The Kindness Chronicles - Making the world a better place through simple acts of service and kindness. Contributors: Deborah Stanley, Lyric Kinard and Jane LaFazio
Lyric Kinard http://lyrickinard.blogspot.com/
"Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves." James M. Barrie
If you haven't discovered the TED talks yet - you are in for a treat. Here's one that I enjoyed this month. A researcher named Michael Norton found that money can buy happiness - but only if you don't spend it on yourself.
The 101 Happy People Project. A young man is gifted anonymously with $100 and chooses to spend it on 100 gifts for others. The 101th person is himself - it makes him happy to find little ways to help others.
My friend Lindy Rex battled cancer for 11 years before passing away last week.
She made jewelry and gave it away to patients whenever she went in for treatments. She'd have sales and donate the money for cancer care and research. She loved to teach anyone who stopped by how to create their own beautiful jewelry. She helped me finish a two foot high stack of samples for my book when I was going crazy under a tight deadline. She made a quilt for a retiring school teacher. She always thought of others - and acted on those thoughts.
She brought light and love into this world and I'm sure she is still doing so in the next world. We will miss her terribly here. I want to carry on her good works. I want to be as unselfish and giving as she was.
I volunteered to teach 30 4th graders how to make symmetrical butterflies from construction paper. It's easy for me to teach art to kids. I bet that you have a passion that you could share. Why not volunteer in a classroom, just for an hour or two, and teach the kids something fun. Their smiles will reward you tenfold.
SOME MORE KINDNESS:
• My husband's mother lives in a residential senior facility in Seattle. Every month, elementary school children come to the residence and read to the seniors.
• A Mundo Lindo mom brought juice packs for all the kids one day.
• See the scarf I'm wearing in this picture? I tye-dyed it myself. I realized that my adorable, young, yoga teacher would look great in it, so I gave it to her as a little gift.
• My husband's friends from college, came again this year, to play in the San Diego Brain Injury Foundation golf tourney, and show their support for my husband.
• Rick Keating and Jim Kelly, Don's college fraternity brothers.
Rick and Jim started the Don Strom Scholarship Fund for Don to select and help brain injury survivors with financial assistance. Rick also volunteers as MC of the golf tourney dinner. These guys fly down from Seattle each year for the tourney.
My husband, Don, and Steven, one of the brain injury survivors that the Don Strom Scholarship Fund paid for to play in the
San Diego Brain Injury Foundation charity golf tourney.
TEENAGERS BEING AND SEEING KINDNESS:
My last Kindness Chronicle post, I showed you the form Susan Avery Clark made for her high school students, here. Remember, these are teenagers. Here are a few:
Susie's question: In complete sentences write what you did to be kind.
• "I told Mrs. Clark that I enjoy her teaching just now."
• "Every time someone needs me to listen to them and give them advice, I'm always there."
• "My aunt had moved into an apartment. I found out she was sleeping on the floor, and hurting her back, so I gave my bed to her. She was really happy."
• "I helped a random kid carry his bike down a slippery hill last weekend."
• "One act of kindness I did was when my mom was bringing in the groceries all by herself, and I just started to help her without her telling me to."
• "I participated in a soup kitchen for the homeless. It's every Monday."
She also had the kids write about seeing someone else being kind.
• " I saw a policeman and an intoxicated homeless man. The homeless man reached out to grab the officer, and instead of taking him to jail, the policeman put out his hand and said 'let's get you something to eat."
• "When someone waits and holds open the door at a store. It's little stuff like that that makes me feel good."
• "Two weeks ago my brother got deported so me, and the rest of my family went to go see him. As we were walking to cross back (over the Mexico/US border) two guys dropped their passports and this little boy selling charms saw the passports on the ground, grabbed them and ran to catch up to them and give them their passports."
There are wonderful opportunities for random acts of kindness in eldercare. As we have been working through aspects of care for our mothers this has come more to my awareness. My mother recently passed away and my husband's mother is afflicted with dementia.
During a trip last month my husband had the privilege of escorting Mom to the Senior Day Care Center. She would not go if she knew it was a day care facility, so covert operations were required. The staff was wonderful to simply call it the "Senior Center", eliminating "Day Care" whenever Mom was around. It was well worth it! My husband witnessed Mom "lighting up the place" as soon as she arrived in the designated multipurpose room. It did not matter to her who could understand her and who could not. She had a cherry greeting for each one. Smiles & attentiveness spread throughout! The aides told my husband "it's always like this with your Mom". Her acts of kindness to cheer everyone there is very endearing!
I am inspired to pursue volunteering at the Senior Center near my home - craft ideas and playing games are on the top of my list!