the kindness of strangers

google images

google images

Sometimes a wonderful story comes along that bears repeating. This is such a story. As the grandmother of a special needs grandson, I can well imagine that my daughter may someday need such kindness directed to her. Although he is so darn adorable, I can’t imagine anyone would ever be critical of him.

Anyway, God bless the person what wrote this note. I hope your kindness is returned to you.

God bless whoever wrote this note.


Did I vote my convictions or not? You decide.

(Please read my post here  to better understand this follow-up.  I promised myself when I started blogging that I would never be anything but real. That I would be willing to admit when I didn’t follow through on something. You decide for yourself what you think of how I handled this situation in light of what I said in the earlier post.)

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First of all, I was right. The candidate was voted in before the vote was even taken. It was unanimous except for the two abstentions. (Do you need to ask?) You had to be there to know what I mean.  The chairperson was directing the vote with every word he spoke. I’ve never been in a meeting where the process of deciding on a pastor was accomplished with almost no discussion. Was there a moment when we could’ve spoken up? Honestly, I’m not sure there was and considering how the evening was going, I’m not sure it would have served any purpose. Their minds were made up. My little voice would have made no difference except to plant a seed of doubt. I prefer to be like Joshua and Caleb rather than the ten “nay”sayers.

When the time came to vote, Continue reading

Get rid of “should”

Typdom, Buchstabenspiel in Kreuzwortmanier, al...

Typdom, Buchstabenspiel in Kreuzwortmanier, alte Ausgabe von etwa 1930 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There has never been a word I  hate more than “should”.  I’ve always been told, by one particular person, I “should” do this or I “should” do that. Consequently, I’ve used it too often myself. Let me ask you, has the word “should” ever worked for you except to make you feel resentful?  It always made me feel that way. (Of course, maybe the author of the word makes a difference.)

Yes, there are things we “should” do. Eat our veggies, use our manners, be kind, help others, etc. But these are concepts not a specific word directed at us in a judgemental way. So what should we say?

I’ve learned to soften the word by saying, “Maybe you could……”), or “Maybe a good idea would be to…..”, or “Have you thought about….?”

We need to use life-affirming words, not life-depleting words.

So I’m not saying we should drop the concept of a “should” from our vocabulary but that we need to think of better ways to express our ourselves, especially our opinions or objections.


Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys lud...

Kissing Black-tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Français : Chiens de prairie à queue noire (Cynomys ludovicianus) se faisant la bise. 日本語: キスしてるオグロプレーリードッグ (Cynomys ludovicianus) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kindness, kissing, knitting, knowledge, knees. I like knitting. It’s very therapeutic. I like knowing things. I like kissing. I’m very fond of my knees. But I’m going to focus on kindness mostly because it seems to be in shorter and shorter supply anymore.

People just don’t seem as kind as they used to be. I wonder, did we become less kind before or after reality shows where people do nothing but scream at each other? It’s like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg. It would seem to me that TV producers wouldn’t produce a show they weren’t sure would have a following. Or did our lack of kindness find its birth in what has become nastier and nastier politics? Or maybe it began with twenty-four seven cable news shows that dump so much information on us; we suffer from knowing too much about too many things. We don’t know what to with all these facts so we get cranky. I really don’t know. I just know I wish I lived in a kinder world.

A world where, even if we disagree with a person’s lifestyle, we are still kind to them. Where children aren’t bullied because they’re different. Where we give people some room for error. Where we’re respectful of those whose age is nowhere near ours, realizing most of us have something valuable to offer.

The holidays are fast approaching. We’ll hear stories about people buying coffee at Starbucks for those in line behind them.  We’ll hear a lot about generosity. There will be those wonderful syrupy Hallmark commercials which, as redundant as they are, make me tear up every time. As sappy as they are I prefer those to watching people yell at each other. I wish I knew why we seem to be kinder at this time of year but I’m sad to say I don’t have a clue. I guess the logical answer is that we’re just feeling more generous but why then are the holidays considered the most stressful time of the year?  

Maybe we’re working a little harder at being nice because we’re frantically trying to get it all done and we instinctively know “playing nice” keeps us calm.  It’s an unconscious message we send ourselves so we don’t implode.  I know that I work harder during the holidays because I see too many others that don’t and I don’t want to be a participant in that. I know the clerk behind the counter is as tired and frustrated as I am so I give her some slack. When someone cuts in front of me in line (which I don’t tolerate any other time of the year) I just let it go. Or maybe we’re trying kinder simply because we think that’s what expected of us during the Holidays. Maybe it’s those sappy Hallmark commercials that make us believe we’re all living in a schmaltzy movie.   

 I don’t think I care what the reason is for the extra kindness at this time of year; I just wish it were always that way. Kindness has a snow ball effect.  The more it rolls the more snow it gathers. I think I’ll go out and build a snowman.