I was listening to some soothing tunes on the radio last night. To be exact, it was 98.1, easy R&B listening. Usually when listeners call in, you know, they request a song and dedicate it to their sweetheart, or best friend, or a parent, or a soldier overseas. It's a natural thing, to share love for those around us. But as I listening in, a man called in with a very unusual dedication. "Hey brother, I'd like to make a song request," he said. "Sure thing. Who would you like to dedicate to it?" the DJ asked. "I want to dedicate this song to the whole world." "Whole world? That's not possible," the DJ replied in a somewhat joking manner. "We only reach a few milion people." That brief conversation really hit home for me, though. Yes, a song on a radio can only reach those listeners within the local geographic region that covers that frequency. ... Read Full Story >>
I got my bills for the month and you know what that usually feels like. I just first looked at them sitting on my counter and pretended they didn't exist. I left them sealed in the envelope, untouched and abandoned. Yet, I still mentally kept track of when they most likely were due, so I didn't incur a late fee and compound the problem. Today was the day I decided to pay my therapy bill since I was going to see my therapist. Instead of quickly scribbling down the check amount after analyzing the itemized break down of his billing rates to make sure there were no financial errors, I rushed out of my open front door into change. While I still was in a hurry to make it to my 6:00pm appointment in downtown Palo Alto, I was hurrying to reach something new… Inspired by the spirit of those Karma Kitchen cooks, ... Read Full Story >>
I used my smile card the other day! It was awesome!
I went to get a carwash and bought a car wash for the anonymous person who came after me ... as i was waiting for my car, I saw a turqouise car drive up, and I thought that must be the person I'm randomly connecting with! It was so cool!
I felt like I was actually giving something to someone else purely out of generosity, and it felt good inside...I kind of felt like I was part of a church group when I was explaining what I wanted to do, to the confused cashier, but she eventually understood the concept.:)
Anyways, so that was great and my car was clean! Just wanted to share the good feeling with you and thank you for the idea!
I am sharing my Smile Card story which I used at a local coffee shop today. It is presented in the form of a poem.
"So, is it a Grind?"
It's a grind is the name of the place,
and perhaps the name of your life sometimes,
but when you stop and take a chance,
and make someone else on the inside dance,
it may be different and feel weird at first,
and it might sound a bit like work,
but all it took was a few dollars, an exchange of words,and a little white tag,
to produce two coffee drinks,
which made a mother and son glad,
So, next time when you think your regular routine needs some spice,
maybe you could think about doing something nice?
My car was parked in the lot on Castro Street in downtown Mountain View just outside the Shambhala Meditation center. Anxious to move along on my Sunday afternoon, my efforts to move my car were immediately halted. A triple AAA truck that stretched more than a stretch limo was literally blocking my path to exiting. My initial feelings of “I’m upset” and “How could someone just box me in like that?” began to surge, but then, I paused. I took a look at Sakyong’s face (my new favorite Tibetan Guru) as he looked at me from the cover of his book, titled, “Ruling your World.” In that moment, I remembered, I have a choice. I decided to make that mental switch that Sakyong often refers to, and just gave myself a chance to experience what taking a step down that road might feel like. I listened to some tunes in ... Read Full Story >>
This week I decided to up the smile-card notch a bit. I usually affix a $1 dollar bill to a smile card prior to tagging the recipient, but this week, I felt moved to increase the monetary value and see if that increased the value of good feelings that arose within me when I give! On my way home from work, I cruised up the onramp to 880 South and looked for the homeless man who stands alongside the cars right before the traffic signal. There he was. I rolled down my window, connected with the eyes of this middle-aged latino man, and handed him a $5 dollar bill. Then, in the middle of the week during lunchtime, as I was leaving Le Boulangerie Cafe in downtown San Jose, I headed back to my car to go back to the office. However, when I saw anti-war sentiments smacked onto a neighbhoring car in the form of two bumper stickers, I felt compelled to express my resonance with this driver's thoughts through a tag. Making sure the coast was clear and the driver was nowhere in sight, I took ... Read Full Story >>
This poem I wrote describes my smile-card experience at the Annual Art&Wine Festival on Saturday September 8, 2007 in downtown Mountain View on Castro Street.
"A Kind Festival"
Walking along the streets of Castro,
A day of art and wine,
A time to smile with anonymous souls,
And browse at the paintings from Italy,
And try on flowery hair accessories,
And admire the photography from East Asia to Napa Valley,
While listening to an African American baby girl of two,
Belt out some soulful blues,
I heard the news of a Filipina woman,
Fighting for the tribal rights of California Indians,
And signed her political petition,
Then the musical notes of a guitarist arose,
And he received a series of dollars in his instrumental suitcase,
And while on my solitary stroll through this multicultural street,
I gave a dollar wrapped with a 1x2 inch smile,
With the hope that it just might add,
A little more than monetary value,
To this old man's day in the South Bay.