Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Remember the Story Lady?

Do you remember the Story Lady?  She may have been called something different, but there was probably someone who read to you in school when you were little, or perhaps it was in the library or a local community center.  It might have been a teenager or an older person.  It might even have been a man.  Oh and reading for others isn't limited to children.  Reading to the blind or the elderly is pretty wonderful too.  While some of these folks might be paid, many are volunteers.  What an incredible act of kindness, huh?  It makes me want to go read a story with someone right now.

Monday, June 26, 2017

About that glass

Is there optimism or pessimism in your life?  Perhaps a bit of both?  About that glass - you know, is it half full or half empty?  It seems to me that we sometimes think about that too much and should simply be grateful to have the glass!

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."

Friday, June 23, 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.

Thursday, June 22, 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.

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

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, June 19, 2017

Wonderful!

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.

Sunday, June 18, 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.

Saturday, June 17, 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.

Friday, June 16, 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!

Thursday, June 15, 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."

Wednesday, June 14, 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!

Tuesday, June 13, 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?

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

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!

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

love with no strings

We all need to love more freely.  Love should come with no strings attached.  Don’t say "I love you" expecting to hear it back. Say it to make sure they know!

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

Be kind to yourself

Many people feel that self-care is something that only happens if and when we have time. Oh no! We should all be kind to ourselves too and to treat ourselves with the respect we deserve by making our well-being a priority. Be kind to others for sure, but be kind to ourselves too!

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

Miss Sally

I remember back when I was in grade school, this wonderful lady whom we called Miss Sally would come and pick us up for church on Sunday mornings. She drove a very old car that she had probably purchased fifty years before, but it still ran nicely, possibly because she only drove it one day a week. Miss Sally always had some kind of pastry or cookies to share after church too. With a warm sparkle in her eye, I'll never forget her kindness, even now looking back to MANY years ago!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Jonah Kim on love

My friend Jonah Kim is one of the most inspiring people I know. He says "It's easy to love those who love you, that is, when they love you the way you want to be loved. It isn't so easy to love those who wrong you time and time again. But we are human and we are bound to fail those we love over and over again over the course of a lifetime." Jonah continues "Some say this kind of love can only exist between parent and child. If you have never experienced the desire to love this way, perhaps you haven't learned to truly love yet. This is why divorce rates keep rising; majority of matrimonial vows are defenestrated in the first year because the 'I' is so much more important than the 'love you'."

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.