Wednesday, January 30, 2019


Sometimes the needs that we see around us seem too big for us to make a difference. But really, all you need to do to help is to ask others to help you help.

That's not a tongue twister. That is a truth about generosity. You will be surprised how many people are willing, even eager, to help others. They just don't know how or where to lend their energy. So when you see a cause that you believe in that needs support. Engage your friends and family in helping you to help that cause.

One of my areas of interest is homeless people. Recently I learned about a family that had finally made it out of homelessness to rent an apartment. They can now have a place off the streets and out of crowded shelters. However, they used all their money for the apartment and have nothing but a roof over their heads. 

They are grateful for that, of course. But now they need a way to remain in a rental. The father has a job that doesn't go far enough. They lost everything they had in the last house they lived in, so can use almost anything you can think of.

I went on FaceBook and told their story and ask for donations of household items, clothing, food, etc. And hour later I had people offering all kinds of things. Now I will coordinate collecting items and getting them to the family.

People want to help, they just don't always know how. You can be a catalest that changes lives when you ask others to help you help. I do this kind of thing often and it never ceases to amaze me how generous people are.

Try it. Let me know how it works for you


Sunday, January 27, 2019

You Never Know

When you do an act of kindness you never know how much it affects the receipient. Sometimes a small act of kindness can make a big difference.

I know that many folks think that unless their act of kindness is big or expensive, it really doesn't count. But the little things do make a difference.

Consider this checkout clerk's act of kindness. The receipient was going through a rough time with her youngest child in the hospital. And it was the holiday season. She and her older son went grocery shopping. Weary from worry, she didn't expect to be treated special. Take a look, it's a short clip:

So, this clerk, who was probably dealing with all kinds of frazzeled shoppers during the holiday season, was attentive to her shopper and her shopper's child. And she took the time to treat them as special. It made all the difference.

So who might you treat as special today, or tomorrow, or the next day? Let's all practice paying it forward.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Pay It Forward Thursday

Tomorrow is Thursday. Let's make it Pay It Forward Thursday. Let's do at least one random act of kindness tomorrow.

Why Thursday? Well, why not? You might choose a different day, of course. But it helps to have a specific day to remind you to look for opportunities to pay it forward.

"But, wait," you say. "No one has done anything for me to pass it forward." That is hard to believe. There are so many ways to be kind that there must have been some kindness this week. The key is to be aware. Look for it. Be aware of when someone is kind and be aware of ways you can be kind.

Awareness is a tricky thing. We get focused on work, or a game, or a hobby, or whatever, to the  exclusion of whatever else is going on. When we do that we lose sight of the interactions with people around us.

Or, you are so focused on the negative that you don't see the positive. These days it is easy to look at and for the negative behaviors of others. Turn that off. Look for something positive in what goes on around us.

Avoid labeling people and look for the positive in each one. When people become labels they become things. My grandmother always said that there is something positive in everyone and everything. She was a true silver lining person.

Once we had packed the car with her suitcase for a trip we were taking the next day. But the car had to be serviced. While it was in the mechanic's garage, someone stole her suitcase out of the trunk. Her response was, "Maybe they need those clothes  more than me." She wasn't even angry about it.

So, if you can't find any kindness you've experienced, start the kindness chain yourself! Being kind and thoughtful to someone starts a ripple effect. Make waves. Pay it forward. Make it a habit. Find a way to be kind to someone tomorrow!

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Pay It Forward

I looked for videos about paying it forward. Most of them were about paying money for someone's meal, coffee, purchase, etc. But most of us don't have much money to spare these days and we may beleive we can't participate in paying it forward.

But we'd be wrong. Paying it forward simply means doing a random act of kindness. And there are so many ways to do that. It just takes being aware of other people and what they might need at any given moment.

For instance, I was headed for my car from the grocery store and someone came over and offered to lift my bags into my trunk. I was grateful.

That's all it takes. I've had shoppers help me when I shop in the grocery store by reaching for things that are high up and hard to reach. I've had people help me find something on my list that I couldn't find. Simple.

Sometimes it is a simple as letting another driver into your lane in front of you. Or even something no one may even think of as an act of kindness. Sometimes I go to a store where the carts are returned in a haphazard fashion. I just take a minute or two to put them in neatly so the next shopper doesn't have to fight for a cart.

Or maybe you just smile and say hello to someone you may not know but looks kind of down. Or offer to share an umbrella with someone who hasn't one. Or you say "Thank you" to someone who seldom gets thanked.

Many folks say, why bother? The answer is that we each have the capacity to make the world better, one act of kindness at a time. Isn't that an important reason to take the time and thought to pay it forward?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

How Strong Are You?

So many of us think we don't have the strength to do difficult things. But we really do. We have all experienced difficult things in our lives. And we are still here to acknowlege it.

Don't underestimate your toughness. The very fact that you have survived this long is evidence of toughness. Things we seldom think about as our successes do attest to our ability to survive difficult times.

Maybe your difficulties are not high on the scale of hard to do as someone else's. But that doesn't prove you aren't tough. Just getting born isn't easy! And there are lots of hard times after that.

Consider some of the things you have been through and give yourself credit for having made it. You are a success! Begin to consider the successes in your life. Some of you have overcome childhood abuse. Some have accomplished academically. Some have overcome addition. Some have survived the loss of love, or of jobs, or of finances. Whatever hard times you've survived, you are a success.

So don't limit yourself by thinking that you can't do hard things. Experience hardships as training for successes in your future.

Have confidence in yourself. Set your mind to succeed.

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right."              Henry Ford

Check out this brief video.

Sunday, January 13, 2019


I find it very frustrating when there is a problem that I have no control over. And there are plenty of those these days.

How about you? Do you get frustrated:

Maybe this will help.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Change YOUR World

Change your wour world by changing your mind. Take charge of what your brain is telling you and creating your behavior. Make your life better by changing what you think. Put yourself in the driver seat. And as your life changes you influence the lives of others differently. So chaning your world begins to change the rest of the world.

Try this:

Become the person you want to be by making changes in your thinking.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Make A Better World

 This year, 2019, let's work every day to heal the world. When we each do one act of kindness each day we can each make the world better for 365 people. Spread the kindness.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

How Have You Begun?

It is the beginning of another year. 2019 is two days old. How have you begun to make the world a better place?

We are starting the new year by putting things in order. The holidays left the house in a bit of disarray. So we are clearing some clutter, paying bills, sorting paperwork, making to-do lists. I always transfer birthday and anniversary dates from the old calendar to the new. And I begin a file of financial stuff in preparation for time to do our taxes.

It just feels good to have some order restored to my life. There is so much of life that we have no control over that having things at home organized helps relieve some anxiety. So this is a way to make my own world a little better place to be.

The process can be a bit overwhelming if I'm not careful. So I start an overall to-do list, putting everything down on the list that I need and want to do. For me, it  helps to have it contained on a list so I'm not concerned about forgetting something. I can just keep adding to the list as I mark things off. That gets my year started sanely for me.

Other people find that listing all that is overwhelming and they tell themselves they can never do it all. I give myself permission to take things of the list if I decide they are not important and I don't want to do them. And I also break down large tasks into little lists of steps to finish them. Making that little list is a step toward finishing the task. I often do things in "baby steps" so that I'm not overwhelmed.

I don't do New Year's Resolutions. I've learned that it is too difficult to know what I will or won't be able to do for a year. But if I focus on those baby steps I get much more accomplished. In fact, I do some things in "inchworm mode." That's because I'm physically unable to stand for very long. But it works if you have low stamina and need to rest frequently. Even an inchworm gets to where it wants to go.

This week I will wind up my project to collect donations for the American Indian elderly and then order the thermal underwear they said they need. Last week we finished wrapping the new warm winter hats we collected for the unsheltered homeless.

Since I'm no longer physically able to do volunteer work, I coordinate projects to raise money for causes. What would you like to do for others? Now is the time to consider it and to reach out to change the world for someone else.

Do me a favor. Please, tell me what you will do this month to make the world a better place for yourself or someone else. If you have been following my blog, let me know if and how my blog has affected you.