celebrate kindness

Archive for August 2012

Saw this quote in a Real Simple magazine and felt inspired for the day:

“Neither poverty nor wealth defines us… our empathy is the highest expression of our shared nobility”

~ Vaddey Ratner

The article, titled “My Father Taught Me to Value Every Human Life”, spoke of how the author blessed a beggar as a child with not only hot food, but honor and respect by removing her sandals, as was the sign of deference in Cambodia.  Another quote that jumped out at me was this:

“We are all beggars.  It doesn’t matter what we wear – rags or silk.  We each ask the same of life.  No matter how impoverished a man may be, his life is worth as much as any other and deserves our respect.”

Powerful words, powerful message.  Who will you bless today with YOUR kindness and respect?

Today’s random act of kindness is inspired by my husband’s grandma’s 89th birthday!  Because she lives out-of-state (and unable to travel), we decided to celebrate her milestone by blessing a complete stranger with birthday surprises!  The kids spent the morning making handmade cards to let our special someone know that we were thinking of them.

We remembered that Great-Grandma loves to play Scrabble and lo and behold we had an extra Scrabble board in our game closet (hey, we love Scrabble, too!) so we wrapped the game and made a dedication label for the outside.

We also knew that Great-Grandma loves flowers, so we bought the prettiest white roses we could find and added a bright ribbon around the vase to spread sunshine for someone’s day.

Great-Grandma lives in a retirement community, so we went to the closest retirement center near us and began our adventure.  Who would receive our blessings today?

Well, it didn’t take long at all to find our special someone.  As I was signing in to the center (and trying to explain to the receptionist that I really had no idea WHO I was visiting, but that I just wanted to bless someone, anyone) a delightful lady spoke across the hall, “My!  What gorgeous flowers you have!”  I spun around and lo and behold, my heart just knew.  She was our special someone.  Before I could respond to her observation, she leaned in closer and said, “Someone is going to be very happy to receive those beautiful flowers!”  It was almost like a script from a movie!  Laughing, I said, “Well, I think that someone is YOU!  Would you like to have these flowers?”  She gasped slightly, a bit confused I’m sure, so I jumped in and explained our purpose.

“Today we are celebrating our Great-Grandma’s 89th birthday.  She lives far away, so we thought it would be fun to bless someone else as if we were blessing her!  Would you like to receive our blessings today?  We have handmade cards, flowers, even a present!”  She could not stop smiling.  “Are you sure?  Oh my!  How lovely!  Yes!  Yes!  I would love to have these!”  She then did what every wonderful grandma does:  she ooohed and aaahed over all the cards (making note of the personalized messages), she complimented the children for their time and effort (each child personally handed her their card), she thanked us for the game and then… she stopped to smell the roses.  Literally.

We took a picture, gave hugs, then went about our merry way.  Blessing others can be such fun – especially when you extend blessings on a birthday!

We can’t wait to share our adventures with Great-Grandma.  We love her to pieces and we hope she enjoys being the inspiration for today’s random act of kindness!  🙂

Saw this on a friend’s Facebook status and had to share.  I hope your day is blessed!

You are a thoroughly good person.

You are honest, decent, truthful, and hardworking.

You treat other people with courtesy, respect, and warmth.

You are strong, confident, and responsible.

You are dedicated to your family, friends, and job.

You were born for a special reason, and you have a great destiny to fulfill.

Don’t ever let anyone lower your value.  YOU ARE PRICELESS!

Thanks, Jennifer Seay Reid, for today’s inspiration!  🙂

As we were in the midst of school supply shopping, I noticed a young woman digging through the glue stick bin.  Now, as any teacher will confirm, glue sticks are a hot commodity in the classroom.  You NEVER have enough and what seems like a million on the first day of school dwindles to only a handful by mid-year.  As I was observing her (and wondering if she was a teacher… after all she didn’t have any kids with her), I realized she was not getting the best deal on glue sticks.  So I approached the woman and told her that if she bought the value pack she would, in essence, spend the same amount of money, but get two glue sticks for free.  Not a huge bargain, but every glue stick counts!  She thanked me for the advice, then told me she just accepted her very first teaching job, teaching middle school Language Arts.  “I’m thinking that I will need a LOT of glue, right?” she asked.  Immediately I looked to my cart where I had already grabbed the very last two SUPER value packs of glue – 12 glue sticks for $3.  Without any hesitation, I ran to my cart and grabbed them out.  “Here!  Take these!  They are even cheaper!  You will literally pay half off from the single pack glue sticks!!”  Needless to say, she was surprised.  “I don’t want to take your glue sticks!  They’re yours!” she exclaimed.

And that’s when I told her about my 40th Birthday Project.  I told her she could have the glue sticks, completely guilt free, with the only payment to perform a random act of kindness over the next 40 days and respond on this blog what she did.  We chatted a bit more about teaching, then went our separate ways.

Yes.  Two value packs of glue sticks.  That’s all it took for me to show someone else that they were important.  That they deserved kindness.  Can you think of a way to bless a teacher this school year?  You might want to purchase a few extra glue sticks, too.  🙂

Today I took the kids school supply shopping.  The traditional “tax-free” weekend doesn’t begin until Friday, but somehow we are always late on this event and by the time we get to the store all the notebooks, backpacks, and lunchboxes are picked over with little options to choose from.  This year we decided to go early and beat the rush (even though it meant having to pay tax on everything.)

I was already wondering how I could bless others in this task.  As we began loading items into our cart, I realized I had several coupons in my pocket.  Everyone likes a discount, right?  So I decided to bless others instead of myself today.  I took each coupon and placed it with its respective item, then positioned it right by the price tag so they couldn’t be overlooked.

Once again, I forgot to bring business cards, so this Random Act of Kindness is on the house!

The next time you happen to see a coupon “just lying there”, take a moment to appreciate the small, but meaningful, act of kindness.  Be inspired!

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