Today I did something I have never done before. I ordered delivery pizza for our neighbours at our back fence whom I don't know.
I've been watching them all as a family this past week (parents and teenage children) spend their weekends in the garden. Cutting trees, picking up rubbish, and doing such a big job. It has warmed my heart so much.
So as a nice treat on this hot day, I discovered their address and went down to the local pizza shop. I ordered 2 pizzas, coke, and garlic bread, and had it all delivered to them. I left no name except to tell them to have a nice day and that this was a random act of kindness.
So far this is the biggest act I have done. I love it. I really hope they felt loved today and I'm so glad that lunch was on me!
Today it was my turn to receive a random act of kindness.
I was visiting relatives in Anchorage, Alaska, and my wife was in the hospital with viral meningitis. It was her first day and she was feeling poorly.
I went to the cafeteria to get some breakfast and after looking around, I decided on eggs and sausage. As I went to pay, the clerk said there was no charge because the person in front of me had paid my bill.
I looked up and didn't see anyone at first, but when I went around a corner, she was standing there. I asked if she was the one who had bought me breakfast and she said that she was.
I thanked her and asked if she often "paid it forward". She was surprised that I had recognized her act as a random act of kindness.
She said she did it to welcome me to the hospital and hoped I would enjoy my "day on the planet".
At that moment, I found myself in tears. It gave me a boost to handle the issues that were facing me.
We just moved and seriously downsized our home. In the process I gave away many of the things that were special to me. I just didn't see how they could be of value to anyone with their beauty hidden in a box, sitting in storage!
Last week I promised to get the hard-drives cleaned on two of our computers so our neighbors (whose computers have crashed and who can't afford new ones) can have working computers.
From the beginning of our marriage my husband and I have given away so much more than we have ever sold. It has always served as a perfect reminder of how blessed we are. We also notice that when we share the other people involved usually share also. It's that old pay-it-forward mentality.
Yesterday I gave a hand-written thank-you card to our custodian. Just to let him know that the day he had been absent the whole staff was not only worried but also gained a new realization of, and appreciation for, all the behind the scenes work he does. Our workdays wouldn't run so smoothly without him.
One of the first things I do every morning is say, "Hello, new day," and recite the following aloud, as told by the 14th H.H. Dalai Lama:
"Today I am fortunate to have woken up, I am alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings, I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others, I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”
from me to all of you.
A lotus from within my pond,
Reaching for the light as we all must,
morning dew shining of night's sweet dusk.
Throughout many cultures over time, the lotus has been a powerful image and a spiritual symbol. In Hindu, Buddhist and Egyptian religions, the lotus is considered a sacred flower.
Among its many meanings and significance, the lotus is a symbol of "spontaneous" generation, and so it also represents divine birth, spiritual development and creation itself.
About a month ago, one morning, I awoke to find a note on my door. It read, "Don't worry. You were born awesome, not perfect."
I was going through a bit of a transition at that time and those words meant, and still do mean, a tremendous amount to me on so many levels.
To this day, I have been unable to find out who posted that for me. So, today, I thought I'd return the favor.
Stocked with little notes reading, "Be yourself," "You belong," "You're special," and "You are loved," I drove around various neighborhoods, posting them on random doors.
I trust that the Universe had me place them exactly where they needed to be.
I've been trying to get a friend of mine hired at the company I work at -- he's actually a former boss of mine, but that's fine too. He is a friend today. Easily one of the brightest people I know and he'd be a great fit at our company. A woman who has been here for 30 years saw his resume and thought so too. I'm not in the position to hire him, but she is and knows others that are, too. So far, things are looking positive. While that could be my kindness story today, it's really not. In talking with my friend about the meeting that he had, he said of the 30 year veteran -- "I really like her because you know she cares. She cares about the company and she cares about the quality of her work." I agreed with him wholeheartedly as this really does sum up ... Read Full Story >>
I am in the midst of prolonged frustrations at work. Today was more of the same. I walked to the car remembering my act of kindness and feeling a little pressed for time and creativity. As I drove to the grocery store to pick up milk, I ran some scenarios through my head not landing on one I was satisfied with. I walked in, there was a table of vibrant yellow mums. I chose one and put it in my cart still not knowing what I was going to do with it. I find myself trying to figure out the perfect scenario for these acts of kindness knowing that it defeats the purpose, but I can't help myself. I left the store and while I was backing out of my parking space, I saw an older woman walking to her minivan. She was by herself and did not have much in her cart. I ... Read Full Story >>
Yesterday I wrote a mail to several senior police officers of my city thanking them for all that they do. I feel that their job is very tough. They deal with all the negatives of the society, the works seems very twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, in all weather conditions. Also, their jobs could be very dangerous.
Yet no one says thank you but instead one only hears about the negative aspects of the police. Usually the media reports one case that might not be solved, and neglects to mention the hundreds of others that might have been solved, or cases where the police was very efficient.
So as a citizen of the city, I wrote a mail expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all people who work with the police.
Since I knew I'd be driving a fair amount today, I decided to surrender the "right of way" to anyone who requested it: any driver seeking to enter the traffic flow, anyone in oncoming traffic waiting to make a left turn, any pedestrian seeking to cross the street. It was a blast!
At first, traveling on the interstate, I had few opportunities to practice this form of kindness. Access to the highway is limited, and of course at high speed it can be hazardous to slow unexpectedly to yield the right of way.
Once I was back in the city, I had so many chances, and I found myself eagerly looking forward to them. Instead of pressing every advantage and insisting on my right of way, as I usually do, I happily waved others in front of me, blinking my headlights for emphasis. It was so delightful to see their relief, and I received several smiles and waves in return.
I hope this is the beginning of a new habit. Of course, I'll need to allow a little extra time so I'm not so rushed--which will be a blessing all its own!
I just sent an email to my daughter's 2nd grade teacher (and CC'd the principal) to thank her for all the little extra things she is doing this year as a teacher that are motivating and inspiring my daughter to keep learning even after school when she gets home. My daughter has never been so enthusiastic about what she learned at school...it's very refreshing and I wanted her teacher know it!
As most of the flowers in my yard are gone for the year, I made a run to Walmart last night for flowers.
This morning I waited for the neighborhood school bus. As soon as I saw the bus, I flagged it down and gave the flowers to the bus drive Jeanette, who is also my neighbor. The look on her face was priceless!
My children are not school-age anymore, but I do have nieces and nephews that age. I think it takes pretty special people to do this job.
To safely drive, watch over, and deliver so many children is a great responsibility and one that is undoubtedly under appreciated!
Today I got in touch with my go-to I.T. guy. He is part of our Executive Support team at my office.
I typically instant message him in the office when something has gone wrong, or my boss has locked out his password, or we need some urgent thing fixed. He always springs to action, coming to the rescue and helping us right away.
Today, I messaged him and said, "Hi! I don't need anything today but wanted to thank you for all you always do."
He was so happy! He said, "Nobody ever does that!" He said it made his afternoon!
How long did that take me? No time at all. And it didn't cost a thing!
Thank yous are free - but they are priceless! Imagine if people you knew just thanked you for the little things in life. You'd be getting such nice messages all day!
I just joined the challenge yesterday and have been thinking of some creative ways to lift some spirits. I have started on a batch of clay hearts which I will paint and add a inspirational word. I plan on leaving them in random spots for others to pick up. Hopefully they will bring a smile to those who find them :)
Below is a photo of the clay hearts. I hope they get picked up and regifted again and again!
I spent four hours volunteering at the cat shelter this morning.
Although I would have loved to have spent the time playing with the cats one of the staff needed help with fund-raising work - so I did that.
I try to remind myself that volunteering is all about doing what needs to be done.
Today is the birthday of my elderly (82 years old) friend who has Alzheimer's.
I make a point of visiting him at least once a month. I wanted to take him a card and a treat for his birthday. So, off I went to the memory care unit with my coffee, the card, and some chocolate chip cookies.
He always looks so happy to see me (although today was not his best day.)
So, we were sitting there enjoying our treats while I carried on a mostly one-sided conversation. Just then another resident came wandering over and asked, "Would you have some candy for an old guy?"
I chuckled and said I didn't have any candy - but I had cookies!
Then I looked over at one of the staff members to be sure he could have cookies. I don't need my kindness to cause a diabetic episode!
She assured me it was okay and said that "Cookie" could be his middle name. So, we shared our cookies and more smiles.
It was a very good way to spend my lunch break!
As I left my home this morning, I found three small feathers on my windshield, which I kept in the car.
As I was heading into work, outside in the parking lot, I noticed that there was a dead sparrow on the pavement. She must have been less than a day old since she passed. I know that the ultimate act of kindness would have been to nurse her wounds had it been alive, but at this point, there was only once choice for me.
I put my laptop bag down on the ground and made room by an adjacent flower bed, in between the mound junipers, for her to have her final resting place... It felt right.
I gathered all twigs and leaves that I could find and covered her body.
Thank you little sparrow for your journey in this reality..
In the morning I often go to the local park to walk.
There are two grounds-keepers there who do an awesome job of keeping the place clean, especially after baseball games. Yesterday, I left them a note of appreciation and $5 gift cards to the local coffee place.
I think they need to know that someone appreciates their work.
I sent a letter to my mother thanking her for all the love, care, and kindness she has given me throughout my life. I believe that mothers like mine can ever be thanked enough for all the tremendous sacrifices they make for their children.