acts of kindness

My Regret and My Shame

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This post centers on the following theme:

Never put off for tomorrow what you can do today.

Unfortunately, I did just that.

Cathy, seated in white jacket next to standing woman in red jacket
Cathy, seated in light colored jacket next to standing woman in red jacket, one of her daughters. My sister is to Cathy’s right. My sister’s entire family is pictured, minus one daughter-in-law, and a few grandkids who were born since this photo was taken.

My sister met her biological mother several years ago. Ever since that time I’ve dreamed of flying to Manitoba, Canada – where her mother lives – with my sister to meet Cathy. That didn’t transpire but in the alternative I planned on sending Cathy a letter to thank her for the unselfish and generous act of placing my sister up for adoption when she found herself pregnant as a high school teenager.

Had she not placed my sister up for adoption way back in 1952, I wouldn’t have the wonderful, giving, fabulous, sister I have today. I wanted to thank Cathy for giving me the best sister a person could ever have.

Guess what, folks? I can’t do that now because Cathy died of a massive stroke this past Mother’s Day. Oddly enough, for the past three weeks I’ve said to myself more than a half dozen times, “I’ve really got to ask Mary for Cathy’s address so I can mail her that letter.”

I guess my intuition is stronger and more reliable than my constitution. I guess I thought I’d have plenty of time to gift Cathy with that letter. How moronic is that, folks? The next minute isn’t guaranteed so why would I think a woman in her 70s would be sitting around just awaiting for the time when I would finally get off my ass and make good on my plans?

Do me a favor, all of you who are reading this post:

do what you intend to do as soon as possible.

I don’t know what that intention may involve. Reconciliation with someone? Complimenting someone who could really benefit from your kind words? Asking forgiveness of someone for prior acts of which you’re ashamed?

Regardless of what that intention looks like, please put it into effect today, not tomorrow.

Tomorrow may never come.

And then where will you be?

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Small acts of kindness, huge benefit

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Sick woman in bedThe other day I showed up ten minutes before my local pharmacy opened, wanting to be sure to get immediate assistance when I brought in a prescription to be filled.

Three extraordinary – yet small – things happened at that early hour when I was feeling less than able to even stand while I waited for the pharmacy gate to open.

  1. A store clerk that was doing some pricing procedures in the main part of the store in front of the pharmacy greeted me, asked how I was doing, and when I responded, “Not so great, actually” offered to help me to the pharmacy bench.
  2. Then the pharmacist opened the pharmacy early, 8:55 am, and told me my prescription would be ready in 10 minutes. I then left the pharmacy to go to the women’s room and as I was walking back, the third kindness occurred.
  3. The store clerk who had greeted me upon my arrival in the pharmacy area took the time to find me at a different area of the store to let me know my prescription was ready.

Big deal, such small courtesies are hardly worth writing a blog piece about, right?

Wrong, they lightened my burden and jump-started my day.

Don’t ever feel your efforts won’t make a difference.

They do, and they have.

 

Good citizenship starts young

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Operation Good Citizen: Teaching Kids to do the Right Thing in 2015.

Colorful hands of helpA recent article in Parade Magazine spotlighted the efforts of older adults mentoring children on how to be good citizens.  Specifically, Veterans and Congressional Medal of Honor recipients volunteer as mentors in schools across the nation.

The article emphasizes the point that parents and other adult family members should be the main source of such teaching – teachers have enough work to do just getting our children educated – but with a little bit of reinforcement at school, the lesson becomes that much more vital to the young learners. Read the rest of this entry »

Valuable acts of kindness

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NEVER Underestimate What a Little Kindness Can do.

Caring gumby figuresI’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: every act of kindness we extend to others; every bit of care we provide others, is extremely valuable.

My post Do Little Rather than Nothing suggests that we have the ability to change someone else’s life, 365 days of the year.  The attached article at the top of this post reveals how important one person’s generous act was to someone whose life was about to change forever.

Why do we wait until we can do something grandiose to exert a positive imprint on mankind?  Why do we ignore the multitude of small opportunities presented to us in which we can impact a person’s life for the better?  Whether that opportunity requires we spend 30 cents or 3 minutes on someone in need, we always have a choice of whether or not to allow a momentary inconvenience to be a part of our day – a miniscule inconvenience that nonetheless greatly benefits others. Read the rest of this entry »