!
As for the kindness, I hope that it becomes even more contagious and continues to spread throughout the community because the more massive it gets, the more amazing it will become!
Today is Ash Wednesday. The season of penance, reflection, and fasting to prepare for Easter Sunday. I went to a service this afternoon to get ashes. Ashes are placed on the forehead to remind us to “turn from sin.” It should be a time to remind ourselves to be better people. Lent is a season to change habits, do good for others and just be a good person.
Although Lent is thought by most to be 40 days long, it actually lasts for 46 days but the Sundays aren’t counted. I have never understood this. As a child, I was taught that there were no “breaks” during lent. It was the full time from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday. When I was a kid, I gave up gum every single year. Bubblegum was one of my favorite things so it was never easy. As I got older it was chocolate, desserts or sweets. That always made my Easter basket filled with sweet goodies so much more rewarding on Easter morning!
Now, as an adult, although I do give up something most years, I also try to do something during Lent. Last year, I did a purge. I made myself get rid of, donate or throw away something everyday. This year, I decided not to give anything up. Instead, I am going to do 40 Random Acts of Kindness. I am looking forward to coming up with some good ones. I did my first one today, anonymously. Those are probably going to be the ones that are more fun. It is not about being acknowledged for being kind, but just spreading the kindness in the hopes that the recipient will do the same.