“We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery, we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.”
Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977)
Comedic Actor, Filmmaker, Writer
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Many years ago I came across the most excellent saying I will never forget printed on a shirt worn by an elderly gentleman in his late 70’s. It was just a plain black tee-shirt with an image of a bright moon, however it was the simple three words that spoke such a powerful reminder: BE THE MOON.
The moon shines in darkness. So must we, especially during such senseless tragedies as the Boston bombing this week.
We need more random acts of kindness in our world. Rick Warren recently reminds us that “a crisis depletes your emotions.You must intentionally replenish them. Make a list of what restores you and do those things.”
Let us be the moon for one another. YOU have many-of-a-somethings others need and would be blessed by. WE all make such a difference in each others lives. Let us also remember to nurture ourselves, not selfishly, but lovingly.
There are a million ideas I can think of for just engaging in random acts of kindness where we are today. I will list just a few and encourage you to make your own list. Let us “be the moon” today and shine on others, not just during the darkness, but as an example, as a beacon.
1. Love our families and friends. Show them. Hug them. Tell them.
2. Smile more, especially at strangers. Make conversation in an elevator. Wish a passerby a happy day or a blessing.
3. Say I’m sorry. First. Regardless of who is wrong. Make it your mission to restore peace and suck it up! Squash that pride. It’s not worth it.
4. Clean up graffiti. Your time. Your paint. Just because.
5. Donate your used books to a library, nursing home or community center. Grab some extras from thrift stores and donate those too.
6. Buy a homeless person a meal. Consider a care package for a homeless shelter.
7. Volunteer. Needs are all around us. Give of yourself, your time, freely.
8. Let someone go in line in front of you. Hold the door open for a stranger.
9. Read to a child. Mentor an at-risk teen.
10. Pay the tab for the person behind you.
11. Return your shopping carts. This speaks enormous courtesy!
12. Say thank you. Be thankful.
13. Words of encouragement. Offer them.
14. Pick up trash.
15. Visit an animal shelter or a nursing home. Just love on them and give your time.
16. Collect canned food or give to a food bank.
17. Donate blood. Donate used clothing. Just donate.
18. Share produce with your neighbor.
19. Complain less. Make someone laugh.
20. Be polite on the road. Forgive others.
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Wishing you all a beautiful Wednesday and blessings,
“What can we do to make the world a better place? That’s the question that should be foremost in our mind, always. We must be the change.” ~Sandi Krakowski
My oldest son stopped by to see me over the weekend. Of course, I had let him know that I had some homemade vegetable soup, for which he was so ready for after having the flu this past week. I do not get to see my kids as much as I would like now that they are grown, living on their own and doing their own “stuff.” It means the world to me to have time with my handsome sons, especially to see their smiles, hear their laughs, feel their hugs and smell their smells. Today I fell in love with his underarm deodorant when we hugged! (Smelled divine!)
My youngest son recently shared an adventurous time he had at Lake Nacimiento with some friends and a random question he was asked that he initially had a hard time answering because he just did not know the answer. “Dude…what is your passion in life?” It took him three days pondering over the depth of such a simple question to find the answer.
How many of us know our passion in life? Have YOU tapped into your passion in life?
I think the best way to know the passions we have in life, the things that make us feel alive, are those we can remember from childhood that we engaged in. If you take the time to remember those years, what did you most love, do and were drawn to? As a child we were more fearless and without reservations in what we loved to do and be about. This is a source. Compared with other people I know, I feel I do live this way more often than not, but certainly now would like to be more involved with those passions that are all mine for me. Work and school certainly consume my life more now than ever before and I really notice feeling a bit off when I am not taking time to enjoy the passions in my life that allow me to just be me.
Whether we can make our passion our occupation or not, I feel it is important to tap into passions as hobbies, not just dreams without legs, and to experience a flavor or color of our passions each and every day for a full and happy life. Passions do not necessarily equal money. (But if so, save for those passions!) For example, when I was a child I loved living on the edge, dangerously, adventurously and without limit or worry. This past summer I experienced the excitement of simply riding on a “really gynormous” bus for free to and from our local street fair on the 4th of July. I always wondered what riding a bus that size would be like. The sway around corners, the vast windows and length of this traveling Twinkie just left me in awe. I was both afraid (what if we crashed on the freeway without wearing seat belts?) and excited (no one could see in the windows from the outside) and enjoyed this passion just for me. But, what made the experience even better was sharing it with someone I loved and it literally cost me nothing but a choice. Simple decisions or pricey choices. What is worth our passions?
Some things that truly make me feel alive and touch my soul, much like literature does, include: making someone smile or easing the discomfort of an animal; playing ball with my dog, reading, writing, classical music and swimming, especially swimming in warm water at night; playing Scrabble and dressing/creating paper dolls; finding neat rocks and shells during a hike or walk on the beach; growing an organic garden and cooking; preparing a delicious meal and watching faces savor what I have cooked; laughing, and laughing hard, from the gut, with tears pouring down my face. I could just go on and on. I also love coloring with crayons and playing hopscotch, things I really also loved as a young girl.
(My brothers all loved comic books as kids! One brother has made HIS PASSION HIS OCCUPATION as a comic colorist!)
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Taking a few minutes to tap into your passions and to explore the reasons behind those passions is well worth a spot on the calendar!
So this week, in addition to eating healthy, drinking water and engaging in exercise, I hope we all can tap into a new habit: exploring those things we were most passionate about during our childhood. Let’s nourish our spirits in addition to our physical bodies.