Most of us will not change the world on a grand scale, but we all make a difference in the world around us through our interactions with those we come in contact with on a daily basis. I hope that here you will find inspiration to make that difference one for the better. Kindness is contagious. Let's start an epidemic!


Friday, February 21, 2014

My Battle Cry

      There are a lot of selfish people out there. Sometimes I get fed up and frustrated by the "It's all about me." mentality that seems to be epidemic. It's easy to just get mad and discouraged. But rather than let it turn me into a cynic I've decided to fight back. How do you fight selfishness? With kindness and generosity. We've all heard that we should "Be the Change" we want to see in the world. And when we decide to spread love, instead of our own agenda it catches on. Acts of kindness spread like ripples in a pond. It may sound corny, but it's true. And the effects can be greater than you think, especially if you have children who learn to pattern their behavior after you. That's the reason I am writing this blog. It's one front in the battle against a self-centered society.

Photo credit:
photo credit: <a href="">Mark J P</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Getting Burned

     Okay, so I am straying from my positive focus today to go on a slight rant. Please forgive me. Yesterday I spent almost my entire day helping an elderly family member with what I thought was a potentially life threatening problem, only to find out at the end of the day that my kindness had been seriously taken advantage of, and the situation was quite different from what I had been led to believe. I will spare you all the grizzly details, but it has me thinking. What do you do when you feel like all your efforts are unappreciated or worse, wasted? Of course, a truly kind act does not spring from expectations of some form of reward or return. We are usually not even seeking acknowledgement, but to feel taken advantage of, that's another thing. I feel resentful of the time I put in that could definitely have been used to do the myriad other things that need my attention. For one thing, this mission took me away from my children for several hours. Time that I willingly put in, thinking it was sorely needed.
      Will I go to this much effort to help again? Probably. But I hope this is the last time I will play the fool.

Photo Credit:
photo credit: <a href="">The Wild Roam Free</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

R.A.K. week

     Most of us living on the East coast have only been hearing about one thing this week, the looming snow storm. Everyone has been attempting to predict how many inches we're going to get hit with and wondering if we'll lose power. Valentine's day almost seems like an afterthought in comparison. But did you know that it's also Random Acts of Kindness Week? And what better timing? There are always people who could use a little kindness around St. Valentine's Day and I'm sure the impending storm will present plenty of opportunity to shovel an elderly neighbor's walk or clean off someone's car. Hopefully there won't be power outages, but if there are that's another chance to kindly offer to help someone. I remember when the other side of our street lost power for days one summer and there were extension cords traveling from one side of the street to the other, neighbor helping neighbor. I would never wish for a disaster but if we get slammed by Pax, a highly ironic name for a storm I might add, then why not view it as an occasion to spread a little kindness and offer a helping hand to those you see in need. If there is anything good about a catastrophe it's that it brings out the best in people. There are always stories of how someone rose to the occasion to come to another's aide. So be on the be on the look out. You may just make someone's day.

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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Being Kind When You Don't Want to be.

     Today I am grateful. I am grateful to friends who decided to offer help even though they didn't want to. The help offered may have seemed minimal to those who gave it, but to me, their small act of kindness meant a great deal. We are at the very beginning stages of a big move and I am in desperate need of packing boxes so I can pack things up to place in storage. I put out a plea for boxes on Facebook and received several responses. But not what one would expect. Many of my local friends jokingly threatened anyone who willing to help us with the move. I realize my friends wanting us to stay is well meant and truly I am touched by how many people my family has had an impact on here. However, the friends who expressed distress at our leaving, yet still offered to help touched me more. Theirs was an offer of sacrifice. It said "I care more about your needs more than my own." And many times kindness does take sacrifice. So thank you to all my friends who offered to give me boxes and thank you to those who want us to stay. We're going to miss all of you.

photo credit: <a href="">ahhyeah</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">cc</a>

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It Begins in the Home

You may have guessed by the above quote that I am inspired by Mother Teresa. I think it goes beyond that. I love her. In fact I almost went to India to work with her sisters after college, but I ended up getting married instead. That was a difficult decision for me to make. Not because I didn't want to get married, but because I had lofty ideas about life as a missionary that didn't fit in with my idea of what married life was going to be. Boy was I wrong, and Mother Teresa would be the first one to tell me to stay here and do what I'm doing. She was a firm believer that we need to be missionaries in our own homes and neighborhoods. She even said "What can you do to promote world peace? Go home and love your family." This is much easier said than done. It is especially difficult to treat those we live with with kindness, sometimes even though they are the ones we love the most. I find it difficult more often than I would like to admit. It is way too easy to fall into a pattern of brusqueness with those you know will forgive you. But what begins in the home travels out into the world. If we receive harsh words in the morning we are more likely to be cross and short with those we meet throughout the day. And from whom do our children first learn to be kind if not from us? I fail at this frequently. I need to remind myself of it on a daily basis. It does not get easier with time either. If anything it gets harder. But I try to remember the words of Mother Teresa and ask for help from the one who inspired her. That's all any of us can do.