A conversation does not go by without some mention of the weather. I cannot believe I am actually going to talk about the weather in this blog. In fact with all my complaints this winter, I have some gratitude for the weather. Am I nuts? Perhaps, but hear me out. Just as winter was coming on the scene, I thought I might get a little P.T.S.D.ish consideration after last January’s record breaking massive snowfall. It was dreadful for some time after the hit. I staved off a freak-out telling myself, that we survived that and the likelihood of a repeat was minimal. Also, there was nothing in the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicting otherwise.
Winter arrived rather unceremoniously. Then January rolled in as the sun rolled out for most of the month. While there were so many gray, gloomy days, there was inconsequential snowfall and a short-lived polar vortex episode. Now, here we are about to mosey into March. You remember March – Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, Daylight Savings Time (please do away with time changes), Pi Day, the Ides of March, March Break, March Madness, but best of all March 20: the first day of Spring. Also, March 20 is the United Nations International Day of Happiness.
The point for me is that due to minimal snow and ice on the streets, minimal bitter cold, the usual worst months of winter have skated (no pun intended) by. Despite so few sunny days, I am very grateful for being able to wear street shoes most of these past several weeks with little worry for icy patches. Of course, as I say these things, Winter is not going quietly into that good night. It is making a ginormous ruckus as the month draws to a close, dragging that lion along with it. Nonetheless, it will still become March the day after tomorrow. And that means Hope and maybe more sunny days.
Comments are welcomed.
Small steps can lead to lasting changes. A small step may not get us very far. Generally we judge value of a step on distance. Our tendency is to take large leaps to quickly get from here to there and ‘there’ may be nowhere in sight.
Newton’s first Law of Motion, commonly referred to as the Law of Inertia. It is stated as: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion. Once there is motion there is momentum. This is why small steps can be so valuable. They offer momentum at a very low cost. It takes very little effort to create momentum - One dish washed, one push up, one item on the to do list done.
Have we gone very far? No, But, now there is momentum. We are in motion. That momentum and motion are likely to keep us on the path.
Here is a summary of the History of Random Acts of Kindness Day - February 17.
“ The Random Acts of Kindness movement started more than 40 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1982 Berkeley writer and activist Anne Herbert published the first known account of “Practice Random Acts of Kindness and Acts of Senseless Beauty” in a CoEvolution Quarterly. After her article appeared, the kindness movement began to spread in surrounding communities.
Fast forward to 1991 when a local woman noticed the phrase scrawled across a warehouse wall in her neighborhood. She shared the phrase with her husband, a then 7th grade teacher, who decided to share it with his students. One of the kids happened to be the daughter of a San Francisco Chronicle columnist, who then wrote about Anne Herbert and the phrase. The article was picked up nationally by Reader’s Digest and later reprinted by the editors of Conari Press, a small press in Berkeley, California.
Inspired by the phrase and the people involved in the movement, the editors at Conari Press published a book highlighting stories of kindness. The book, aptly titled Random Acts of Kindness, was published in February 1993 and was immediately embraced by hundreds of thousands who helped continue the movement. Readers of the book and admirers of the phrase began creating local “Random Acts of Kindness Days” in mid 1993 (30 years ago!).
In February of 1995, the first national Random Acts of Kindness Day took place with participants coast to coast. As a gift to many grassroots organizations, Conari Press funded and facilitated the kickoff year.
Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) was created in 1995 in the Bay Area to facilitate future celebrations, always taking place in February during Valentine’s Day week. RAK was purchased soon after by a private foundation and moved to Denver, Colorado where it is located today.
The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a small nonprofit that invests resources into making kindness the norm. We are rooted in the belief that all people can connect through kindness.
The Random Acts of Kindness foundation has celebrated Random Acts of Kindness Day and Week every year since 1995 with various initiatives/campaigns, always in an effort to remind the world that a simple act of kindness is sometimes all it takes to change a person’s day, week, possibly their life.”
The past few weeks were pretty much devoid of sunshine. The sun appeared so infrequently, I can’t even remember if it popped through the clouds at all. I suppose it did, but I can’t be certain. We all know how important the sun is to our health and well being. That dearth of sunlight was not a friend to good mental health either.
Happily, the sun seems to have resumed it’s proper place and function in the universe. Suddenly, smiles are more easily forthcoming. Sunshine, sunlight and warmth of the sun are a blessing. I found a couple of sweet poems about the sun I thought I’d share.
I told the Sun that I was glad,
I'm sure I don't know why;
Somehow the pleasant way he had
Of shining in the sky,
Just put a notion in my head
That wouldn't it be fun
If, walking on the hill, I said
"I'm happy" to the Sun. John Drinkwater
I’ll tell you how the Sun rose –
A Ribbon at a time –
The Steeples swam in Amethyst –
The news, like Squirrels, ran –
The Hills untied their Bonnets –
The Bobolinks – begun –
Then I said softly to myself –
‘That must have been the Sun!’ Emily Dickinson