Saturday, October 21, 2017

Do Re Mi

Do Re Mi is the name of the musical that gave us that song Make Someone Happy. I love that song. I love the idea of making someone happy even more. Let's start at the very beginning (that sounds like another Make Do Re Mi) - making someone happy makes me happy. Wow! It's a never-ending circle. That' the way is really should be!

Friday, October 20, 2017


She posted pictures on facebook.  They looked so good.  I jokingly commented that she should have made some for me.  She did.  About half an hour after I posted my comment, there was a knock at my door, and here was this lady with a plate of cookies for me.  So very nice, and despite my comment, it was also quite a surprise.  This is kindness!

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spirit Day

Spirit Day (no, not like the spirits we'll be thinking about on Halloween) is an annual LGBTQ awareness day observed on the third Thursday in October that was started a few years ago by Canadian teenager.  It's a time to publicly take a stand against bullying.  Of course I think it is important everyday, but on Spirit Day, Be Brave - Be Kind - Be You!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


The wonderful science fiction writer Octavia Butler, wrote some nonfiction too. She once spoke so eloquently of timing saying "Sometimes being a friend means mastering the art of timing. There is a time for silence. A time to let go and allow people to hurl themselves into their own destiny. And a time to prepare to pick up the pieces when it's all over."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Separating by color

When I was little, I remember seeing "whites only" signs and public water fountains were all labeled "colored" or "white."  I didn't understand it.  My mom said the only thing that should be separated by color is laundry.  I still see people not wanting to interact with people of different races or ethnicities and I still don't understand it.  The same with sexual orientation - why be separate?  The more we experience each other, the more we experience life!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Perfect moment

Have you ever heard someone say they are waiting for the "perfect moment?" Oh my! I hear it all the time. What a waste too. Don't wait for the "perfect moment." Take the moment and make it perfect.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Kindness guidebook

Taking a page from our kindness guidebook, how about buying an extra meal when you go into that fast food place, and give it to the homeless person you passed outside? With so much road rage, be different. When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile. Say something nice to every single person you encounter today. Volunteer at an organization that could use your help. The ideas are endless!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Funeral talk

Yesterday I was at a funeral, and although it was of course a sad occasion, it was rather pleasant to hear so many kind things being said.  I wish we shared that sort of kindness everyday.  Of course you don't expect malicious, nasty, or unkind words when folks gather to remember the dead, but it was extra nice hearing positive things said about the deceased and others, including some people who knew my mom and mentioned how much they missed her.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

More kind things to do

Take an acquaintance to dinner.  Sponsor people in fundraising walk-a-thons.  Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game.  Spend some time serving food at a meal program for the needy.  Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food.  Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier.  Share some ideas here.  There's never an end to kindness.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Come out Come out

On National Coming Out Day it should be noted that folks are urged to come out, but nobody should feel pressured into doing it.  It's a personal thing - when the time is right for you.  Nobody should have to hide though.  Everyone should be free to live their life openly and honestly.  If you feel safe, come out as gay, bisexual, transgender, lesbian, queer, supportive, questioning - whatever label works best, and be your true self.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

be aware of mental health

World Mental Health Day is a good time to remind ourselves that mental illness is no less important that physical illness.  Be aware of the changes others may be going through.  You can make a difference!  Be supportive.  Be kind.  Be compassionate. Be caring.

Monday, October 9, 2017

What can I do for you?

Some folks go through life always asking "What have you done for me?"  I much prefer thinking "What can I do for you?"  Usually I don't ask, I just look and see what might bring you a little joy, and if I can make it happen, that ends up bringing me joy too!

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Beginning another week

As we begin this second week of October, may it be a kinder and happier we than last, and may we all show more love toward one another.  We can all do great things.  We can all make a positive difference.  Let's spread joy and make the world a better place.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Watch out for the candy

Have you seen the Halloween candy?  It's still early in my opinion (although many store have had Christmas items out for weeks too!) but people are already filling up on sweets, especially all those bite size bars and the special pumpkin shapes and flavors.  Be kind to your friends and don't give them too much, especially if weight or diabetes is an issue.  Be kind to yourself too.  Maybe instead of candy we can start giving out something healthy like fruit or even exercise guidelines.

Friday, October 6, 2017

This weekend

This weekend is going to be incredible.  You believe me, right?  Think positive.  Let us all set out to be kinder than ever this weekend.  Yeah, that's the ticket!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The importance of WE

In the past few days I have heard so many people say the Las Vegas massacre happened because of this or that - lots of finger pointing all around.  The same sort of thing seems to happen with every tragedy.  "He made it happen.  It's his fault.  If he really cared, he'd do something about it."  After a few days or weeks, there is little thought of the tragedy, and that is where the problem is.  We need to keep on caring.  Together we can change attitudes and behavior and work to prevent horrors.  No one human being is responsible for all of our problems, and no one person can solve it all.  We need each other.  We should all think of "we" instead of "me."  Let's begin by simply being kind to each other.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The kindness of Francis

The first week of October is always a welcome time for me because I see so many images of Saint Francis of Assisi along with blessings of animals and commemorations of this most admired and yet least imitated of all the saints.  A kind and loving man, even non-Christians and those who aren't even religious, honor this holy man who's feast day is today.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Never give up

When we see massive deaths from natural disasters and from horrific attacks, of course we get frustrated.  When some beloved celebrities die at the same time, it's even more difficult to deal with.  We are sad and we are angry and we have so many emotions.  We must hope though for a better time ahead.  Let's all show kindness toward others who are dealing with the same difficulties, and above all, let's never give up.  We have the power to bring about change.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Ending violence and hate

In a world where this are increasing incidents of violence and hate, it is more important than ever to spread love and kindness.  The horrible incidents over this past weekend have left so many dead and wounded, not to mention the emotional scars.  We should all vow to work for a permanent end to hate and hostility, as we hold in our thoughts and prayers, all affected by the tragic attacks.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

October is

October is the tenth month of the year but was the eighth month in the old Roman calendar (January and February were inserted later).  That's why it's name means eight in Latin.   October is the month of pumpkins, witches, and candy, even though the celebration of Halloween is actually only a single day - the last day of the month.  October is also All American Breakfast Month, so begin your day with a healthy breakfast.  Oh and October is also a time when we can be more kind to those around us, but actually, that's EVERY month!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Beautiful lawns and gardens

The groundskeepers where I live do excellent work. The lawns are always exceptional and the flowers and trees so incredibly beautiful. Yesterday, one of the men was packing up tools at the end of the day and I complimented him on the way they had just changed the plants and the rocks surrounding the parking area. "Oh you're too kind." he said. Was that kindness? I was just speaking the truth. Maybe we should all do that a bit more often.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Be an angel

Thinking of angels today - the heavenly messengers.  Of course there is another kind.  Have you ever heard someone say "She is such an angel"?  Of course they mean the person is nice and kind.  We should all want to be that kind of angel.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Second year

Today I begin my second year of writing these brief daily thoughts about kindness.  Encourage me by sharing your thoughts in the comments and by sharing this blog with others.  Hopefully with me focusing on kindness, I will become a kinder person.  One can only hope!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Continuing to build the list

Every now and then, I have listed here some random acts of kindness.  Here are more:  Give toys to the children at a shelter. Volunteer to fix up an elderly couple’s home. Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person. Call an estranged family member. Leave a treat or handmade note of thanks for a delivery person or mail carrier. Mow a neighbor’s grass or sweep a neighbor’s walk.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Always adding

I can add to that list of kind acts every day. After all, there are so many ideas! Here's more: Give flowers to be delivered with meal delivery programs. Open the door for another person - yes, something that simple makes a difference. If you are able to, leave an extra-large tip for the waitperson. Sing at a nursing home. Give your full attention to someone in need and simply listen. Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving.  There are so many more ideas!

Monday, September 25, 2017

We can change

Not a very kind person?  Well it doesn't have to be that way.  I woke up this morning hearing a wonderful story of redemption and I thought about all the mean folks who became nice folks.  Yes, it happens.  Never give up.  Oh and just because you do nice things occasionally doesn't make you a nice person.  Let's never turn away from good, but always strive to be more kind.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

What was I thinking?

Did you ever sit down and start to write something, but then your mind goes blank?  What was I thinking?  Have I run out of things to say?  Is there not even one more thing to be said about kindness?  Oh my!  You know the answer of course.  There is always more to say because there is always more to do, until kindness becomes a way of life for us all!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

say it

Do you have wonderful friends?  How about your family?  Do you enjoy the people you work with?  Think about it.  When did you ever say it to them?  Compliments don't cost money because they are priceless.  You really can make someone's day too, and just using a few words.  Don't just think about how much you like someone or something they do.  Say it.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Early beginnings

It was a children's novel by Esther Forbes that first made me aware of standing up for others and trying to make a difference.  That book, Johnny Tremain, had a message that will stay with me forever.  Learning about love and kindness came earlier, largely from my mom and dad and a kind priest who always believed in me.  That is one of my guiding lights as I write this brief message each morning.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Fires, storms, and earthquakes

So any natural disasters lately and so much destruction as a result.  It's hard to see the homes that have been lost due to fires, hurricanes, and earthquakes and all of the people who are struggling through this loss, often mourning the death of friends or family at the same time.  The thing that warms my heart and gives me great home, is seeing all the people who spring into action to help in whatever way they can.  I am seeing so much love, compassion, and kindness, and that is indeed encouraging!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

It takes a village

It's often said that it takes a village to raise a child.  I agree, but I think it takes a village to do anything well.  We aren't meant to exist in isolation.  One of the kindest things a person can do is to care about neighbors, to care about family, to even care about folks we have never even known.  Let's be part of our villages and let our villages grow and flourish.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Pumpkin spice and everything nice

Don't you just love this time of year?  For a few weeks now that good old pumpkin spice has been showing up in so many things and all kinds of nice fall colors and flavors.  If you live in one of the areas where the leaves change colors this time of year, that's very nice too.  Happy surroundings breed kindness I think.  People seem to show more kindness in the fall and then during the holiday season.  Of course if I could cast a spell, I'd do an extra dose of kindness all year long!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Have any kind words?

Happy Monday!  Midway through our nineth month of the year, I am overflowing with kind thoughts, but was wondering this morning about other folks.  Do you have any kind words that you would like to share?  Kindly add them in the comments section below, so that others may benefit!  Thanks for your kindness.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Awareness of those around you

Do you think you're a kind person?  What is your level of awareness concerning those around you?  Do you see the smiles or the frowns?  When someone has tears in their eyes, do you know why?  Could it be that you are so incredibly mean that crying is their natural reaction, or are they shedding tears of joy because they think you are wonderful.  Which would you prefer?  Let's all try to be sensitive of those we come in contact with and perhaps we will become more kind.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Listing kind things

More kind acts - Call or visit a homebound person. Make telephone calls in support of equality urging others to put aside hate. Let the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line. Give toys to the children at a shelter. Say nice things randomly to social media friends. Transport someone who can’t drive. Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person. Go and sing at a nursing home. Leave an extra-large tip for the waitperson. Open the door for other people. Have a clean-up party in the park. Bring coworkers a special treat. Tell a bus or taxi driver how much you appreciate their driving.  Can you add to this list?

Friday, September 15, 2017

Conversation hearts

Remember those heart-shaped candies we see at Valentine's Day?  They're called Sweethearts or conversation hearts.  Now I know we still have five months to go before they are due, but I was just thinking of a new type, one we could use all year.  Instead of "be mine," they might say "be kind."  Sweethearts are made by the New England Confectionery Company (Necco), and we're not trying to steal their thunder, but spreading kindness is always good.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

tons of great things

Relaxing and enjoying nature is often a great time to think about all the good things that come your way.  I am so fortunate to have tons of great things in my life - not just now, but tons of great things always.  How wonderful is that?  I think that's what makes me want to share these great things.  Of course every time I share my great things, I get a whole lot more back!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Hand in Hand kindness

Such a great example of kindness was the telethon last night for hurricane relief.  The Hand in Hand event raised $76,378 so far and donations are still being accepted.  (Text “GIVE” to 80077 to donate $25 or go to to donate online).  THIS is kindness!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Building up others

Putting someone else down doesn't make you look better. Building up others will do that. When you build up someone else, you build up yourself at the same time. Oh and it actually feels good to say positive things about other people!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Prayers on 9/11

"Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us." -President George W. Bush September 11, 2001

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Just a natural

Being nice to other people - is that kindness?  Is it love?  Is it a special way of living?  For me, being nice is just a natural.  It just happens, because we care.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Kindness even toward those we dislike

Many people are of the opinion that they must never show any kindness to those with whom they disagree or those they dislike.  Nope.  We can be kind to everyone.  Let them do they negative.  We can strive to take the high road.  Sometimes it's just a matter of common courtesy, but being kind and extending a positive attitude should always be they way we operate.  Who knows?  We just might bring about change in those other people!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Oh and speaking of kindness

What can you say of being kind?  A lot!  Just look back at the daily thoughts I have posted here.  Oh and speaking of kindness, what say YOU?  Are you a kind person?  Would you like to share some thoughts about kindness with us?  Please feel free - any of you, to comment below!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

When our brothers are in trouble

The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the approach of Hurricane Irma and the wildfires, and all of the natural disasters, it is heartwarming to see people come together.  Human kindness and compassion should always be a part of who we are.  When our brothers and sisters are in trouble, so are we.  Let's always help of neighbors.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

too late

Ralph Waldo Emerson certainly had a way with words! His religious views were often considered radical during his lifetime. I can relate to so many things he said though, like this: "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."  Yes, I posted this quote before, but I really like it!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

School days

It would be right about this time of year, that I would be going back to school (way back when I was that age).  These days most schools return in late July or early August.  Summer break was fun.  People went on trips.  I was usually at a summer camp, at least for a time when school was out.  The first few days back at school were dreadful, except for a few exceptional years.  I had some very kind teachers whom I will always remember.  They taught us how to interact with others and how to always be nice in everything we do.  Going to school those years was a joy!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Let me count the ways

How many random acts of kindness can their possibly be? Let me count the ways. When a new business opens in town, drop of a plant or fresh flowers to welcome them. You can do the same thing when a new family moves into your neighborhood. Donate blood. Volunteer to be a tutor in a school or perhaps at the local library. Let the shopper behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line. Say nice things randomly to folks on facebook or twitter. Smile. Cheerfully greet those you come in contact with. Oh my! There are so many ways.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kindness makes me happy

Kindness makes me happy - all of it.  I love when people are kind to me of course, but I love being kind and doing kind things and I love seeing others do kind acts to their families and their friends.  I love seeing kindness toward animals too.  One of the most satisfying things in the whole world is kindness!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Kindness in giving

Ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi told us "Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love."

Friday, September 1, 2017

How about you

How about you? I keep listing random acts of kindness here, but what about you? Please always feel free to add ideas in the comments section below or to just tell us a story about kindness. There are so many wonderful heartwarming stories out there, and sharing is caring!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Hold the door

Remember when folks always opened a door for a woman?  How about when people see someone else coming and keep the door open for you?  Remember?  It doesn't seem to happen as much as it once did.  Something as simple as holding the door open can make someone's day.  Such an easy kind act!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A smile from Christie

Model Christie Brinkley knows a thing or two about smiling, so when you said "Share your smile with the world. It's a symbol of friendship and peace," you know that she knows that to be true!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Such an outpouring

Kindness comes in so many colors and in the past few days I have seen more that usual, with so much directed toward me.  There has been such an outpouring of love and caring that I am truly overwhelmed.  I received birthday greetings from a few folks I seldom see or hear from, there was a card from the management company that owns the property where I live, relatives and friends sent well-wishes, and I even had some kind thoughts from a waiter when he found out it was my birthday.  Wonderful it was and I am so grateful.  It is my wish that everyone be able to experience that kind of love and kindness!

Monday, August 28, 2017


It's my birthday, but as much as I love a good party, I have never really liked to focus on myself, not even for a day.  I write a blog called "It's NOT about me," focusing on those heroes who make a difference in the world.  Even today isn't really about me.  My mom and dad, with the help of God, were the ones who made it all happen.  Every years as I celebrate, I think first of my parents, especially Mom, and all they gave me.  They were such kind and loving people.  That is something to celebrate!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Phone a friend

Call a friend out of the blue or call your grandparents, or an uncle, or perhaps a distant cousin. Come to think of it, call anyone you don't normally call.  You'd be surprised how good it can make someone feel to know that someone is thinking about them.  It doesn't have to be a long call (in fact it is good if you are very conscious of whether you are really connecting or if you are interrupting).  I know I love getting calls from folks I seldom hear from.  I'm sure you have people like that in your life.  Call them!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

question from a philosopher

Here's a question for you this morning from the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau:  "What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"  You're welcome to mull that around today, but I'm sure you will find there is none.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Tiny ripples

The late Robert F Kennedy was a hero to me.  He said so many encouraging things. This morning I am thinking about when he spoke of tiny ripples, saying  "Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Size doesn't matter

There are those who think that when you speak of kindness, you are referring to some huge lavish extravagant action, but that really isn't the case.  Size doesn't matter at all.  In fact it's the little things that mean so very much - the smile or the nod hello.  The daily niceties of life are the foundation of kindness.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017


For many people, kindness is automatic.  Unfortunately though there are some who have never done anything we would think of as kind.  That can change though.  It's really quite easy.  The more good you do, the easier it is, and before you know it, it can become automatic for you too.  Think about how wonderful you can make someone feel.  Think about the smile they'll give you!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

It's super, man!

Look, Up in the Sky!  No, it's not Superman.  Yesterday though it was an eclipse, and that was pretty super, man!  I was noticing too how it brought us all together - amazing! We were united.  We were all looking in the same direction.  I didn't hear any arguing at all.  It was really quite wonderful.  The eclipse may have united the country for a few hours, but it also proved that we can be united.  So what else can bring us together?  Kindness.  Really.  I think if we all tried to be more kind, the whole country could really rally around that!

Monday, August 21, 2017

The kindness of cooking

Cooking a meal for someone is such a kind thing!  TV chef Julia Child once said "I think careful cooking is love, don't you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who's close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give."

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Something to look forward to

Do you have things you look forward to?  Every December, as Christmas draws near, I look forward to the holiday celebrations.  My birthday is coming up later this month, and I always look forward to that.  One of the big things I look forward to every single day is seeing friends and neighbors, chatting with strangers, seeing smiles and acts of kindness.  I will never tire of seeing people do nice things for each other.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Who's ugly?

The world might judge people by the color of their hair, the way they dress, or even how cute their smile is, but the important beauty is found inside.  Some of the most incredibly beautiful people in the world, are folks that others may call ugly.  I like to look beyond that first image and see how someone lives their life - are they nice?  are they kind?  do they care about others?  THAT is where the true beauty is!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Receiving compliments

Raising funds for a large charity, I was very pleased last night to receive a large donation from someone I have known for many years, but when I saw that on my fundraising page he had written that I have "always had a big heart," it made my day.  The money was certainly great, but oh those words!  We don't go through life looking for compliments, but when they receive them it is such a beautiful tonic.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

keep those cards and letters coming

How often do you receive mail?  I don't mean email or texts, but actual physical paper inside an envelope that is delivered by the Postal Service right to your door.  Folks don't do it nearly as much as they used to, and that's a shame.  It's such a kind thing to let someone know you are thinking of them and it's so nice to open a card from a friend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

That kind man back home

There's a man back home whom I met after I had moved away from there.  During a few visits back there I've had an opportunity to chat with him a little, but certainly don't know him well.  I know he is very kind though.  I know he makes a huge difference in my life.  Yesterday I was chatting with someone who also knows him, but not well, and the first thing he said was "he is such a kind man."  What a wonderful way to be known!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The sleeping giant

With all the problems in the world, the past few days have also been quite wonderful.  As we hear more and more about hate groups, I'm also seeing people stand up and show great energy and determination in fighting hatred.  There are times when you think that nobody cares, but this week it is as if a sleeping giant has just woken up.  I'm seeing so many rise up with love and kindness and take a stand against hate.  Yes, it's about time, but it's so wonderful!

Monday, August 14, 2017

In troubled times

Racial tensions, fear of war, drug addiction, a slowed-down economy - so many things in the news that give us fear.  In troubled times it is even more important to be kind to one another.  Let's reach out and show love to others - even those strangers we have never even met.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

No place for hate

The hate and violence in various places these past few days is quite discouraging.  I don't even understand the concept.  Love and kindness is so much more positive.  There is always room for more positive attitudes, and as far as I am concerned, there really is no place for hate.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

What we need is love

We can remove statues and symbols all day long, but it's the hate in people's hearts that needs to be removed.  We need to share love and kindness.  We need to put aside violence and destruction.  Hate is never a value we should be embracing.  What we need is love.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

lazy day

National Lazy Day?  Really?  I can't believe there would be such an observance, but that's what it says on the calendar!  Seriously.  Now I don't mean to be unkind, but aren't there already enough lazy folks out there?  How about if we turn it around.  Let's do more today, instead of less - especially when looking at of being kind.  Let's all be more kind today than ever!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Kindness can change the world

In my opinion, kindness can change the world, and so I not only want to be a kind person myself, but I want to urge others to be kind as well.  Have you ever heard anyone complain about a kind act?  Kindness is always looked upon with positive feelings.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


Doing laundry can be expensive. Buying a bottle of water from a machine is ridiculously costly. Actually any coin-operated machine will likely cost more than you would expect. Surprise others by springing for their wash or beverage or other automated expense. Leave a few quarters near the coin slot of washers, dryers, or other machines, or collect a number of quarters in a plastic sandwich bag and leave it with a "this one is on me" note.  Quarters can make someone's day!

Monday, August 7, 2017


Mother Teresa was such a kind person, such a joyful person, such a loving person - it's no wonder she has been declared a saint.  She once said "Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls."

Sunday, August 6, 2017

brand new week

It's a brand new week filled with brand new opportunities. May your week be filled with good thoughts, kind people, and happy moments!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Kind or not

Being kind isn't something most people stop and thing about.  Should I be kind today or not?  Nobody should ever want to choose not being kind!  Of course we are all human and from time to time we do things without thinking.  That's why I suppose thinking about kindness can be a very good thing.  We can remind ourselves of the rewards that come from being kind to others and when others are kind to us.

Friday, August 4, 2017

There are allways more ideas

Many times I have listed various acts of kindness here, and there are always more ideas.  Pretty cool huh?  Something we will never run out of! Here's some more ideas: Let the person behind you in the grocery store go ahead of you in line. Invite someone new for dinner, either in your home or in a restaurant. Say nice things randomly to social media friends. Buy some bottles of water and randomly hand them out to strangers on the street. Drop off a plant or a plate of cookies to your nearby police or fire station. Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings. Buy a stranger a free pizza. What ideas can you add?

Thursday, August 3, 2017

We can top that

When we were younger, most of us had a competitive spirit.  We wanted to win at sports or academia or maybe something as silly as who can eat the most hot dogs.  There is certainly nothing wrong with trying to improve and do better.  How about it we worked on being kinder?  Yesterday I think I was a kind person, but I can top that.  I can do better.  We all can.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


Can you bake a cherry pie?  How about an apple one?  How about baking one for someone else - or maybe some bread or cake?  One of the kindest things you can do is to give a nice freshly baked item to someone.  Yum!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

favorite month

August has always been my favorite month.  Part of that might be because my birthday comes late in August.  Maybe because where I have lived most of my life, it's the loveliest time of the year.  Over the years though I have grown to like pretty much anytime, even grey and dull February.  I suppose my favorite month has become whatever month we are in!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Lincoln words

The sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln said some terribly inspiring things like "I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives.  I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him."  Lincoln also said "I dream of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth."

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gorgeous days

Where I live there is so much natural beauty all around me.  Personally I think there is beauty wherever you may be - sometimes you just have to look in a different manner.  During this especially gorgeous days of summer, it's especially easy to show kindness.  The beauty of the earth just makes you want to give back more!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The store clerk

Walking through a department store in a nearby city (the small town where I live has no department stores), I was having a great time browsing.  As I was leaving, I spoke to a clerk near the doors and said I had enjoyed my trip through the store, even though I hadn't bought anything, but now just had to get some coffee.  She smiled, waved, and said "Get some for me too."  I did.  Why not?  It only cost a few bucks more and you should have seen the look on her face.  Her request hadn't been serious - neither of us had even seen the other before.  Her genuine surprise and her joy at receiving that simple cup of coffee, made my day!

Friday, July 28, 2017

ten months ago

Ten months ago I began writing these daily thoughts about kindness and I am so glad I did.  What a nice exercise this is for me each morning, and thinking about kindness and writing about it, just might make me more kind myself!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Discrimination is NOT kind

I will never understand discrimination in any form.  When I was little I remember the separate drinking fountains labeled "whites" and "colored."  I remember when guys with long hair were thought to be bad.  Oh yeah and there was the looks people gave when they encountered two people of different races together.  Banning gays in the military went on way too long and now apparently we are reintroducing a transgender ban.  Why?  I don't get it.  This is one of the most unkind things I can think of.  How can you ban an entire group of people?

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


After a medical incident this week, I haven't really felt much like going anywhere.  Yesterday, there was a knock at the door, and a dear friend was standing there with a gallon of milk and several bags of groceries with meat, bread, eggs, soup, and more - a gift from he and his wife because they "thought it would be helpful."  Indeed.  Of course I stood there crying for several minutes.  It's east to write about being kind, but for me it's a bit more difficult to welcome the kindness from others.  I am truly grateful though.  Such a very thoughtful thing to do!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

So rewarding

You know I agree with the young singer Mary Lambert when she said "Treat others as you wish to be treated. Don't just be nice, but be kind to other people. That can be so rewarding."  Rewarding indeed!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Up on Crumhorn Mountain

I was thinking this morning of a Boy Scout Camp nearly a century old, on Crumhorn Mountain in Upstate New York.  As a scout, I spent a lot of time there.  I learned about nature and about kindness and about how to get along with others.  The scouts back then did a lot of good things, but they excluded a lot of kids too.  I think they have improved.  I think they have finally learned more about kindness.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Great memories from seniors

I often wish I'd spend more time with Grandpa. Nana and I did things together, and she lived much longer and was quite active.  Senior citizens are often alone, but have so much to share. Nana got out and kept busy, but that's not true of many as they get older.  A day in a retirement community can be very rewarding, and can brighten the day for them.  I like chatting with elders and asking them to share memories - how has the world changed during your life? can you remember your first date? Sharing memories helps both us and them stay connected.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Universal Kindness Day

July 22nd - Universal Kindness Day!  Actually I just made that up, but I will certainly keep trying.  After all, I think every single day should be Universal Kindness Day, don't you?

Friday, July 21, 2017


Another celebrity took their own life yesterday.  We hear about the famous people, but not the stranger across town who commits suicide.  It happens every day and it is sad no matter who it is.  The answers are complicated, but one thing I have seen in the past 24 hours is people saying "I am here if you need me.  Please reach out."  The presence of people who care - people who will listen, can make a huge difference.  As I said, the answers can be complicated but a good place to start is the kind and caring folks who reach out.  I'm so grateful there are people like this in the world!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

special kind things to do

Kindness is something we do all the time, but some special kind acts?  Here's a few ideas:  Send dessert to another table when eating out.  Donate your old eyeglasses so someone else can use them.  Help a parent with their baby stroller.  Talk to the shy person who's sitting by themselves at a party.  Help someone with heavy packages.  Let the other person have the parking space, even if you arrived first.  Other ideas?

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

thorn bushes have roses

Abraham Lincoln once said "We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."   What a great way of looking at things!  I love a positive attitude, don't you? 

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Kindly share this

Do you enjoy reading this brief thoughts every day?  Perhaps you have some thoughts of your own regarding kindness.  Do feel free to share your comments below and kindly share this blog with your friends on social media and via text or email.  Thanks!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Monday

So many people dislike Mondays because it is often the return to work after two days off (or for some, the return to school classes), but why should that be a bad thing?  If we work at something we enjoy, every single day can be positive.  Be kind to the calendar and be kind to yourself, and of course be kind to others.  Monday can be just as wonderful as any day!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thankful for the givers

Today is the 30th AIDS Walk San Francisco, a 10k fundraising walk to fight the epidemic.  While HIV/AIDS is still touching millions of people, the kindness of so many cannot be ignored, and I am thinking of all who have sponsored me over the years in this walk and of all the other walkers and all the people making a difference.  So many giving people, and I am thankful.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Angels working through us

Actress Roma Downey, who once played an angel on television, once said "I think we all do have a guardian angel. I believe they work through us all the time, when we are thoughtful and good and kind to each other."

Friday, July 14, 2017

Good everywhere

I think the luckiest people are the ones who can see the good in everything, and in everyone.  Yes there is good everywhere.  Sometimes we just need to believe.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Watch it grow

How many people do you encounter in the space of one day?  If you show kindness toward each and every one of them, and they in turn show kindness towards each other, that's a lot of kindness!  People who might never have been kind in the past, suddenly are showing kindness too, as the entire world grows more kind.  Watch it grow!  Be a part of it!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Grateful fo have known him

Sometimes the minute you meet someone, you realize they are special and they are going to make a difference in your life.  Years ago I met such a person, who was always a kind and gentle soul.  Yesterday he passed away.  I'll certainly miss his quiet loving nature, but I am grateful to have known him.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

And the list continues

More kind things we can do: Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby. Draw names at work or school and have people bring a small gift or treat for their secret pal. Say something nice to everyone you meet today. Volunteer at an organization that needs help. Go through your closets and find several nice items and then donate them to a shelter. And the list continues - it really has no end because kindness has no end! Please know that you are always welcome to add to this list and to share with us your thoughts about kindness in the comments section below.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Yup, there's more

For the past few days I have been listing random acts of kindness, and here are still more: Tell your boss that you think s/he does a good job. Have a clean-up party in the park. Give blood. Pay for the meal of the person behind you in the drive-through. Call or visit a homebound person. Pay a compliment at least once a day. Transport someone who can’t drive. Make telephone calls in support of equality urging others to put aside hate. There are so many more ideas!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Still more ideas

Here are still more random acts of kindness.  Tell your parents or your children why you love them.  Make a point of finding the name of a supermarket or drugstore employee and then praise him or her through that company’s corporate office.  As you go about your day, pick up trash.  When drivers try to merge into your lane, let them in with a wave and a smile.  Yesterday I mentioned that some kind acts cost money, but each of these things here don't cost us a penny!  Are there more?  You bet!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Even more ideas

The list we began here keeps growing.  Here's some more ideas:  Deliver fresh-baked cookies to city workers.  Buy cold drinks for the people next to you at a ball game.  Spend some time serving food at a meal program for the needy.  Give a pair of tickets to a concert or baseball game to a stranger.  Send a gift anonymously to a friend.  Pay for the person behind you in the movie line.  Yes, some of the suggestions I have made require money, but that's part of what makes them so kind.

Friday, July 7, 2017

More ideas

Yesterday I suggested some random acts of kindness we might all think about doing, and there are so many more!  We could invite an acquaintance to dinner, sponsor people in fundraising walk-a-thons, volunteer to be a tutor in a school, remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants, and food, and volunteer to read to kids in the library.  We'd love to hear your ideas too!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

A few ideas

So speaking of kindness, what are a few things we can each do to get the ball rolling, if we are not already kind people? Well there area lot of random acts, and for the next few days, I'll try to think of a few. On your way to do the shopping, you could give another driver your parking spot. How about just a nice cheery greeting to each person you encounter during your day? Those are both pretty easy. Donate time at a senior center. The gift of time is so appreciated! Maybe you have some ideas. Please share them in the comments section below!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Holiday confusion

It seems that whenever there is a holiday in the week, I get confused about what day it is.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  Already this morning I read something referring to today as Monday when in fact it's Wednesday.  Oh my!  All the more reason we need kindness in our world.  When I make that error, please don't yell or call me a fool.  Gently correct my mistake and realize that I am probably not alone.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Thoughts of the Fourth

My favorite day of the year is Independence Day.  I actually can relate to the Declaration of Independence and the birth of our country - growing up in Upstate New York, I had a chance to visit a lot of the historic sites.  I also happen to love patriotic music and fireworks.  Nearly every year I go out to see some of the pyrotechnics (or watch it on tv) and spend much of every Fourth of July thinking of the wonderful potential our country has.

Monday, July 3, 2017


I saw an internet listing for children's books that tell about kindness.  How wonderful!  The earlier we know about being kind, the better.  It isn't a difficult thing - you might say it's childsplay.  Being kind is something we should never outgrow too.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sunday Kindness

On Sundays folks are generally out of school and more often than other days, are also off from work.  That would seem to me like more opportunities for doing kind things.  As this Sunday unfolds, just how many people will smile at your kindness?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Thirty one days

I love it every time a new month begins!  July first doesn't mean that summer is half over - it means another new beginning is here, and it means we have another thirty-one days during which we can share love and kindness with all the other humans on this planet.  Wow!  Such a beautiful thing:  more time!

Thursday, June 29, 2017


Yesterday was wonderful.  (I try to make every day wonderful, but yesterday was extra special).  Some people are so filled with love and kindness that it shines forth in all that they do, and spending an hour with such a person yesterday was really wonderful.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kindness never dies

June 28 will always be a special day to me.  My dear friend was born 44 years ago on this date.  He was one of the most thoughtful and kindest people I ever met.  Even though he passed away two years ago, the love and the kindness live on in my memory.  Kindness never dies.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Relax and be kind

Recreation,  travel, and vacationing are all big at this time of year.  School is out for most folks and families tend to do more things together.  Hey, how about a family kindness project?  Sound good?  Even if we are all alone, now is a great time to relax, reduce the stress in our lives, and maybe reduce the stress that others have too.  There is never a bad time to be kind to others, so let's all have fun, enjoy this time of year, relax, and be kind!

Monday, June 26, 2017

This glorious summer

Flowers, birds, blue skies, all kinds of wonderful - it is a glorious summer for me!  How kind of nature to give us such a gift.  We must repay by treasuring her beauty and not littering or otherwise abusing all this great earth gives us.  If he treat our world right, we can have glorious summers for many years to come!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

And love is love is love is love is love

On this day when many lgbtq Pride Parades and Celebrations take place at various cities around the globe, we still have so much work to do to make this a kinder world.  But I'm encouraged when I think of the words spoken by Lin-Manuel Miranda in June of last year when he was awarded a Tony Award:  "This show is proof that history remembers. We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger. We rise and fall and light from dying embers, remembrances that hope and love last longer. And love is love is love is love is love is love is love, and love cannot be killed or swept aside. I sing Vanessa's symphony, Eliza tells her story, now fill the world with music, love, and pride."

Saturday, June 24, 2017

testify to love

Songwriters Paul Field, Henk Pool, Robert Riekerk, and Ralph Van Mennen hit a home run when they wrote Testify to Love.  On what is LGBTQ Pride Weekend in many places, I'm thinking of the incredible lyrics of that song:  "For as long as I shall live I will testify to love.  I'll be a witness in the silence Says the words are not enough.  With every breath I take I will give thanks to God above.  For as long as I shall live I will testify to love."

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Kinder than yesterday

Am I a kinder person than I was yesterday?  Do I show more warmth and affection toward others? Am I unselfish?  Is there love and consideration in my behavior?  How thoughtful am I?  None of us is perfect of course, but I try each day to be kind toward everyone - not always the easiest of tasks!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Like stepping on to the surface of the sun

It's 99° where I live, and it's only 7am.  I keep hearing about other really hot cities.  In Phoenix I'm told it was 122° yesterday!  I told someone that is like stepping on to the surface of the sun!  On hot days like these, kindness is more and more important.  People are not comfortable, so help them with a pleasant attitude.  Stay hydrated.  You might want to carry an extra bottle or two of water to share with others.  Don't forget the animals too.  They won't be liking this heat either!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The kindest of all

I was just trying to think of the kindest thing anyone ever did for me.  I'm fortunate to have so many kind people in my life, it may take me a while to come up with the kindest of all.  Actually that inspires me to think up more ways to be kind!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Is kindness something we learn?

Did someone teach you to be kind? Did you observe your grandmother or your mom, or perhaps a teacher and learn from seeing them, or did you become a kind and thoughtful person all on your own? I wonder, just how much is nature and how much is nurture?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

How can we become more kind?

Want to become a more kind person? Perhaps you can begin with some of these ideas. Stop by a nursing home, and visit a resident with no family nearby. Go through your closets and find several nice items and then donate them to a shelter. Volunteer to be a tutor in a school. Tell your children (or your parents) why you love them. Spend some time serving food at a meal program for the needy. Take an acquaintance to dinner. Sponsor people in fundraising walk-a-thons. Pay a compliment at least once a day. The possibilities are endless.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Make the best of it

Yesterday I saw a wonderful and inspiring sign.  It said "The happiest people don't have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything."  Indeed.

Friday, June 16, 2017

No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!

"No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!"  Remember that?  Was your teacher really giving you a dirty look?  I'll bet you're sorry you even thought that.  Hey with summer upon us and no school for many (yes, I know there is summer school and year-round school), I'd like to think about all those teachers who make a difference.  Be kind to those who instruct.  It's not an easy job!  I'm grateful for all my teachers from years ago and especially Lou Ella Gridley and Letha Sines.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

You know what else is kind?

Sometimes out of the blue, someone will do something that just warms your heart.  It's easy to talk about kindness and those various things we do for each other, but you know what else is kind?  Simple concern.  The other day I got a phone call from someone who just wanted to be sure I was okay.  She said that she hadn't seen or heard from me in awhile, and was concerned.  What a kind an loving thing to do!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Don't change

Remember that being kind also means being kind to YOU.  Don't change yourself for other people. Let them accept you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

always possible

They tell me the Dalai Lama once said "Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible."  Listen to the Dalai Lama.  He speaks the truth.

Monday, June 12, 2017

No hate

On June 12, 2016, a man pulled out a gun and killed 49 people and wounded 58 others in a hate crime inside Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It was the deadliest act of violence against LGBT people in US history. It was not the last. LGBT people face hate and violence every day. In some parts of the world, it is even worse. We must remember the massacre in Orlando, but we must also insure that these incidents don't keep repeating. We need to turn to kindness and love and we need to end the hate.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Equality for Unity and Pride

The late San Francisco Supervisor said "It takes no compromise to give people their rights. . .it takes no money to respect the individual.  It takes no political deal to give people freedom.  It takes no survey to remove repression."  During today's Equality March for Unity and Pride, I'll be thinking about Harvey's words.  Someday I hope true equality is a reality.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

losing happiness

Remember the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, who said "For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness."  Indeed.

Friday, June 9, 2017

all things can be mended

After some tough days, I was trying to think of something encouraging and most of my words seemed a bit short.  Then I was reminded of some marvelous words from L.R. Knost,  She gets right to it saying "Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.  All things break.  And all things ... can be mended.  Not with time, as they say, but with intention.  So go.  Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Sizzling kindness

When it's really hot outside, it can me easier to get frustrated and even lose your temper, but a kind smile can help.  On those sizzling days of summer, it's more important than ever to be kind to each other.  Pop a few bottles of water in the freezer, and take them with you are you go about your day.  Most folks will be delighted it you give them one of these bottles, with the water still nice and cold!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Spreading it

Someone thanked me for spreading kindness.  Do I do that?  I just try to encourage the behavior that I would like to encounter, and yes, I love it when folks are kind to me.  If we all like it, we can all do it too, and the spreading is very easy.  Being kind just comes naturally!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

It's free

How much will they charge you to be kind?  Absolutely nothing!  It's free.  Hold that door wide open for the person approaching behind you.  Pay your coworker a compliment.  Share that smile with folks on the street.  There are so many ways to be kind to others, and it doesn't have to cost you a thing!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Compliments are great

Yesterday I met someone for the first time and it began with a compliment.  Now compliments are always great, especially when they are sincere and from the heart.  One more compliment though that he won't even hear:  this was the kindest and most productive experience I have had in a very long time!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Kumbaya and Imagine?

Just a couple of weeks ago, concert-goers were killed and others wounded, and last night another night of terror in England with more deaths and many injuries.  When will this end?  I'm not saying we can wave a magic wand or that we should all sing Kumbaya and Imagine and all will be well, but surely we can return love and kindness to this world and get rid of all the hate.  I really believe that.  Let's work on it.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Why so quiet?

So many kind readers out there in cyberspace (a counter tells me when someone clicks on this blog.  It doesn't say who and it certainly doesn't know if you actually read these words, but I would guess that most who come here, actually read what I have written), but everyone is silent.  Oh my!  Please feel free to add your thoughts about kindness below!

Friday, June 2, 2017


Be kind.   (It's really quite simple.  The message doesn't have to be complex.  We don't have to spend hours thinking about it.  Why would anyone not want to be a good kind person?  It just doesn't make sense.   And so, this very simple message).   Be kind.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

President Obama's lgbt messages

During his inaugural address January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama said "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well."  I should also point out that during all eight years in office, President Obama issued proclamations naming June as LGBT Pride Month.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

kindness poem

This is a kindness poem we used to recite in grade school. Does anyone else remember it?
Kind hearts are the gardens,
 Kind thoughts are the roots,
 Kind words are the blossoms,
 Kind deeds are the fruits.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Say the secret word

How fortunate I am to have enjoyed so much of the work of Groucho Marx. From his films and tv appearances, must folks think of him as a very funny man, but he was also very wise. Said he: “I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

Monday, May 29, 2017

what you can do for your country

May 29, 2017 is Memorial Day, a federal holiday here in the United States on which we remember the women and men who died while serving in our country's armed forces, and it is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Fitzgerald Kennedy. How appropriate that the two should fall on the same day. When I think of service to our country, I can't help think of Kennedy's stirring words "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country."

Sunday, May 28, 2017

That breakfast surprise

Two friends that I seldom see, asked if I might want to meet them for coffee yesterday morning.  Wonderful!  I love chatting with friends over a nice hot cup of joe.  We all arrived at just about the same time, and planning on just getting a tall dark roast drip coffee, I waited behind them as they ordered.  One said "Have you ever had the breakfast bagels here?  The sausage ones are especially good."  Good idea!  "I think I'll get one with my coffee," I replied.  They stepped away from the cash register and I stepped up, ordering my drink and food.  "Oh they already ordered (and paid) for you," the cashier said.  Nice conversation followed, as I had anticipated, but they having paid for me was a kind a lovely surprise.

Saturday, May 27, 2017


We always remember the good stuff, right?  I can remember those wonderful moments when folks did really kind things for me, and I also remember when I witnessed their kind acts toward others.  You know what?  I can also remember the reaction to things I have done for others.  it might have given them joy, but I think it gave me even greater joy seeing their happiness.  That is truly unforgettable.

Friday, May 26, 2017

If we ALL try

Fighting just about every day somewhere in this world, and so much loss of life this week, including a bomb set off at a Manchester concert killing 22 people including many youngsters and an attack on Coptic Christians early this morning in Egypt has killed at least 23.  Why?  Has our world become evil?  Have love and kindness disappeared?  I hope not!  I really think if we try, we can make this a better world.  I really think if we try - if we ALL try, we can spread good instead of evil.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

We must do

The actor and martial artist Bruce Lee, was also a poet and philosopher.  One of the most profound things Lee is known to have said is "Knowing is not enough; We must apply. Willing is not enough; We must do."

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Fortune question

Someone asked me about the fortune that is displayed next to the messages here each day.  I thought I had mentioned it before, but it actually came inside a fortune cookie about the time I began writing this.  The simple message "From now on your kindness will lead to success," seems like a good moto to me!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Danger at a concert

So much hate and so much negativity seems to be all around.  For as simple a thing as attending an Ariana Grande concert to be considered dangerous - to be risking your life, is very hard for me to even comprehend.  Where did the love go?  Have we stopped caring about others?  Have we forgotten how to be kind and caring?  Please tell me I am wrong.  Please tell me that the world is going to return to a safe and loving place.

Monday, May 22, 2017

you have to give them hope

"The only thing they have to look forward to is hope. And you have to give them hope. Hope for a better world, hope for a better tomorrow, hope for a better place to come to if the pressures at home are too great. Hope that all will be all right. Without hope, not only gays, but the blacks, the seniors, the handicapped, the us'es, the us'es will give up." -Harvey Milk, 1978

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Henry James on kindness

Novelist Henry James said (to his nephew Billy James) "Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind."  I certainly agree! 

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Thinking about changing your personality or your hair color or how you occupy your time?  Why?  Are you making a change for YOU?  If you are doing it for others, think about that hard and long before doing it.  Seriously.  Don't change so that people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love for who you really are.  Sometimes the only change that is necessary, is someone's point of view.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Life is worth living

With several celebrity suicides in the news recently I was thinking about the importance of suicide prevention, and also kindness toward the vulnerable and to those who survive.  I was just reading about a Utah woman, who after losing her husband to suicide,  has been surviving his death through the kindness that has been shown to her family.  Kindness makes a difference.  The word needs to be spread that life is worth living and that things can be better, especially when others care about you.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

role models

Basketball superstar Jeremy Lin is someone I always find inspiring. Lin said "I think right now the way society's going, I think role models are important, and kids need direction. If I didn't have that direction growing up, who knows what I could be doing, because I've been lost many times in my life, and I've had to have someone guide me back on the right path."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Ending Homophobia and Transphobia

This International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which is held on May 17 every year, is a day I wish weren't necessary, but as long as there is hate and prejudice and inequality, today, and other days like this must continue so that folks can get together and reach out to one another, and with kindness and love put an end once and for all to homophobia and transphobia.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It just takes one

One kind word can make someone's day!  (Of course one mean word can ruin the day).  Think about it.  We're not talking about spending a lot of money, or requiring a lot of time, or even putting in great effort.  It is so very simple.  It just takes one - just one kind word, and you can bring happiness to someone else.

Monday, May 15, 2017

letting go of our need to be right

Author and meditation expert Sharon Salzberg once wrote "Sometimes kindness takes the form of stepping aside, letting go of our need to be right, and just being happy for someone."  Indeed.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The quick and the dead

I have a friend who reminds folks at every Mother's Day to remember their moms, be she among the quick or the dead.  Indeed.  Think too about those friends of yours who have lost a parent during the previous few years, and be there for them.  The first few Mother's Days can be tough when mom isn't around anymore.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Another be good to mommy day

Personally I'd rather show my mom that I love her every day! On the old Captain Kangaroo tv show, they used to sing a song called "It's another be good to mommy day."  I agree!   I don't need a special holiday to appreciate my mom!  The same is true with grandmothers, aunts, and even folks who are like a mother to you. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Kind bars

You have probably heard of kind bars.  They are healthy snacks - energy bars, and have become quite popular.  I'm not promoting them (although I should - they not only taste good, but are good for you), but a funny image just popped into my head.  Instead of thinking of a supplemental bar containing cereals, nuts and such, I was picturing that type of bar where folks go for a cocktail, but instead of libations the bartenders dispense kindness and various ways.  Oh wait!  That might describe this blog.  WE are a kind bar!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lots of sweetness

Too much Candy Crush for me lately!  Really.  I seem to have become sweeter than ever.  I know I shouldn't be patting myself on the back, but I just seem so incredibly happy, and each day is happier!  (I wonder what will happen when Candy Crush becomes a tv show with Mario Lopez.  Everybody will have the sweetness then)!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Kinds of Kind

I can kinda think of many kinds of kind - can you?  Haha!  Yes, I know, kindness is a way of life - a showing of care and concern for others, and yes, there are many "kinds" or ways to do this.  In fact, I think the ways are never-ending!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

In appreciation of all those teachers

Letha Sines is someone I will never forget.  She was my sixth grade teacher and gave us so much!  My aunt, who later became a teacher also, was a student of Miss Sines too.  Even my sister had the great experience of this wonderful teacher, although by her year in sixth grade, she had become Mrs Letha Munson.  I fondly remember Lou Ella Gridley who taught me in fifth grade too, and Mrs Doyle from the fourth grade.  I appreciate them all, and my numerous friends and relatives who went into teaching.  Such a giving profession!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Your thoughts

If you read this every day, you know that I always have something different to say about kindness, but there is so much more that what I might share here.  Would you be so kind as to share your thoughts with us as well?  I'd love to hear some other ideas!  Using the comments section below, write whatever seems to fit relating to being kind.  Thanks for sharing!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Happiness and success

I believe it was Albert Schweitzer who said "Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success." I was just thinking about that. How happy are you?  How successful are you?

Saturday, May 6, 2017

With the Mayor

I was at a morning gathering yesterday, with the Mayor of the small town where I am currently living.  Sometimes political events can be difficult.  This one was the opposite.  Everyone was kind and courteous to the others and our conversation was always positive.  Perhaps we should have made a diagram for others to follow!

Friday, May 5, 2017

There's something to be said for spontaneity

We can plan all sorts of things to show kindness  to others, but sometimes the best acts of all are ones we don't plan ahead of time.  There's something to be said for spontaneity - let the moment guide you.  Of course that is much easier when you are always someone who does nice things for others!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Whole heart

"Life is going to give you just what you put into it. Put your whole heart in everything you do."
-words of Vivian Baxter

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Special appreciation days

Mother's Day is coming this month and Father's Day next month.  Have you ever thought about Creating extra holidays to celebrate your parents?  You could include grandparents too, along with aunts and uncles and maybe even close friends.  Do a "Nana Appreciation Day" or a "My dad is special Day." It can be as simple as declaring the date of your special holiday and perhaps creating a nice sign or writing a note of thanks.  You can enlist other family members to join you.  Design some "coupons" to give our for an extra special hug or unlimited kisses.  Get creative and truly make someone's day.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Are they stars?

Look up into the sky, and think about this wonderful Eskimo Proverb: “Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.”

Monday, May 1, 2017

The May Pole

I remember back when I was little (perhaps a kinder and gentler time) when we danced around a Maypole on the first day of May. Poet Jonathan Swift describes a Maypole this way:
Deprived of root, and branch, and rind,
Yet flowers I bear of every kind:
And such is my prolific power,
They bloom in less than half an hour;

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Puppy Episode

It was twenty years ago today that "The Puppy Episode" of Ellen aired on abc-tv.  It's amazing how much better things have gotten, and it was nice on Friday seeing the kindness shown to Ellen DeGeneres, who not only came out on that program, but also in real life on Oprah Winfrey's talk show.  It is sad though that DeGeneres and episode guest star Laura Dern both faced career backlash for this sitcom moment.  It changed lives though and some say it saved lives.  Still a ways to go.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

be careful with your words

Something to think about:  a  tongue has no bones, yet it is strong enough to break a heart. Be careful with your words.

Friday, April 28, 2017

The niceness

I remember when I was little seeing the niceness of the spring plants poking up through the snow.  I remember the hyacinth plants that I loved for both their beauty and that wonderful smell.  I remember how nice the changing of the seasons made folks feel.  That was when I was little in Upstate New York.  I don't seem to see the niceness as much anymore.  Why is that?

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The driver on the bus

I suppose the bus driver didn't see me because she kept on going.  I waved and yelled, but it didn't do any good - for her, but another driver, going the other direction.  He pulled around, let me board and wouldn't let me pay.  He then proceeded directly to my door (he knew where I lived because he sometimes drove that other route), before resuming his schedule.  He might have gotten a tad behind, although I am sure he was able to make it up.  He also did one of the kindest things I can imagine, and it made my day!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

An exercise for kindness

On Sunday I was thinking about those food drives and saying the should be done all the time (some places actually do) and on Monday I was thinking of all those many random acts of kindness.  Writing this each morning helps me start my day by specifically thinking about being kind.  It seems and exercise in kindness can also be an exercise for kindness.  You can help too by sharing other ideas about how to be kind!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Thinking of Saint Mark

Some churches celebrate the Feast of Saint Mark the Evangelist. Whenever I think of Saint Mark, I think of a church in Berkeley, CA named for him.  Some of the kindest people I have ever met are there and there is so much love and joy.  I suppose that should be common in churches, but it doesn't seem to be.  Perhaps they are paying good attention to their patron and the One he followed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Monday acts of kindness

Here are a few random kindness suggestions for this Monday:  Volunteer to fix up an elderly person's home. As you go about your day, pick up trash. Buy books for a day care or school. Remember the bereaved with phone calls, cards, plants or flowers, and food. Send a gift anonymously to a friend. Pay for the person behind you in the movie line. Bring flowers to work and share them with coworkers. Share your smile generously. Donate time at a senior center. Say something nice to everyone you meet today. Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings. Call an estranged family member.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

All the time

Remember back around Thanksgiving when folks were collecting canned goods or just after that when toy drives were in full swing and collections for warm clothing?  Why don't we do that ALL the time?  There are people in need at any time of the year, not just for a month or two at year's end.  Think about putting aside a couple of food items every single week and donating them to a food bank, church, or other organization that is helping those in need.  Some places will also accept toys and clothing as well.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

For the future

The earth has been here a long time and it will be around for a long time to come, BUT will it be able to sustain life?  Will plants and flowers grow and fish swim in the water and birds fly through the air?  Will cows and chickens, dogs and cats, all manner of life, including humans, still roam the planet?  Environmental protection is important for the future.  They earth will be here, but will it be bare?  Thanks up to us!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Elderly best man

Would you want your 90-year-old grandfather to be your best man at your wedding?  Well, a 27-year-old Indiana man did last week!  Pretty cool, huh?  That's a pretty kind act on the part of both of them!  What a great example of love too.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Thoughts of Nana

Every April 20th I think of my grandmother - she was born on this date.  I think of Nana more than once a year though.  She was one of the kindest and fairest people I have ever known, and I learned a lot from her.  I think our entire family learned the importance of kindness because of her.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Suicide is not to be cheered

Two days after a murder that the killer recorded on video and posted to Facebook, the killer apparently took his own life. When Whoppi Goldberg made the announcement during her tv program yesterday, the audience applauded, until Whoppi held up her hands and asked for quiet. Last night convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez apparently committed suicide as well and the internet is lit up with comments of happiness at this and even jokes. I don't understand. I seriously don't. Suicide is not to be cheered.  Has all kindness disappeared. ALL life is precious, even the lives of those who do wrong.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ideas for showing kindness

There are so many ways to show kindness toward others. Here are a few. Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading a car. Call an estranged family member. Clean graffiti from neighborhood walls and buildings. Buy a stranger a free pizza. Mow a neighbor’s grass or sweep a neighbor’s walk. Smile and acknowledge everyone you encounter. Give a bag of groceries to a homeless person. Treat someone to fresh fruit. Sing at a nursing home. Open the door for another person.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter over? Nope

We all know there are folks who try to rush Christmas every year, and the same thing is true about Easter.  Just so you know, Easter lasts four times longer!  Yup.  Fifty days!  Don't celebrate Easter?  Nope a problem, but allow those who do, the joy of this annual remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter reminder

Christian evangelist Joslin McDowell tells us "No matter how devastating our struggles, disappointments, and troubles are, they are only temporary. No matter what happens to you, no matter the depth of tragedy or pain you face, no matter how death stalks you and your loved ones, the Resurrection promises you a future of immeasurable good."  A good reminder at Eastertime.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Blessed are you

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." -Gospel According to Saint Matthew

Friday, April 14, 2017

Lift up your thoughts

Days can be long when we spend our time moping about aimlessly, thinking only negative thoughts, but when we lift up our thoughts, and work toward a happy a productive day, the world suddenly gets brighter!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

chocolate eggs and bunnies

Easter is coming!  When I was little that meant chocolate eggs and bunnies.  Jelly beans too!  Oh I loved the malted milk eggs!  I might not have been very kind back then, because I don't recall sharing very much.  I will share now though.  Just wait until Sunday.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

No worries

Have you noticed that employees don't say "you're welcome" these days? Most of the time it seems to be "no worries," which wouldn't bother me if I were Australian, but I'm not. I'd have no issue if they said "my pleasure." I might even prefer it. It's all about courtesy. "No worries" just seems way too indifferent to me. In courtesy, it's always better to take the high road.  "I'm so glad I didn't cause a problem or worry you," should not be what you are thinking.  Instead I want to feel glad I was there.  Wow!  She said it was her pleasure.  How nice! 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Lend an ear

Do you ever just need someone around to hear you? Sometimes, especially in times of crisis, the thing you need the most is someone to talk to. They don't have to talk back. How wonderful it is to have a person who can simply sit in silence and listen to those who need a listening ear. In times of worry or sorrow or loneliness, this is particularly true. Listening to another person is a great act of kindness.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Happy Passover wishes

At sundown tonight, the celebration of Passover begins for our Jewish sisters and brothers.  Wonderful food and customs - explore this tradition, whatever faith you may come from.  I find it quite inspiring.  Chag Pesach Sameach!

Sunday, April 9, 2017

You owe me

Did you ever have someone tell you how many things they had done for you and how you now owe them? In my way of thinking, they gave you nothing at all. Gifts don't come with strings attached. Of course if is always very nice to do kind things for those who have done kind things for you, but that should not be your reason. Actually no reason is necessary at all. Give out of the love in your heart, and expect nothing in return. That is the real joy.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Be kind to everyone day

The second Saturday in April is Be Kind To Everyone Day.  Actually, you won't find that on any lists or calendars, but don't you think it should be?  Come to think of it, we could celebrate that every day of the year!

Friday, April 7, 2017

How you make people feel

Just about everything I ever heard from the incredible Maya Angelou, makes me feel good. It's so appropriate that she is the one who said "I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Remembering Ewing

It was only in the last several years of his life that I knew him, but the kindness he showed toward me, my mother, and every single person he met was inspiring.  Ewing was a genuinely nice man, and from the stories I heard from those who had known him longer, he had always been nice.  He was an adventurer too, having hopped a freight train and traveled across the country in his younger days.  He was also a man of great faith - always active in his church, and in his community.  Memories of Ewing will always stay with me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Echoes of kind words

Thinking of the long show business career of Marlene Dietrich, you might not easily be able to quote her, but I find one tiny sentence of hers to me a great anthem for our lives. Dietrich said "Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless."

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The capacity to forgive

Thinking of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the anniversary of his murder, these words of his come to mind: "We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies."

Monday, April 3, 2017


What's the third way to be kind or they way to be kind to people on the 3rd?  Oh my!  I have said this so many times and it will always be true.  There are endless ways to show kindness and it isn't specific to the day or the hour.  Let's just always care about others!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Surprise dessert

When I'm in a restaurant, I seldom order dessert, especially when I am eating alone, but I recall one time when the waiter approached my table with a beautiful looking orange kanten, telling me the table across the room had sent it.  I glanced over and realized that the couple seated there were people I knew.  How lovely though - a nice surprise dessert!  What a kind thing to do,

Saturday, April 1, 2017

who's the fool now?

I remember when All Fool's Day was a time of clever jokes.  We would try to be creative and to actually fool everyone.  These days there are just too many mean-spirited pranks.  In my opinion, that's not fun.  That's a terrible thing to do.  Scaring someone out of their wits isn't very kind or funny.  I think the real fool now is the one who plays evil jokes.

Friday, March 31, 2017

The Trip

Kindness comes in many forms, but all kind acts make love so much more joyful. Once, a couple I know who were aware I really wanted to attend an event, made sure I was indeed there. They sent me on a trip, paying for my flight and my hotel, and wouldn't take no for an answer. There kindness and that trip will always be happy memories for me and are just one more encouragement that we should all show kindness, whenever we can.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Disney dream

The great film producer, animator, voice actor, and movie pioneer Walt Disney only lived to be 65 years old, but he accomplished so much. Whenever I need any sort of encouragement, all I have to do is look at his brilliant life. Disney once said "If you can dream it, you can do it."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

We're supposed to be different

How can we discriminate against an entire group of people? I don't get it. When I was little I remember the drinking fountains labeled "colored" and "white."  (I actually used the colored one once in a store, thinking the water was colored, and boy did I get yelled at by the racist storekeeper). These days I see more discrimination based on religious affiliation or gender identity, and I still don't get it. We're supposed to be different. That is part of the beauty of life. We are supposed to discriminate though, because despite all of our many differences, we still are all equal!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Is is really spring?

Funny how the weather varies from place to place.  Where I grew up there might be snow on the ground this time of year, even though it is officially spring.  In some places it's even hot.  Yes, it's really spring, even if it doesn't seem like it where you are.  Why not pick up a nice bouquet of flowers to put you in the spirit?  Wait!  How about picking up two bouquets and giving one to a friend?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Too much time on social media?

"The one who loves a good rumor hates a peaceful life."  This was on my fortune cookie last night.  Was it telling me that I need to spend less time on social media?

Saturday, March 25, 2017

thanks Mom

When Mom passed away on March 25th in 2013, I was a basket case. Seeing a loved one die is a difficult thing. Since then though, while I still miss her a lot, I have become stronger. Everything I am is because of her. She was one of the kindest people I ever have known and also one of the most loving. Mom also left me a note to read after she was gone. In it she said I had been the best son a mother could have, and she wished me a good life. "We'll be together again someday" was how she closed. Thanks Mom, for everything.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Check your memory

Think back. Do you remember a kind act that someone did for you? How did it make you feel? It doesn't have to be a huge event - it doesn't have to require any money or gifts. Kindness is a way of life for many of us, and certainly you have been the recipient at some time. Check your memory. Didn't it feel great? Wouldn't you want to share that feeling with others?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

ideas are endless

More kindness ideas:  Buy extra at the grocery store and donate it to a food pantry,  Buy flowers for someone (postal worker, grocery store clerk, bus driver, etc.).  Bring coffee to a co-worker.  Help someone change a flat tire.  Post anonymous sticky notes with validating or uplifting messages around for people to find.  Compliment a work colleague on their work.  Send an encouraging text to someone.  Let a car into the traffic ahead of you. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Unkind vs Kind

Have you ever had unkind things said about you? How did that make you feel? Now, take a moment to think about when kind things were instead said about you. I'll bet that felt a whole lot better, huh? If we all learned this simple lesson, we could make every day so much better.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

living by our words

Writing here every day about kindness is not enough. I have to practice what I preach. I have to BE kind. In the words of John F. Kennedy, "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

Monday, March 20, 2017

Who said?

I love this saying:  "No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted."  I totally believe it.  I searched to see who said it and found unknown as well as Aesop.  Therefore, I can't say for sure who these words belong to, but like I said, I totally believe it!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

I shall not pass this way again

One of my favorite quotes about kindness is from William Penn, even though it might sound a lot like something sung by Jim Seals and Dash Crofts. Penn said "I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

Saturday, March 18, 2017

sharing chocolate

Sharing chocolate is pretty darn kind, don't you think? Actually sharing anything is kind. Right now, I could go for some of that chocolate though - maybe a nice cup of hot chocolate - the kind I used to drink at Christopher Elbow's shop! Yum! I'll share. I promise.

Friday, March 17, 2017

blessings of the day

One Saint Patrick's Day (probably long ago) I was blessed with these words: "May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you are going, and the insight to know when you have gone too far. Have a long life and a merry one, a quick death and an easy one, a pretty girl and an honest one, and a cold pint and another one!"

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Everyone enjoys a little kindness

Start each day with kindness (you can always find a dose of it here), and spread it around too.  Everyone enjoys a little kindness!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Each day holds a surprise

Many powerful quotes came from priest and theologian Henri Nouwen.  He told us "Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let's not be afraid to receive each day's surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity."  Some good advise!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sharing stories

I love hearing stories of kindness.  Sometimes on the local news we hear of a neighborhood hero or maybe on Ellen's show or in a facebook post.  The kind acts that people do always warm my heart and getting all the details is such an extra bonus.  Sharing stories can be done here too - just add them in the comments below!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Make someone happy

I woke up on this Monday morning and the first thing I thought of was to make someone happy! (Yes that is indeed an old Jimmy Durante song. June Christy, Doris Day, Perry Como, Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, Sergio Franchi, Dinah Washington, and Judy Garland also recorded it, along with a number of others. That isn't the point I am making though). Making someone happy shouldn't be too difficult. Will you join me?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

the kindness of that guy over there

Did you expect the man you passed to smile and nod hello?  Did you expect the little boy in the park to offer you one of the candies his mom had just given him?  Did you expect your next door neighbor to sweep off your sidewalk this morning?  The kindness of that guy over there might be unexpected, but it sure is nice.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

such an outpouring

Yesterday I attended a funeral.  The church was packed - mourners were in the doorway and spilling outside.  At a luncheon and civic memorial later in the day, the crowd was even bigger.  My heart was warmed to see such an outpouring.  Many present didn't even know the man who died, but they knew he was a good man and they knew the wonderful things he had done.

Friday, March 10, 2017

we shape our lives

Former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was very inspiring by the things she did and the words she spoke. I am touched especially by these words of hers: "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility."