Friday, November 13, 2009

World Kindness Day: Mission Kindpossible

Seeing as I am part of and today is World Kindness Day, I am once again blogging about kindness rather than about the mind-bending, seemingly insurmountable, optimism crushing process of trying to get published as a first time author. That being said, if any agent or publisher happens to come upon this blog, feel free to hit me with your own random act of kindness by asking to see my mansucript. I'll be more than happy to oblige you!
I tend to think that on any typical given day, I act with kindness toward others. Overall, it's a much nicer way to live, and even if I'm in the grumps, being nice to others helps me to feel better about myself. Today, though, I set out to go out of my way with being kind, it was my mission to purposefully instill kind acts on others. Although creatively speaking I don't feel I was at my very best, it has so far been an interesting experience. I think there are a couple of people out there who are still shaking their heads in shock, wondering what happened, because, I didn't tell all of them why I was doing what I did, I just did things. If you've read other posts in my blog, you've read about 'out of left field experiences,' uncommon events that shake us up and shock us. I gave some people left field experiences of the pleasant kind today. Fun, fun, fun. The world needs more of those.
Without further ado, here's how the day has gone down so far.
8:30am-Stopped at the Macs store to pick up a couple of little things. The friendly clerk asked if I would also like to buy a lottery ticket. I asked how much the jackpot was. His response-"$15,000,00.00." I bought a ticket along with my other stuff, briefly wondered at my own loss of sanity, and as I went to leave, handed him the ticket and said, "This is for you, it's world kindness day." I will always remember the complete look of stunned shock on his face as I left the store. He couldn't speak.
11:30am-Morning chores completed I ventured out for the day and drove through the Starbucks drive through for a morning decaf (I can't drink the real stuff, I'm already too wired). I had a $20.00 Starbucks card in my wallet I'd bought the week before, so after paying cash for my coffee and giving the barista a bit of a tip, I then gave the card to the Barista asking him to use it for the people behind me until the balance was gone. I was rewarded with a smile, and an acknowledgement of how nice that was. I've had this happen to me from others before and it does feel good. It was nice to do a pay it forward.
11:45am-On to Safeway (all these kind free plugs for businesses) where I purchased 6 bunches of tulips. The friendly clerk made each of the bouquets very pretty with rafia, and while she was doing that, the woman behind me had to wait a bit, so I chatted with her, and she told me how she liked to put poinsiettas on her stairs for Christmas because they looked so pretty. As I purchased the tulips, I also purchased her two poinsiettas. I think the poor woman was initially wondering if I was stealing her poinseittas, because she looked so confused. As I left I gave her a reassuring smile and told her to have a nice day. Another very stunned look.
12:10pm-I entered hospital emergency wanting to give the tulip bouquets to the triage nurses. They have so much crap to deal with I figured they could really use a random act of kindness. Emergency was packed with people, it's gotta be overflow from the flu I guess, geeze. Anyhow, all the nurses in there were so sweet and so thankful. It made me wish I could have done more in there. I was really glad I could provide a bright spot in their day.
12:20pm-I left emergency (and yes I disinfected my hands on the way out-kindness to me) and headed to Shopper's Drug Mart cause I knew I had some points for free merchandise wracked up on my Optimum card. On the way in there was a young woman from Child Find standing behind a table. Now, to tell the truth, I normally am prone to walking right by just giving a smile at times, because like a lot of people, I sometimes feel tapped out, or like it wasn't on my agenda to give to a certain organization. How dumb is that? I mean, here was someone staring me right in the face asking for help, and I almost walked by? I wouldn't have even paid attention to what organization was asking for assistance. Wake up call! I stopped, talked about how doing what she did must be hard and lonely at times. She was so sweet and there she was, volunteering her time, not because it was World Kindness Day, but obviously because she just is a caring, kind person. I gave her my last twenty dollars, went into the store and used my points to get two organic stuffies for free. On my way out of the store, I stopped at her table and gave them to her, telling her to give them to any kids she saw that looked like they could use some cheering up. She was so thankful. But really, I should have been more thankful to her. She's the one spending her whole day there in a very hard position. Did you ever notice that those who are generally the most giving are also the most thankful?
12:45pm-There's a church on a main thoroughfare in town and they always have a signs with sayings posted by the road. I thought it might be cool to have the sign changed to say "World Kindness Day, Beep for Kindness and Pay it Forward" so I went into the church to talk to someone about the possibility of this. A nice woman came to talk to me. She said she thought it sounded good, but the sign changer wasn't around and she knew the pastor had wanted other stuff on the sign. I offered to change the sign myself, but it basically came down to her being worried that the pastor might not be happy because he had his own sayings he wanted up. On the sign already was the saying "Act as the kind of person God would want you to be." Now, I'm not going to analyze this situation. You can do that. Interesting though, wouldn't you say?
It's now 4:30, and I'm back at home, supervising my son who I have kindly let have two friends sleep over. It's been an interesting day so far...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In Celebration of World Kindness Day on November 13

November 13 is World Kindness Day, and as a firm believer in all things kind, I thought it would be appropriate to write a story about kindness. The story I am about to write is true, and it’s time to say “thank you” publicly for an act of kindness that occurred over 60 years ago. Do you ever wonder about the impact your acts of kindness might have? Wonder no more.

It was the end of World War II and a small family from Latvia had been living in a Displaced Person’s camp in Germany for several years, having fled their home as the Soviets invaded. When the allies arrived and the camps were dispersed, the family feared the repercussions of returning to their homeland, and like so many others during that time, needed a safe place to rebuild their lives. There were many who ended up returning to a Soviet occupied Latvia, some by choice, some not. For this family, mercy and kindness arrived in the form of an American Red Cross worker with a Latvian heritage. Understanding the potential of what the family might face on their return home, he worked to ensure they would be able to find safe passage elsewhere.

And so the trio, a mother, a father, and their young son, boarded a boat, eventually arriving in Canada, their new home. They worked hard to contribute to the new country that welcomed them, the parents instilling a strong work ethic in their son. Their son turned into a very kind man, his experiences in his early years undoubtedly impacting his compassion and giving nature. Eventually he went through university and married a woman who also believed in giving to others, and they had three children. The man worked as a social worker and the woman as a nurse.

Although quiet by nature, over the years the man told some of the stories of his own childhood to his children. His values of making a difference in the world, and of treating others with kindness, were passed down to his children, and they in turn became a teacher, a nurse, and a counsellor, each in their own way working hard to make a positive impact on the lives of others. I am the daughter of that man, I am the counsellor, and I will never forget the kindness and mercy of a certain man that I do not know from the American Red Cross whose actions have given our family a safe place to call home, in an amazing country. Thank you to him, and although he doesn’t know it, over sixty years later, he is still thought of with gratitude, and his actions are continuing to ripple in this pond we call home.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Life's A Beach

Got up bright and early this am, cleaned self up all nice and even managed to dress in something other than jeans. Altogether I think I looked good enough for civilization. The plan was to be out and about in the world for the day. To commune with other humans and to utilize my slowly getting rusty social skills. And then...."Mom...I don't feel good..." echoed down the halls of the house. One sick son later, it was off with the dressy uppy clothes and on with the sweats and piggy slippers. Regrettably I didn't purchase the piggies that oink, so my two little comfy pink friends just shuffle around silently on my feet. No chance for intelligent discourse with them. And my son...well...he's lying on the couch, absorbed in his new i-pod touch, purchased with his birthday money. Every ten minutes or so I harrass him by asking if he wants something, just to provoke some sort of conversation. I've realized that some days, I could lose my voice and not even realize it until the end of the day, when the guys are home from school and work.
**Newsflash** More manuscript reader comments have arrived! They'll be posted under the 'manuscript reader' headline...but I bet you probably already figured that out didn't you? Whoever you are...if there really is anybody out there. Is there anybody out there? Helloo? There's probably a billion people out in cyber space. There's gotta be a least one of you accidently stumbling onto this blog right? Time to go. My son is contagious and the piggies are looking green with nausea and feel ever so slightly feverish. It appears I have a purpose to fulfill today.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh, To Be Back in Maui!

Miserable cold wet sheets of rain are pouring down and messing with my hair. Yuck. I'll just stare at my Maui pics with fond memories of my research trip. Gotta get this manuscript published. Beaches the world over are calling my name...
This location is in the book, but the book has to be published, so you can find out about where it is. Any guesses?