celebrate kindness

Posts Tagged ‘compliment

Beautiful quote

This week while in the checkout line of Target, I found myself standing beside a woman who was very pregnant. She was wearing a comfy-cute outfit, leggings and boots, and I couldn’t resist complimenting her in the moment.

“Excuse me, but I just wanted you to know that you look amazing. I know you may not feel like it, but you do. Congratulations!”

Her face lit up with a smile as she acknowledged my compliment. “That was really nice of you to say! Thank you!” She then chuckled as she added, “Two more weeks to go!”

I smiled even more as I nodded with understanding. “Such an exciting time!” I added as I started to walk away, my items paid for and bagged.

Even though I am no longer in the stage of birthing babies, I clearly remember the emotions of having your body completely changed from within (and having absolutely NO control over how that happened!) It really is an amazing process, but one that also makes you feel very self-conscious about your appearance, especially near the end. When you can’t see your feet and you feel yourself waddling like a penguin, it’s near impossible to feel attractive at the same time.

I remember those feelings.

And yet… here I was standing beside a Mommy-To-Be and all I saw was her beauty.

My cousin, who is also counting down the days to parenthood, posted a photo of herself on Instagram. I couldn’t resist complimenting her, too!


Every compliment counts, whether told face-to-face, written in a note, or typed on a mobile device. It’s always lovely to bring a smile to someone else’s face. 🙂

May your day be filled with kindness for others!

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In addition to preparing Blessing Bags for the ISTE Conference, I packed some extra goodies to surprise conference presenters and attendees. There were three separate random acts of kindness, but each asked the recipients to tweet out the RAK using the hashtag #ISTERAK if they found them. The photos shared on Twitter were priceless and brought a smile to my face each day! Maybe these will give you some inspiration for easy-to-share RAKs with others!

Free Compliments

I printed a few sheets of paper titled “Free Compliments” with tear-off tabs at the bottom. Some of the compliments included sayings like “You’re Beautiful!” and “I wish I could pin you on Pinterest.” I taped the compliment sheets to the back of restroom doors, thinking they would be seen by many. Here are a few of the photos shared of this RAK:

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“You are tech savvy!”

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“You are tweet worthy”

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“I like your style!”

The biggest thrill came at the end of the conference when ISTE (@isteconnects) tweeted out a photo of my compliment sheet, all tabs taken, with this message for all their participants:

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“#ISTERAK spreading kindness at #ISTE2015. Attendees, you are all amazing!!”

Nerds

If you are looking for some “nerds”, a technology conference with 21,000 registered participants is the place to be! I left these boxes in random places inside the convention center to be discovered by whomever. Here are a few of the lucky “nerds”… how awesome that all four boxes were tweeted out!

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Here is one box I left on a seat. Below are the photos posted by others to Twitter.

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You Are Worth 100 Grand

I am a strong believer that you should compliment someone when they do something well. For this reason, I like to bring along 100 Grand chocolates with a little note saying “You are worth 100 Grand.” Here are a few people that received some sweet treats for their awesomeness:

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Right after Adam Bellow (@adambellow) and Dean Shareski’s (@shareski) session on “Hacking Keynote”, I ran up on the stage and handed them both 100 Grand. Their presentation was funny and informative with lots of opportunities for learning and sharing.

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I had so much fun touring the poster sessions, especially those where students shared their work. The Tech Ninja Squad was a technology club for 4th and 5th graders and these gals were very eager to share all the cool projects they made!

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Another poster session I loved had students sharing the projects they created with green screen technology.

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They definitely earned their rewards as they patiently walked me through each step of the process. Twice.

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I had my first “celebrity selfie” moment where their teacher (Pam Craig – @Pcraig911) looked at my name tag and said, “I follow you on Twitter!” What a fun moment – I’m not used to being on the receiving line of that statement! (And yes, I’m wearing a cape. You didn’t know I was a superhero? Ha!)

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After using my cell phone and iPad all day, it was time for me to find an outlet and charge my devices. As another random act of kindness, I carry a power strip in my purse a conferences so I can share my multiple outlets with others. It’s a great way to meet new people, too!

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One person I sat beside had THE most amazing accessory holder for all his chargers and cables. I was so impressed, I left him 100 Grand, too.

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Speaking of chargers… there were all these little lock boxes at the convention center and in Reading Terminal Market where people could charge their devices for FREE. Talk about a random act of kindness – that was AWESOME! Each box contained a key where you could lock your device and leave it. I predict we will see a LOT more of these around town – in classrooms, too!

These random acts of kindness were fun to share throughout the conference and cost me about $6 in all. If you want to see who posted what, search the hashtag #ISTERAK on Twitter!

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Did you know that today begins World Kindness Week? I’m always a bit amused when we have to declare a week or a day to remind us to be extra kind or considerate, something that should be innate in our souls. However, I am thankful for the designation because it reminds me that today there are hundreds, even thousands, of people across the world making a conscious decision to be kind.

That, my friends, is awesome. 🙂

This week my goal is to share some of my stories of kindness given and received, so that you may be inspired to share kindness with others as well.

As an American culture, we sometimes get caught up in the expense of kindness. “If I had a million dollars, I would…” “I wish I had enough money to…”Yes, I will admit that having extra money to pass along to others with free meals or surprises makes a lovely random act of kindness indeed. (That’s half the reason I tutor on the side, to fund my RAK habit, lol.)

But some of the most meaningful RAKs happen for free. You give of your time to help out another. You listen to a distraught friend. You compliment someone. You hold open a door. You smile. 🙂

These random acts of kindness are just as powerful, especially when unexpected. Today I complimented another teacher on the color of her sweater, how it brought out the blue in her eyes. Those same eyes sparkled with surprise as she told me the sweater was “nothing special.”

I would have to disagree. Perception is reality. That sweater transformed her eyes to the clearest sky on a beautiful summer day. It was, in fact, the first thing I noticed about her as we passed each other in the hallway. Her eyes reflected the beauty I could see in her spirit, and I felt compelled to let her know.

When was the last time you gave someone a compliment? Sure, it’s harder to compliment a stranger versus a friend, but your compliment may be the only positive interaction a person will have all day. Make the effort to share your kind thoughts!

Feel free to tweet your World Kindness Week RAKs and tag me at @HCPSTinyTech. You can also comment below or leave me a FB post. Let’s brighten this world with kindness and joy! 🙂

Have you ever found yourself in a bit of a rut? A tad bit unmotivated to do the very same things that ordinarily bring you such peace and joy? Yes, I believe we can all relate to that feeling of just being stuck, unable to move (some more than others!) Being a self-proclaimed Pollyanna, I am always shocked and surprised to find myself in that place, especially because I rarely experience it. But this past month, I found myself there. Not just there, knocking at the door. I walked through the door, collapsed on the sofa and simply said, “Does any of this even matter to anyone but me??”

Sound familiar?

The day after my last RAK post, I came down with the flu. Influenza Type B to be exact. NOT FUN. For someone who operates at the speed of the Energizer Bunny (and that’s on my slow days!), to be confined to the bed for almost a week was simply incomprehensible. But it happened. I got the flu and it knocked me down so hard I honestly thought I would never be well again. Then following the flu was the non-stop dry cough where every other word you speak makes people wonder if they should call 911 on your behalf. My recovery time was a challenge because as many of you moms know, time stands still for no one. Dinners need to be made, children need to be dressed, and work needs to be done. In the midst of all that, my son’s sports schedule changed (put away the soccer ball, bring out the soccer cleats) and like a domino effect, the few spare moments I had available to myself slipped away with the turn of a calendar page.

In. A. Rut.

How on earth could I take the time to bless others? All I saw around me were items needing my attention: laundry piles, unfinished projects, stacks of mail, and an endless array of legos and toys that only a three year old could so brilliantly scatter in record-setting time. For the first time since I started this RAK project, I truly felt overwhelmed by the mere suggestion of blessing someone else. It just seemed like such an effort! And if it didn’t matter to anyone else but me, then why keep going forward with it?

That’s when I stopped. Literally. I stopped focusing on this blog and just let the chips fall where they may. And you know what? The moment I stopped was the moment other people began.

It started with a Facebook wall post from a gal I went to high school with. “I loaded an elderly woman’s groceries into her car for her today. It made me think of you & all your acts of kindness. Not that I’m an unkind person, but I normally just walk around in my own head & hardly ever notice people around me. You’ve made me be more aware and to look for opportunities. Thank you!” Wow! I wasn’t expecting to see that on my wall today. How nice! Free and easy, too! It reminded me of another high school friend who had written on my post about cleaning out store dressing rooms (yet another easy and free RAK to do.)

Another friend commented on one of my RAKs with, “Keep sharing your compassion and great ideas to inspire the rest of us.” Great ideas? Inspiring others? Me? Really?

The next week I checked my Celebrate Kindness email account and discovered an email from one of the recipients of my first RAK for Sandy Hook victims (read the story and her response here). She was asking for my address so she could mail me a $25 gift card to T.G.I.Fridays so I could pay it forward and keep the blessings going. REALLY?!? A gift card donation! WOW! My spirits were lifted at the thought of walking into a restaurant and paying the bill for a family with kids, not knowing their story, but blessing them just the same. How exciting!

This week, as Pollyanna peeked her smile back into my spirit, I received yet another message from a former co-worker. She has been blessing homeless people on the way to work and stated how good it makes her feel to perform her random acts of kindness. She also added that she reads my blog stories several times because each time she reads them they make her feel good inside and inspire her to do more.

Well, short of being hit over the head with a shovel, I received the message loud and clear: RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! It is very humbling to know something you do, even something so simple and seemingly unimportant, really does positively impact the life of another. The most ironic point of this entire story is that none of the people mentioned above knew I was in a rut. Seriously! It was LITERALLY divine intervention with a splash of perfect timing.

Speaking of perfect… I am not a perfect person. (Oh gosh, not even close!) I am human, just like you. I have up days and down days (although more up than down, thankfully.) I get caught up in the day-to-day trials and tribulations and lose focus along the way. But thanks to God whispering in the ears of those around me, I am brought back to the surface with kind words and deeds. As much as I enjoy blessing others, I am realizing the importance of allowing myself to be blessed along the way as well. With that spirit in mind, I would like to take a moment and let you know about the Random Acts of Kindness that were bestowed upon me recently:

  • Two people offered to take a photo of me with my son when we were at the Children’s Museum. Granted, he wouldn’t smile for one photo (and actually refused the second offer by shrieking “No picture! No picture!”)… but the fact that someone else recongnized the importance of capturing this fleeting moment of motherhood brought tears to my eyes.

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  • As I was shopping at the grocery store picking up ingredients for my 3-2-1 Cup Cake (see recipe here), a stranger leaned over my shoulder and said, “You know what I like to make with Angel Food cake?” then proceeded to give me a super easy recipe for a new dessert I could try. I then shared my 3-2-1 Cup Cake recipe with her and she ended up adding the ingredients to her cart! How fun!
  • Someone let me in front of them in the grocery store line. Little did they know I was in a rush and a little frustrated by the events of the day. Just something as simple as letting me go first changed my perspective in an instant!
  • I was in a classroom teaching third grade students when I realized one of the students was the son of my husband’s best friend from high school, whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years. It just so happened that he was picking up his son from school Friday afternoon, so I was able to reconnect and say hello. What a great surprise! Although this may not have been an official “act of kindness”, the random surprise was still a delight!
  • Four times this week I had students offer to open doors for me as I was carrying items or pushing netbook carts. Yes! Children can be kind, too!
  • Three separate friends sent me messages saying they wanted to get together to catch up, to have some quality time together. Oh, how this brightened my day!

If I stop and start to list all the nice things people did for me, even in just this week, I am overwhelmed by such kindness. How can you NOT be inspired to bless others when you find yourself so blessed? After all, isn’t that what paying it forward is really all about?

So dear friends, my best advice for getting out of a rut is to just stop. Stop trying to be everything to everybody. Take time for yourself. Allow yourself to be in the moment, but don’t let the moment swallow you alive. Think of those who have blessed you this week, this month, this life (either people you know or complete strangers) and be inspired to do the same for someone else.

Random acts of kindness don’t have to cost money. They don’t have to be Herculean events. Many times the simply RAKs are the ones that mean the most. Listen to the God whispers and act upon them. You just never know how important that random smile may be.

Share the love and be inspired! Thanks for taking time out of your busy lives to spend some moments with me!

Today I ate lunch at a local fast food restaurant.  Hoping for a “quick bite to eat” I was instantly dismayed when I opened the door to the restaurant and saw the line snaking back and forth, three rows deep.  REALLY?  I thought fast food was supposed to be FAST!  As I pondered the irony, I debated if I should get back in my car and venture into the drive through line.  One peek out the side window told me that I was probably better off where I was.

The line, although long, was moving forward at a decent rate, so I busied my mind thinking about all the things that needed to be done before the end of my work day.  It wasn’t until I got to the second row that I started noticing my surroundings.  The lady in front of me had coupons, and was chatting animatedly with the man beside her about how excited she was to get a good deal on the food.  The man behind me stared off into space, possibly thinking of his own to-do list.  A cute little girl, about the age of six, twirled around and around, delighting in the way her dress swirled out with each spin.  Just another day in a fast food line.

Entering the first row, I shifted my attention to the fast food workers.  The cashier was speaking into a microphone, holding it so close to his mouth I wondered how on earth anyone could hear his garbled orders.  The drive-through attendants were working their station like busy bees, flitting from one area to another, grabbing, stuffing, bagging.  And then I noticed HER.

Petite and dark-skinned, this worker was in charge of preparing the dine-in food.  She wore a standard uniform consisting of a navy polo with khaki pants.  “JAMEKA” was printed across her nametag, announcing to the world who she was in an attempt for customers to feel more connected with the servers.  She worked with speed, accuracy, and skill. Paper plates on plastic trays were filled to overflowing with chicken, biscuits, mashed potatoes and more.  She not only kept up with the rapid succession of orders, but did so with a grace that showed she knew her stuff.  Even when the older lady three people ahead of me changed her order from dine-in to carry-out, Jameka didn’t bat an eye.  She simply grabbed a box and transferred the food, even making sure the customer had napkins and condiments before she could ask.

I knew right then that she would be my next act of kindness.  As she passed my tray across the serving station, I asked her where I might find a customer comment card.  “Ma’am,” she replied, “We don’t have those kind of cards.  You can call the phone number on the receipt.”  You could tell by the tone in her response that I was not the first person to ask for a comment card (and, to be perfectly honest, I bet she thought I had a complaint to file!)

I looked her in the eyes and said, “Well, the reason why I asked is because I want to tell someone how GREAT you are!  You have handled all these orders so amazingly and I’ve been impressed by your work ethic.  Watching you do your job has put a smile on my face and I just feel like your boss, or SOMEONE, needs to know how good you are at what you do!”  The smile that spread across her face was reward for us both!  “Well, thank you, Ma’am!” she giggled, then turned away to complete yet another order.

After eating my lunch, I called the number on the receipt, which was also posted on the back of the bathroom door.

I spoke with the customer service representative, who was overjoyed to document a PRAISE instead of concern.  “We will make sure this is brought to the attention of Jameka’s management team.  We want her to get credit for her great customer service today!”  The phone call alone gave me chill bumps.  I felt like THREE people had been blessed with this act of kindness: the customer service rep didn’t have to deal with an irate customer, Jameka heard first hand how her actions were noticed, and I was practically giddy to share in the joy!

The next time you are eating in a fast food restaurant, take a moment to notice those around you.  Whether customers, casheirs, or servers, maybe you can find one person to bless with a compliment?  A smile and a kind word are free blessings you can share (and you will be blessed, too!)

Have a wonderful Labor day weekend my friends, and celebrate kindness wherever your travels take you!  🙂


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