When you read this, it will have been one week since it was written. It is more appropriate to last Monday, but I wasn’t inspired until after I received my Random Acts of Kindness newsletter. What was March 20 all about? Not only was it the first day of Spring and the International Day of Happiness, but also International Story Day. It was the first time I learned about Story Day.
Everyone has their own unique story. Perhaps, each of us could recall a time when we were the recipient of an act of kindness that impacted our lives. I began looking backwards to see if there was one act that stood out. I must say, that I feel so grateful to have received many acts of kindness throughout the years. Each one of them truly touched my heart. One fairly recent one popped into my mind that I will share.
I had been downtown and got a cab for my trip back home. Normally, the distance I was travelling would have run up the fare to at least $25 not including a tip. The cabbie and I had a really nice conversation about happiness, having a good attitude towards life and the inherent goodness of people. I don’t recall how that conversation was initiated, but it doesn’t really matter. When we finally arrived at my building and I asked what I owed him. He refused to take any money. I was seriously surprised and tried to protest. He would not take the money. It was one of those micro moments of positive connection, mutual good will and kindness.
That moment in time was a reminder that underneath the layers and facades we have accumulated around us, there is a core of goodness, compassion and kindness. Anyone or anything that can restore us to that core, even for a moment, is a blessing.
Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the fruits.
~19th century rhyme
Comments are welcomed.
I came across a blog by Trudy Boyle That I felt worth sharing. It is a good reminder that there are things in our lives where we can exercise control or at least influence what will make stressful situations better. Here is an excerpt from her post.
“When it’s raining and you have an umbrella, use it. This advice from Psychiatrist, Dr. Shoma Morita, means that when you find yourself in difficult circumstances and there is the possibility of taking any action to relieve or influence those circumstances, then do so. We may need to usher in a change of plans, however inconvenient. It may be seeking an opinion or turning over every stone to look for a solution. There are so many situations and choices that can arise in daily living and most come with options for intervention. We need to seek those options out.
This maxim is practical for all manner of difficulties, big and small that you may encounter.
"Be an active agent in your own life. Find out things that you can do. The bottom line is to take some action rather than endure unpleasant circumstances, or unnecessary suffering that can be changed, or alleviated in some way.
At times when much of our life can seem out of our control, it is even more vital to take charge of the things – even small things that we can do something about. Never underestimate the impact on our well-being that small steps can make.”
Comments are welcome.
Part of my early morning routine includes doing the New York Times Spelling Bee. I am also a Wordle fanatic which I play after dinner as my dessert. After many months, I noticed something rather peculiar about myself. I have become a fan of some letters and an anti-fan of others. As I realized this, I had to ask who in their right mind has a bias, positive or negative, towards innocent, inanimate graphemes? Obviously, me. Since I’ve gone this far, I will share my biases with you.
The Spelling Bee is based on a set of 7 letters, one is designated to be used in every word. They let you know how many words can be formed and how many pangrams there are. The one letter that is never allowed is “S” for obvious reasons. Personally, I think S should be allowed if not used as a plural.
What’s happened doing the Spelling Bee is that I’ve come to cringe when one or more of J, K, V, X, Z appear in the daily 7. I hope they would not take their cringe worthiness personally, but how could they not? Fortunately, my bias towards these little symbols does not extend out into the wide world of languages. There are, after all, very fine words that are formed with these consonants. As for vowels, A is my favorite. I am reasonably neutral towards the rest.
Moving on to Wordle, Vowels are the object of my persnicketiness. In fact, I’ve lost my affection for E. I find E sorely lacking in personality. I don’t know what happened to E, but it is without joie de vivre. A, I, O, U are not exactly rock stars either. Yet, when A and I, A and O, a and O and U pair up, they emit a wee shimmy. When E pairs with one of the other vowels, it is still meh.
This vowel fussiness influences my first and second word selections. I must say that despite these biases, I’ve rarely bombed out. In fact, pardon my brag, I’ve gotten Wordle in 2 guesses 30 times and counting. Even got Wordle on the first guess once. Of course, we all know that was a 100% fluke. Still fun.
Since my loss of sight some years ago, there has been a loss of independence. One makes adjustments. Since the pandemic, there has been a further loss of independence. Full disclosure, there are times I bemoan the things I cannot do on my own anymore. One of the things I am grateful for is taking walks around the block independently. A little thing along my walk has added extra pleasure to the outing. It almost sounds silly, but I am stoked to be able to locate the recycle can on the street.
Recent snow storms have limited the distance I can walk. One morning when I went out to see how far it was safe to walk, I had a perspective shift. Instead of grumbling about snow and ice obstacles, I had a moment of great gratitude. I could still negotiate the stairs to my 3rd floor walk up. I could increase the number of times walking back and forth to where the icy part begins. Best of all I could still locate the recycle can.
Last night we were hit again with an absolute monster snow storm. It was one of those rare times when it was accompanied by thunder and lightning. Wild stuff. I figured I would just hunker down indoors for the day. . However, this morning I felt the urge to put on my big boots, go down stairs and check it all out. I assumed I would stay put in front of my building, breathe some fresh air and return to my apartment. Nope! When I stepped out in front of my building, the street was clear. I carefully began to walk along the route I normally take. Lo and behold, the street was all clear up to the place I have been walking lately.
Then came the big test. I carefully walked to where the recycle can was. Even with snow piled up against it, I could still reach the openings .
That bit of independence was still available to me. I was so grateful and happy, I smiled the entire time I did my laps. This was a reminder to savor the joys of the little things in our lives. When we look back, we may realize they were the big things.
Comments are welcomed.