Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Still With Me? Recruited Anyone Else?

Are you with me as part of the Kindness Campaign to change the world to something better? 

Want to know ways to turn your caring into action?
Today's daily dozen to-do list:

  • Gather a few neighbors to dopt an entrance to your neighborhood and periodically have a get-together to keep it weeded and cleaned up. Serve refreshments and make it a Saturday morning party!
  • Send cards or letters of appreciation to people you read about in the news who have done good deeds. Send kind thoughts to people you hear about in your community who have suffered a setback. Send "Thinking of You" cards to acquaintances who may be struggling with some issue in their life.
  • Write a note to the supervisor of someone who has been particularly helpful, letting him or her know how the employee helped you.
  • Collect stories from family members about kind acts, both given and received, and create a family scrapbook. If you have photos, include them with the stories. As years go by and as your children grow, all of yu can review the many ways that kindness has touched your family's life.
  • Spruce up the yard of a neighbor or friend who is ill or who has just had surgery or a death in the family.
  • Smile and say "hello" to someone you don't know.
  • Save box tops for education and donate to a local school, even if you don't have children.
  • Create or donate floral arrangements for a senior center, nursing home, police station, hospital or the home-bound.
  • Set aside a portion of your garden for a neighbor child to tend, and work in the garden together, offering ideas and expertise as you go. Or simply help a child start a vegetable plant, teach him or her how to tend it, and allow them to take the produce home.
  • Sponsor a "Kindness Zone" or "practice Random Acts of Kindness" sign at entrances to the downtown area of your community.
  • Put notes of encouragement in library books for someone else to find. [Don't write in the books, of course.]
  • Prepare treats for neighbors, emergency workers, mail carriers, coworkers, military personnel, or other community members, along with a note of appreciation. Drop off homemade baked goods to the nearest fire station, police station, emergency room, post office, etc.,  to let them know how much they are appreciated. 
  • Share the Kindness Campaign with others; share the blog on FaceBook, Twitter, etc. and enlist more recruits.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

I'm a List Maker

For me, having a list helps me keep on track and organized. I don't know how useful listing is for you, but for me it gives me focus. And having things written down helps me create even more ideas.

So a couple of years ago I started compiling lists of how to make the world better through acts of kindness. I'll share them here and following posts in the hope that they will spark your ideas, and that you will share your list, too.

Today's daily dozen to-do list choices:

  • Refrain from judging others or harassing them because they may be different or because of their actions. Search yourself or things you have in common rather than ways you are different.
  • Organize a flower-planting party in a nearby park, school, or faith organization. Consider the response others have to the beauty of nature and what a difference that can make for their day when they enjoy your handiwork.
  • Write a kind note to relatives and friends, letting them know why they are special.
  • Open the door for another person when out in public, no matter who that person is. Smile a greeting.
  • Consider needs others may have that you don't see being met and do something to change that. E.g. Approach bookstores owners and publishers about ordering and carrying more books in large print or on tape.
  • Talk to others about kindness, why it makes a difference and the fact that it really is easy to do.
  • Recycle all newspapers, plastics, aluminum, and paper, even if you have to go out of your way to do it. Be kind to the earth.
  • Create a "smile file" with cartoons and pictures that make othrs smile; pick out a cartoon to cheer up a friend in need.
  • Take a day and pay a compliment once every hour; practice telling people what you like about them.
  • Call an animal shelter and find out what donations they need. Collect treats, food, first aid supplies, toys, cat litter, towels, and soft blankets for the homeless animals. Most shelters will encourage you to come "visit" the animals to give them special individual attention. Go regularly and get your "animal love fix!"
  • Switch to pet-safe antifreeze. Antifreeze contains propylene glycol that carries a tempting but fatal taste to animals. Just one teaspoon can kill a cat and two ounces can kill a dog.
  • Reduce air pollution by planting trees and plants in your yard.
  • Enlist others to participate in the Kindness Campaign.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Peacework: It Is Ever More Urgent

Peacework: It Is Ever More Urgent: The need for us to make a better world is increasingly urgent. We must not wait. It is time for us to gather our wits and create more lov...

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Are You a New Recruit?

I'm enlisting folks for the Kindness Campaign to combat the current climate of negativity and hatred. We want to make the world a better place. We start with being kind, being more loving, doing acts of kindness. It is my hope that there will be a lot of us spreading kindness and compassion. Are you a recruit?

So, maybe you are new at this and would like some ideas of ways to do more acts of kindness. There are so many possible acts of kindness that is isn't possible to list them all. But maybe a list will help you think of more on your own. If so, please share them so others can try them too. Here are some:

From a much earlier post:

Of course, your personal circumstances will determine many of your choices. If you don't have much money you cannot personally fund a cause you care about all by yourself. But you can do something to raise money for it. Look at all the interest in community funding through websites like Go Fund Me. Someone starts it and encourages others to contribute.Then things change for someone because of everyone working together.
And don't ignore the power of regularly setting aside a bit of money at a time to make a meaningful gift later. Maybe you can only set aside a dollar a week. You'll have a donation of $52 at the end of a year. That can make a difference somewhere. 
If you are physically able you can still volunteer in countless ways to address problems in your community and beyond. What cause do you care about? What are your skills? Find a group or organization that can use your participation to make a difference in people's lives.
Think you don't have any time? There are still many little things you can do that won't interrupt your busy schedule. Sometimes something as small as a smile for someone who doesn't seem to have one can make a difference for that person. And who knows what that difference will become when they then interact with others. Remembering to open a door for someone or helping them manage their load or sharing your umbrella really can brighten someone's day.
Small random acts of kindness can turn the day around in someone's life and that makes the world a little better in that moment and in that day and in that part of the world. Paying it forward impacts more than just the person you help. It keeps the kindness spreading outward into the world beyond you.

So now start thinking of little acts of kindness someone might do, that you might do. And help build a list to spark ideas. If we are spending time thinking kindness we will be more likely to be acting with kindness.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

It Is Ever More Urgent

The need for us to make a better world is increasingly urgent. We must not wait. It is time for us to gather our wits and create more love, more caring, more empathy,  more healing. It is really urgent. Pay attention to what is happening and realize that it is up to us to change direction away from violence and inaction. We need a massive flood of kindness.

Will you join me? Will you help?

Since we can't change the whole world, or even our whole country, we are charged with changing that part of the world we are part of. Each of us can make a positive difference where we are every day. Spreading kindness is our mission. And it is achieved by myriad small acts every day by a multitude of people in every area.

We must enlist our friends and family into our Kindness Army. The old  "each one teach one" technique can serve us well. Who will you enlist? You'd be surprised at the results when you ask for help in helping others.

And what can we do? There is an endless list of ways to be kind. All we need to do is open our minds and hearts to seeing them,

Something as small as taking shopping carts back to the store or their cart corral, yours and others. Offer to help someone put their groceries in their car. Smile and say hello to people you pass. Let cars into your lane when driving. Pick up litter. Thank people who do things for you, even if it is their job. Just be courteous to everyone, including the people you live with. "Please" and "Thank you" really do make a difference.

And then, of course, there is the matter of sharing. We can share time, money, ideas, labor, anything we have, we can share. And you may be surprised at how much you can spare. It doesn't have to cost you a lot, although many of us can manage to give a lot more than we think.

When you grocery shop, pick up a few items for the food bank or for the homeless. Watch for Buy- One-Get-One-Free offers and get the free one for someone who needs it. That won't cost you anything!  But even spending a dollar for an item you can give will help you practice kindness. It can also be a way to spread the word and enlist others to the Kindness Campaign.

I have two "causes" I enlist friends in helping. I send items needed for elderly Indians in S. Dakota and for the unsheltered homeless in our city. Simply telling folks about the need and asking for help this winter I collected $400 for items for eight bedfast Indians on the reservation. We made it possible to send blankets, hygiene products, and bed pads for all eight. And an on-going project is providing needed items for the hundreds of unsheltered homeless gets support from my friends and family when I simple let them know what the needs are. At least once a month I collect a large trash bag of items for distribution.

What will you do? Do you have causes you care about? And who will you ask to help?

Will you take on the challenge to spread kindness wherever you are?

Please join the Kindness Campaign and please share here how you are doing. We need to share our stories to encourage each other and to enlist more folks to the campaign.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Got the Winter Blues?

As I mentioned last blog, I struggle with depression. And it is much worse in the winter for me. This video might help explain why this happens.

And there are ways to help, so take a look.

Here are some of the things that help me: turn the lights on all over the house all day; use light box every evening to lengthen the daylight; have social interaction, face to face, at least twice a week (if you live alone, talk with someone on the phone every day); walk or swim for exercise daily; avoid any mood altering chemicals that are not prescribed; listen to upbeat music; write down three manageable goals/tasks for the next day; spend time doing gratitude list; have a project to work on to give some focus to you activities; do something for someone else-get the focus off of yourself.

Those are some things that help me. I also take a anti-depressant during the winter months. When I follow my list of things that help, I manage on a low dose.

Here's hoping your winter is sunny from the inside out!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Glad Day

I was having a real struggle with depression. So I declared a "Glad Day."

When I'm depressed I find myself with lots of negative self-talk. My mind is complaining of just about everything. So I decided I needed to at least turn off the negativity from my own mind.

That Glad Day I would catch each negative I was aware of and find something related to be glad about. For instance, I had to go out in the snow and ice and was grumbling about that. So I said to myself, "I can be glad that people clear their sidewalks and the city clears the main streets."

And I grumbled about my body aches and pains and reminded myself, "I can be glad that I can get out of bed and walk even when it hurts."

And I kept finding things I could be glad about. I even thought of them before I grumbled about it. I was glad I had enough gas to get to the place I had to go. I was glad that we had enough food without having to go to the grocery store, even if it wasn't just what I wanted.

I can be glad for so many things that when I enumerate them there isn't room to note all the negatives!

So, if you struggle with depression or hear yourself grumbling, declare a "Glad Day!"

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A Better You + A Better World

Yes, I know you are not the whole world. And I don't believe you control the world. But what I do know is that the better you are the better the world around you becomes. And the more of us who are working toward being better, the better the rest of the world becomes.

Now, this doesn't mean that the world is bad because you aren't better. This is not a blame game. This is about making your own life, your own world, better by making yourself better.

Here's a video that can help you work on making yourself better. Hope you enjoy it. And I hope that enough of us can make a difference in the world.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

BGTL Month: Why?

Maybe you are wondering what the heck BGTL Month is. Well, it is the month of February dedicated to Be Good To Lucinda. It is a month when I determine to do something every day that is self-caring, that makes me feel good.

Why? Because I have a hard time taking care of myself emotionally. I forget to take care of myself when there are so many others who need care so many things to do. I get into being a "human doing" rather than a "human being."

Yes, I do get benefit from doing for others. It feels good. But it can sometimes be a distraction from really taking care of me. So I dedicate the shortest month of the year to BGTL. It is a cold month and the cold makes my body hurt more. More pain adds to the depression.  February is usually the worst month for my Seasonal Affect Disorder because we don't get a lot of sun then. And I struggle with depression.

When I'm depressed I catch myself doing negative self-talk, which, of course, makes the depression worse! So I use this month to keep reminding myself that I am worth taking care of. I make it a point to reach out to people more for social support. I treat myself to simple pleasures and spend time making plans for future vacations. We go to movies and buy ice cream. I go window shopping at a mall to get exercise when the weather doesn't encourage me to walk outside. I read more. I work on craft or sewing projects - being creative builds my self-esteem.

And I seek out motivation and guidance from experts. I found this video today and like it a lot. I hope it encourages you to take care of your emotional health. Maybe you can set aside a day or week or month to Be Good To --- you! Let me know if you do!