Saturday, December 31, 2016

The wisdom of Oprah

Yesterday I quoted the wonderful Oprah Winfrey. I'm always reading things she writes. This I found appropriate for today and also very inspiring. Miss Winfrey says "Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right."

Friday, December 30, 2016

Be thankful for what you have

Hearing someone complain about how few gifts they had received, I was reminded of the wisdom of Oprah Winfrey, who said "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Great advice!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Resolved

Want to lose some weight or get in better shape? How about being more spiritual? Thinking about making some small investments? Maybe you want to quit smoking or exercise more or drink less alcohol. This is the time of year when people make resolutions. (Don't worry. Next week is when we begin breaking them). I have an easy one. I resolve to be more kind and to continue encouraging kindness in others.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

It's no secret

It should be no secret that kindness is a very good thing. For the past four months, I put down some words here first thing every morning, and I hope that someone is inspired. Kindly feel free to invite other to go to http://ofbeingkind.blogspot.com/ and read what I have said too. Oh and you are always welcome to give us your own thoughts, in the comments section below!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

in this cold bleak winter

It is cold outside. Some places it is VERY cold! In addition, some folks have been alone this holiday season. Alone in the cold bleak winter - not a pretty picture. Show your kindness. Buy an extra cup of coffee (or tea or cocoa) and share it with a stranger. Donate nice warm blankets or warm coats to organizations helping the homeless. Phone a friend whom you know is alone. Do all you can to make the season brighter.

Monday, December 26, 2016

we aren't even close to being finished!

If you walk into a store today or switch on your radio, and hear them announce "Now that the holidays are over..." They are wrong. If someone says that Christmas is gone or that Hanukkah has ended, they don't speak the truth. I'm not sure the kind way to handle it, other than to politely correct them. One of the biggest of those "holidays" is New Year's Day, and that will be this Sunday. Today is Boxing Day in many parts of the world, and also the Feast of Saint Stephen. It's also the second day of Hanukkah, the second day of Christmas, and the first day of Kwanzaa. Keep enjoying the holidays. we are not even close to being finished! We are not even close to being finished!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Good tidings of great joy

"Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."   -The Gospel According to Saint Luke

Saturday, December 24, 2016

First Day

Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, beginning at sundown tonight. Christmas is observed for twelve nights and days, and also begins tonight. I love how both of these traditions begin this year on the same day. Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration, and it begins on Monday. We certainly have a lot of celebrating ahead!

Friday, December 23, 2016

Blue Christmas

At this time of year with the many celebrations, there is great joy, but for some there is also great sadness. If you lost a loved one around the holidays, it may be particularly difficult. The "Blue Christmas" feeling can be very real. Reach out to your friends. Be present for them. Don't overdo it or smother them, but let them know you care and that you are there for them.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas is a state of mind

The 30th US President, Calvin Coolidge said "Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas."

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

winter is here

Here we go!  The first day of winter, that time of year end everyone leaves the door open - the very same door they were slamming all summer!  Remember, in most places it is much colder this time of year, so show extra kindness, especially to those most vulnerable like the elderly and the homeless.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

My kind mom

Back in 1926 on this date, one of the kindest people who ever lived was born - my mom. Even though she went to heaven a few years ago, I always think of her on this date and of all the things she taught me, and all the joy she so freely shared with everyone.  I hope I am making her proud.

Monday, December 19, 2016

sharing goodies with the homeless

Has EVERYBODY been bringing candy and cookies and fudge and cake to work these days? Was the big potluck so big that there are leftovers galore? Pack up some boxes and bags and share these goodies with homeless folk you encounter. Shouldn't they have a happy holiday season as well?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

holiday words from Laura Ingalls Wilder

"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time." -Laura Ingalls Wilder

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Doctor's in the house

If one needed proof that President Barack Obama is a kind person, all we have to do is look at yesterday's press conference. About midway through, with the President talking about conflict in the Middle East, there was a commotion in the White House briefing room, and Mr Obama asked what was going on. When he found that a member of the press was having a medical emergency, he said "We can get our doctors back there to help out," and then paused to give time for them to exit, which they appeared to be doing. "Do you know guys know where the doctor's office is?" Obama asked, as they headed to the door. Just then Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson, MD, USN, who is the Chief White House Physician, became visible to Mr Obama. "There's Dr. Jackson," said the President. "Doctor's in the house." It was reported later that the woman who fell ill, wasn't in any serious medical danger, but it is comforting to know that the President of the United States, cares enough to stop what he is doing, interrupting a significant Press Conference, to make sure she was taken care of!

Friday, December 16, 2016

they add up

Those little things - they add up. Small acts of kindness can mean a lot. I remember when I was little and we would go out in the cold for the winter festival where I lived. Our little bodies would be freezing and Mom would give us a great big hug. It was just a small gesture, but it sure helped to warm us up! That nice hot apple cider helped a lot too!  With the cold months arriving, I was thinking back to winters past.  I remember when we would go Christmas caroling and people would invite us into their home for a nice hot bowl of jook or some steaming hot chocolate.  It's those little kind things that people do that mean so much. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

show the love

When was the last time you told someone that you love them? Perhaps even more important is when did you last SHOW anyone that you love them? All too often we assume folks know we care about them, but saying it and showing it are important. Our lives are not without end and we should not be faced with regret about things unsaid or undone, when someone's time on earth is over. Let's all remind ourselves and our families just how important and precious life is, and let's always show the love.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

It's a win-win situation

The selflessness we show comes naturally for many. It's like breathing out and breathing in. We don't even have to give it a thought. I'm sure you know folks like that. I think it is something that can easily be learned too. It just feels good. Whether it's natural or learned, being considerate and generous, makes others feel good too. It's a win-win situation.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In Twelve Days

The twelve days of Christmas have not yet begun. (I know. The retail folks might be a bit confused about this). In twelve days, we have the first day of Christmas, and then it continues through January 5th. Those twelve days just might be the kindest of the year, or perhaps it is the twelve days leading up to Christmas morning, as everyone prepares for the gift-giving. How about it we extend it to twelve months!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Spreading around that kindness

Bring coworkers a special treat.  Give the gift of your smile.  Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving.  Draw names at work/school and have people bring a small gift or treat for their secret pal.  Deliver fresh-baked cookies or holiday candies to workers at government offices.  Sweep a neighbor's sidewalk or shovel their snow.  Collect warm clothing during this cold season for those who don't have any.  So many ways we can all show kindness!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

The tradition of kindness

We probably have more traditions at this time of year than any other. So many different holidays and observances and they all seem to have various ways of celebrating. Sometimes tradition can weight us down and we become afraid to try new things. I love the numerous ways that folks so kindness during this season though and would love for that to be the biggest tradition of all!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Keep at it

Never give up is one of my long held beliefs. My values aren't something I change several times a day, as I might change my clothes. I have to stay true to my principles, even if others don't join in. The test for me is simple: is it the kind, just, and fair path. If it is unkind, if it is not fair, if it doesn't treat everyone equally and justly, then it must be wrong. Activism is not a four letter word though and I will not be swayed by threats or setbacks. When it is the right thing to do, I will keep at it, and I will keep urging others to join in.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hot Chocolate

There was a wonderful British soul band that was popular during the 1970s and 1980s, called Hot Chocolate, but you know I am actually going to say something about the beverage. What I have to say is really pretty simple. I happen to like hot chocolate (cocoa) just about any time, but especially when the weather is cold.  One of the kindest things anyone can do is to offer me a piping hot cup!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

You can be funny and be kind

It's true that Ellen DeGeneres is a comedian, but one of the things I really admire about her is the love and care that she brings. I once heard her say "Most comedy is based on getting a laugh at somebody else's expense. And I find that that's just a form of bullying in a major way. So I want to be an example that you can be funny and be kind, and make people laugh without hurting somebody else's feelings." You are a fine example dear Ellen. Thank you for that!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The kindest one of all

How many facebook friends do you have?  How about your followers on Instagram or twitter?  Over the years we meet a lot of people.  Do we stay in touch with all of them?  Probably not.  For me it's the nice ones - the kind ones, that I always want to stay connected to.  Think about all the folks in your life.  Now, who is the kindest one of all?

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Best of December

If I asked you to choose, what would you say is the best part of December? Is it Christmas? Chanukah? Preparations for the end of the year? There are so many parties and celebrations in this month, but for me the best thing of all is that people seem to be more kind. There's more giving and more loving, and that is always a good thing!

Monday, December 5, 2016

snowy kindness

Have you seen your first snowfall yet this season? As I think thoughts of kindness (and of white fluffy snow), I am reminder of the words of Kahlil Gibran who said "Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers." Indeed. May we have a long snowy season, or at least one filled with kindness!

Sunday, December 4, 2016

everybody should have an equal opportunity

Next month when President Barack Obama leaves office, we will be saying goodbye to the very wise leader who said "Now, as a nation, we don't promise equal outcomes, but we were founded on the idea everybody should have an equal opportunity to succeed. No matter who you are, what you look like, where you come from, you can make it. That's an essential promise of America. Where you start should not determine where you end up."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

giving all year

It happens every December, and this year I actually heard people saying it a few weeks ago - this is the "Season of Giving." I love that so many toy collections, canned food drives, holiday donation programs, and other ways of giving spring up just about now. Giving is such a wonderful thing, even if you really can't give much. Why do we have to limit it to three of four weeks? Why not celebrate giving all year long!

Friday, December 2, 2016

happy holidays?

There are those who think saying "happy holidays," are disparaging Christmas. Perhaps they don't realize that dozens of holidays occur between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, including Saint Andrew's Day, Advent, World AIDS Day, Saint Nicholas' Day, Human Rights Day, Saint Lucia's Day, Hanukkah, Zamenhof Day, Las Posadas, Longest Night, Soyal, Festivus, HumanLight, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Anastasia of Sirmium, Newtonmas, Quaid-e-Azam's Day, Boxing Day, Kwanzaa, Saint Stephen's Day, Saint John the Evangelist's Day, Holy Innocents' Day, Watch Night, Saint Sylvester's Day, Hogmanay, Dongzhi Festival, and many more!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

you can't run from AIDS

We have love so many people to AIDS and there are still so many living with HIV. On this World AIDS Day, it's important to keep going forward and not be in denial. The wonderful Queen Latifah said "I lost relatives to AIDS. A couple of my closest cousins, favorite cousins. I lost friends to AIDS, high school friends who never even made it to their 21st birthdays in the '80s. When it's that close to you, you can't - you know, you can't really deny it, and you can't run from it."  We all need to join in the fight, until there's a cure!