Thursday, January 17, 2008

Creating Moments with Everyday Kindness

I found this great blog about challenging ourselves to do something kind each day. I've added it to my "I Love to Read..." list - check it out.

I've really been working on being more positive and feeling more serene. Detaching from things and places and people that bring me down. Turning my internal anger into energy that will feed me, not devour me.

I like to think I'm a kind person. I'm very sarcastic and have a very quick, sharp wit and I know that has often put people off, or at least surprised or intimidated them. Sometimes that's necessary I think. When it becomes a wall between you and others, between you and simple pleasures, between your behavior and who you really are - then you "gotta check yourself" as they say.

I've been feeding the squirrels and birds in my yard - so many trees have been lost here for bigger driveways and ugly McMansions that their source of food needs some help. And I've been using that time to reflect a bit - heaven forbid I just sit still and meditate - that makes me feel like I should be doing something.

(btw - whenever I type "meditate" I always spell it mediate at first - am I trying to tell myself something?)

I posted a while back about "Creating a new moment to live in" by drawing on the joy I had found in helping an elderly customer and becoming friends with her. I didn't realize how much joy and peace I could find in little random acts of kindness (I'm stealing from Oprah there) - and how those acts can change the moment for me and others.

The other day my neighbor's trash can flew open and bits of paper were all over her lawn. It only took a moment to clean it all up before it scattered everywhere and I swear that her dog was in the front window smiling at me.

Another neighbor has a small light trash can (we're big on trash here in NJ) and it often ends up in the middle of the road once the collectors have emptied it. I used to ignore it, pay it no mind as cars coming around the curve would swerve to avoid it. I even laughed when another neighbor said "that can is going to cause an accident". Then I started picking it up and throwing it onto their driveway, muttering to myself about stupid people and sloppy garbage collectors and blah-blah-blah. So this time I picked it up, put it in their gate so it wouldn't fly away again and allowed myself to feel good about doing a simple little thing.

At the Stop 'N Shop I collected all the loose carts around my car - it was actually fun to push them real hard into the cart station and watch them bounce off the sides and into each other, makes a wonderful tinny sound, like bumper cars for those of us who can't get our big, elderly butts into a real bumper car.

Just small things - I've done a lot of them but always with an attitude (I am from Brooklyn - it's in the water) - so now I'm "cutting the tude" and taking some pleasure from these moments - without feeling silly or uncomfortable.

In being kind to others I'm learning to be kind to myself.

Originally I was going to post about my trials and tribulations with the doctors and the insurance company - seems my scoliosis may be to blame for some new issues. That whole subject carries so much baggage for me that instead I made the effort to copy and display the lovely Everyday Kindness banner and then link the blog - I wanted to do it as a clickable link within the banner but it was becoming crazy - I really need to learn more about blog layouts!

For those of you who worry about me (Hi Cathy) - I will update on the medical crap - I'm fine - it's just another little hurdle in the obstacle course of life.

Be Kind Out There


Jay Simser said...

OK, Highlight the banner until little squares show up around it and then click on the "link" icon up above and paste the URL for the site into the box that appears. Then the banner should work for you. (Note this is what I do in the body of the post but I am not sure how to do in on the sidebar.)

Hope it works for you.

Great post. Being kind is a great thing and it goes on beyond the one instance. It will multiply and expand blessing many more people than you know. Thanks for sharing. Jay

cathy said...

there is a song by jewel that ends...

"We are God's eyes
God's hands
God's mind
We are God's eyes
God's hands
God's heart
We are God's eyes
God's hands
God's eyes
We are God's hands
We are God's hands"


"in the end only kindness matters
in the end only kindness matters"

Debo Blue said...

That's a pretty song Cathy.

Dianne, thanks for the comment at my site. This is a great post. I used to believe that everyday that I didn't strangle my sister was my random act of kindness.

You've inspired me to actually do something kind. I work in a large office building. Something's bound to come up.

I'll report back.

Dianne said...

Even if it doesn't work on the sidebar Jay at least I know how to do in posts and learned something new in general. Thanks!

That is a beautiful song Cathy - I have to check out my Jewel CDs, I probably have it.

Debo Blue - LOL at your sister comment - I always tell my brother that I am being good to him by not talking to him :)
I enjoy your blog - and thanks for visiting me. Please do report back - I'm going to try and post regular updates on my journey into kindness.

Kind Claudia said...

Hurray! And welcome! You are the official 20th blogger to join our challenge. Yippee!! Together, one small act at a time, we are making the world a little better. By my calculations? Over 200 acts since the beginning of the year. Wow!

I'll shoot you an email this weekend with the blogroll and some other info!

Jeni said...

I had to chuckle about your words -"I like to think I'm a kind person" and then you move right into saying you're sarcastic, quick wit, etc. Makes me wonder if maybe we are related somehow. I like to think I try to be kind but I fail at that a lot it does seem -often because I am a sarcastic old so-and-so. Back when I was younger -much younger -mainly when I was waitressing really, I did usually have a pretty quick wit -you really have to have that to survive around truck drivers and touristos. But sometimes now, I think my wit has dried up, flown away, like the chaff on the wheat, ya know - or a dandelion puff. Then some days, things happen and I've got a kazillion really good quips for most everything and I think, ah ha, the old brain isn't totally dead, not just yet!
I'm adding the Everyday Kindness to my blog favs too -as a gentle reminder to try to be kinder every day -even to those who don't deserve it at that point in time too. LOL

Dianne said...

Jeni - it would be lovely if we were related somehow! We can just decide we are - sisters in the journey of life and brillant sarcastic wits. And I know what you mean about needing the wit in the workplace. I was the first/only female in a lot of jobs and you just must rely on wise-cracks.

kind claudia had a lovely idea and I'm thrilled to be her 20th blogger - something comforting about round numbers. I think smalltown rn is on the blog roll also - I'm pretty sure that's where I found Claudia.

Cherie said...

"I always tell my brother that I am being good to him by not talking to him."

Hmmm ... There's something about that sentence that doesn't make sense. LOL

But seriously, you go girl! It's like ripples in a pond. You have no idea how far of an effect that one little action can make.