The simple things in life matter the most. Providing clean water, food, and aid, to those in need, to name a view.
Collaborating with like-minded businesses, individuals, churches, and organizations, one person at a time to make a difference – has a rippling effect. How we pass along those attributes of giving to the next generation, is a secondary gift.
Ask yourself: Have you been kind today? Make kindness your modus operandi & change your world. ~Annie Lennon
Random acts of kindness help to “feed your soul”. It is in the doing of kindness that you find contentment in your own soul. Who doesn’t want to feel content?
Simple Random acts of kindness mean
(1) being kind to others: supporting your local communities, animal shelters, and helping out neighbors to name a few.
(2) being kind to yourself: helping where you can, and knowing your own limitations.
(3) being kind to the planet: Leave it the way you found it, or make it better.
There is a lot of research out there; regarding how and why we need to be kind, beginning in infancy.
Can Kindness be taught?
1. We are born with a certain amount of bias or preferences. Babies learn things very rapidly and they tend to focus on verbal communication, numbers, and causality.
2. Babies are born schemers! They have their own will, they enjoy creativity, and they are always looking to develop their learning. Babies think about thinking. They come with a set of natural knowledge cues.
3. Children, as they grow, have multiple intelligences. Meaning, that children will play around with theories they create in their own minds; exploring and packing away chunks of information for a rainy day. They are seeking to understand the world around them, and learning how to best adapt to that world. Many researchers believe that children all learn differently, at different times, and at different levels – with multiple intelligences. If we work with a child’s weaknesses and we build on their strengths, we can help a child create and use play to understand the world around them. We can also apply these same principles to adults and their ability to show kindness, and teach it!
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6
Practice a fair amount of random acts of kindness, daily. There is so much to be gained on a personal level when you do. When you practice kindness, make sure your children see you doing it as well. You are their best role model. Kindness is year round – It does not end after one day. Kindness needs to be practiced 365 days a year, and it begins with you. It could be as simple as a smile, a hug, or a phone call.
“You can accomplish by kindness what you cannot by force.” -Publilius Syrus
Creative people have a deep respect for the very essence of everything around them. It is as if they have a thirst for all things new and exciting. Who wouldn’t want to be around a creative and inspirational person? They are uplifting, kind, and filled with a wonder for life. They can light up a room by just walking in with a smile on their face. They are usually highly intelligent in their own right and don’t flaunt it unless challenged in a negative way.
They will bring you strawberries in winter, and sprinkle glitter on your papers just to make you smile. They draw you out of your head and make you think about things in a different way. A way that has light to it. A way that seems easy to follow. Go there!
Creative people aren’t obsessed with who they are, or what they may or may not have done in the past. They are comfortable in the moment. They engage others in a willingness to be open and fair; listening and absorbing every spoonful of what you have to say. They are excellent listeners! They are interested in you, and they want to explore a friendly relationship.
They are comfortable in the moment
They can have an open dialogue with you and not come across as pompous and unfair, nor self-conceited. They live life in the moment!
1.They are really interested in you!
2. They seek to know you as a person in the moment! Your past is irrelevant.
3. They aren’t interested in long stories about themselves. They live in the moment and can talk about subject ranging from rocket science to hopscotch, arts to football. As long as it is in the moment they are with you.
4. They won’t lecture you, nor drill you with facts, or try to control you with words, actions or deeds. They keep their emotions in check and keep that part of their life private where it needs to be. They are greeters, not whiners.
It may be a little over -whelming to meet and greet with these types of creative and inspirational people at first. Especially if you aren’t used to that upbeat type of personality. They are rare and well sought after – for a good reason. They are so refreshing – you will be looking for ways to incorporate them into your lifeimmediately. But how?
How do you keep the attention of a highly creative and inspirational person or group of people?
1. Listen to them, not the thoughts in your head.
2. Do not lecture them. The worst thing you can do to a creative and inspirational person is to lose their respect. Lecturing on your “know it all” issues is a deal killer.
Because they are so loved and respected by so many, I would hesitate before I spoke badly in certain circles about them. Many carry clout you are unaware of. They are the darlings of society. It’s not about money or education, it’s about truthfulness, kindness, and a mutual respect for others. These people thrive on fairness. Many are community volunteers. They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.
They genuinely love people and want to help everywhere they can.
If you have an inferiority complex, creative and inspirational people are not who you want to take your complex out upon. Save those talented folks from your momentary lapse of good judgement, and instead learn to mimic what they do. Pretty soon you may find out you have something in common with these inspiring people. Once you learn to keep your own feelings in check (and your mouth shut), you will find you have plenty of positive things to talk about. These folks really do have their stuff together. Learn from them.
-Be creative and learn to listen and hear more than the thoughts in your head.
-Be inspirational and allow others to know you on a different scale, a scale filled with meaningful thoughts and actions.
-Be prepared to hear positive solutions, and positive reinforcement on concrete ideas based on sound intellect, working knowledge and experience. The term precise comes to mind, or in-eight. It’s just natural for them. Don’t judge, rather follow their lead.
These people can be addictive to others who haven’t experienced first hand what it is like to explore life to the fullest. They can shape and mold an organization with just a smile and a friendly chat. They love to wrap people in a PEACE bubble and make them feel appreciated and excepted for who and what they are. People have value just living in the moment. Remember to keep negativity from creeping its ugly head into your new found PEACE bubble. Learn to hold your tongue and avoid your own mind talk. Crawl out of your own head and live in the moment. Be creative and inspirational!
There is an old saying, that Charity Begins At Home. This proverb was originally documented in English, in somewhat different format, in John Wycliffe’s Of Prelates (c. 1380); “Charity should begin at himself.” It was later quoted as “Charity begins at home” by Terence.
Charity begins at home ~ Terence
There are many ways to give right inside your own company, organization, religious or educational institution, and your own home. Yet, I understand that there are also situations in other countries that do require much-needed aid.
From time to time charity will not involve money. Sometimes it is the opening of oneself and the giving of respect, honor, and occasionally a fond farewell. Best described with examples:
When the Last Horn Blows
Looking out the window of the guard shack, an older gentleman, whom we will call RC, sits and awaits the next train leaving the site, “The Train of Pain”. Twice a week the 8800-horsepower diesel-electric engine moves along a 30 mile stretch of track, taking its payload to a dump site. Back and forth, trudging along, giving it’s all, it will continue until its last load is complete.
Surrounded by nothing more than the still night desert air and an occasional coyote, the desert calm is broken with the distance hum of an engine on the track. In that moment, RC feels a deep appreciation for the work he’s done. Be that watching the site, doing the rounds, radioing the conditions, and checking the U.P.R. train crew in and out each night at the end of the shift, somewhere before midnight.
Every week, for many years, RC watched as the train came to the switch on the track, and listened as the mighty engines horn-blast filled the air, then slowly it would disappear into the night.
The Midnight Shift
The end of RC’s guard had come, tonight would be his last. RC was preparing for the next journey in his life – retirement. Unknown to RC, right before he was to depart to his solitary guard shack, a radio announcement came over the airwaves. It was the project manager and he radioed for RC to step outside, and then relayed to all around to blow their horns one last time in RC’s honor.
RC stood on the steps outside and he listened as the horn blast from semi’s, trucks, and train, could be heard all over the project. In this moment of honor – a smile crossed his face, and a solitary tear escaped, and slide down the side of his face.
Later that evening while finishing his final midnight shift, he reminiscences. He will forever recall that first train blast from an old 1996 GE C44AC pusher engine as it slowly meandered down the track. He then thoughtfully stared at a framed image of that same train, a gift which was presented to him, from everyone on the project that day. He had a purpose!
Charity is a thankful heart
Charity does begin at home, and from time to time it doesn’t involve money. Charity in its most basic form is that substance that all humans need; respect, honor, integrity, a purpose, a horn blast. If you begin there, giving money is easy after that. Learning how to give of ‘himself’, is the first lesson.
Charity begins at home, but should not end there. ~ Thomas Fuller
Puerto Rico is not even a third world country, but now they look like they are. It is estimated that nearly 1/2 of Puerto Rico’s housing (about a million homes) were built illegally (shantytowns). Add on top of that, the destruction Hurricane Maria inflicted on the tiny island, and you have a humanitarian housing crisis, animal, food, and water crisis. There is nothing left but rubble in many areas.
It’s been months!
Hurricane Storm Maria made landfall on September 20, as a nearly Category 5 hurricane that lasted approximately 30 hours. A combination of elements caused Maria to transform from a disaster to a “catastrophic event”, meaning it wiped out nearly most of the infrastructure on the small US territory island.
According to news sources, Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico with the equivalent of a 50-mile wide tornado; Puerto Rico took a direct hit. FEMA and government response didn’t reach those in distant locations immediately after the hurricane. Some didn’t see any type of aid upward for a month or more. When aid did finally arrive, most of that aid came from community organizers and not government aid. People were hiking in to deliver groceries and even some medicines.
Over 300,000 evacuees transcended into Florida after the hurricane. The aid for these evacuees living in hotels will begin to run out. On the island, there is also now a growing Mental Health Crisis, and the increase in suicides is escalating. People are desperate for help.
With the largest US blackout ever recorded, many Puerto Ricans still don’t have electricity today. Only 75% electricity has been restored. Another 1/3 of the population is still without power. No electricity means no power to pump water into homes, no water to bathe or flush toilets. Freshwater is scarce.
Freshwater is scarce
While disaster recovery aid packages are in the works, the US Puerto Rican territory was already bankrupt before the storm. It’s not just infrastructure that will need to be restored, it’s the billions of dollars they were already indebted.
With a poverty rate of over 44%, devastated Puerto Ricans are badly in need of proper food, clean water, and housing. FEMA money is also scheduled to run out in Mid-March for the tiny US Territory. There are community organizers on the ground taking computers to remote locations to try to get as many people signed up with aid as quickly as possible – but it’s a daunting task. Many cell towers were knocked out in the storm, so communication is at a very low capacity still. Reaching the people, and the people being able to reach out is difficult.
Probably half of American’s do not even know that Puerto Rico has 3.4 million US citizens living there. Citizens who are entitled to the same government response as any state, like New York, Washington, or California, etc. But half of Americans don’t even know that.
Housing & FEMA
The island is dependent on U.S. relief from FEMA, the SBA, and HUD.
In the impoverished area of Puerto Rico, many people have no title to their homes, and most were constructed without permits. These squatter community homes range from one room shacks to family homes (Informal homes). However, one of the rules of FEMA eligibility is that the owners need to prove property ownership.
FEMA states that it will now help those owners of “informal homes” if they can prove some sort of residency. The cap for disaster aid is $33,000 to individuals, but awards are often much lower than that.
Another compounding problem is that applicants are giving up on FEMA aid. The application process first has to go through the SBA loan process. No one can afford a loan, so applicants just give up. Even though they aren’t required to follow through on the SBA process – they can’t qualify for FEMA aid unless they do. It is only after the SBA denies the applicant that FEMA will provide a grant. There are organizers on the ground to try to help educate people about this. But it is a slow process.
There is a need to “Build back better,” say’s Puerto Rico, Governor Ricardo Rossello.
“Build back better”
A little knowledge goes a long way. I found this description from Odyssey:
“Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth of the United States since 1898 during the Hispanic-American War. The result of the war was that the United States ended up with Puerto Rico, Philippines, and Guam. This means that Puerto Ricans ARE American citizens. It also makes Puerto Rico a territory of the United States”.
While a Puerto Rican can fight for the United States Government – If they live on the island they cannot vote in US Presidental and Congressional elections! They can only vote in the primary elections. If they live on the mainland US, then they can vote in all the US elections.
Puerto Ricans have been citizens of the United States since 1917 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act.
Ways to Help
Spontaneous volunteers are needed to help build housing and schools. One group called All Hands and Hearts – Smart Response has been bringing in teams of volunteers to work on building secure homes and community structures. Their motto is “Come Early and Stay Late”.
Other organizations coming to the call of Puerto Rico (just to name a few)
What's on Your Bucket List? Any Chalk, a Plant, Crazy Glue, Birdseed?
Watching the grandchild learning a new word and then trying to put meaning to that word was an experience that left me wondering. How fast our minds rationalize thoughts, and place information into neat little containers of knowledge, is a miracle in and of itself. Have you ever thought about a thought? Explain a thought to a 6 year old. I dare you. I double dare you.
Have you ever thought about a thought?
As we grow older being told something isn’t right, or learning we will have to do something differently isn’t generally what we want to hear. Change sucks. I know many of us have gotten so busy that we just tend to do things all by ourselves. Maybe someone else could of made a process easier for us, maybe not. But we won’t know because letting go of a situation or work event isn’t something we are used to doing. Let’s face it, our day planners are full. We go a little zombie like, and then we don’t know how to climb out of that mode.
Learning is a different process for everyone. Some are just faster than a whip with everything they lay their hands on. Others like to take things one bite at a time. You can’t force the unwilling to learn, and nobody wants to listen to the know it all's. People need to be motivated to learn or change. As I’ve aged, motivation I have discovered is in short supply. Those who once motivated me, now sound like a broken parrot “right”, “you know what I mean”, “right”, “right”. Ugh!
Age changes how you learn. I find that I’m just not interested any longer in those ideas I thought were so cool in my younger days. Those items that used to be on my ole bucket list have already been checked marked off. Sure there are things I want to do – but not the things I wanted to do ten or twenty years ago. My bucket list looks more like a shopping list for a leisurely day at the pool -rather than a vacation to some far away resort. Although I would go to the resort if someone buy me a ticket. Please buy me a ticket. But then I regress.
I sat down with my grandchild to try to discover if I could see into the mind of a 6 year old and come up with an answer to my lack of motivation, and my empty bucket list. What I forgot to notice until after she had gone home with her family was how much she motivated me just to want to stay in one place. I like peace and quiet. I was motivated to get back to that - the stillness of the day. In our search for items to put on our bucket lists, don’t leave off peace and quiet. Those really are motivating factors to help you gain a better perspective on life.
Bucket List Items that might not be on your list, but could be:
Fall in love again
Grow a plant and not kill it
Burn your day planner (you can burn your bra too – but by that age who cares)
Seek peace and rest
Read a book, heck read a couple book, a whole library of books
Save some time to draw stick figures on the concrete with a 6 year old
Say you are sorry to someone who would never see it coming
Be there when you say you will be – and watch someone’s eyes light up
Sleep with no clothes or more clothes on – what ever you want
Don’t be afraid to ask questions – worst someone can say is no
And number twelve, volunteer. Give of yourself and your bucket will always be full
I am off to draw stick figures on the side walk. We have to draw a full scale ranch with horses and cows. Could take up to four or five concrete sections.