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Good Friends

It’s not the number of years we’ve known them. It’s the feeling we get when they cross our minds. Most would agree, a gift that provides tremendous joy is friendship.

During the last year, many of us have turned to those special folks for both support and laughter. It would be easy to take these kind souls for granted, but they deserve so much more.

Today I’d like to pay tribute to some valued friends who bless my life with their presence (not including family).

Ada, Al, Alice, Audrie, Billy, Brenda, Cynthia, Dick, Diana, Diego, Father Bob, Jan, Jeannie, Kate, Laura, Margie, Mick, Monica, Nancy, Nyamal, Nyamuoch, Pat, Paula, Shirley, Sister Jeanne, Steve.

Thanks for your wonderful gift of friendship!…
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Who To Thank?

We often say thank you without even thinking about who we thanked or what just happened.  Are automatic thanks valued?

If we think about the last time someone thanked us, can we remember who it was or what we did?  Perhaps the person who wanted to express their gratitude was hoping they brightened your day. Maybe they did.

This week we are likely to spend a bit more time thinking about all the wonderful people who make our life better.  You know who they are, but in case someone has slipped your mind, here are a few to consider:

*Janitors *Receptionists *Mechanics *Coaches *Nursing assistants *Childcare workers *Construction laborers *DJs *Editors *Fast food cooks *High school principals *Ice cream servers *Snow shovelers *Butchers  *Grandparents *Organists *Truck drivers *Pizza makers *Librarians *Bank tellers  *Bus drivers *Readers of blogs

Keep some thank you coins or notes in your pocket, and you will …
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World View

Our outlook on life can encompass our neighborhood or our world.  The way we look at the world is based on our beliefs and attitudes, and can be influenced by culture, society, religion, or personal experience. A world view impacts how we apply what we know to the larger world around us.  Having a world view often leads to respect for all individuals.

In the words of Mother Teresa — “Look around and you will see your brother and your sister, not only here in the United States, not only in your city or your area, but around the world. Everywhere there are human beings who are hungry, they look to you. There are so many who have nothing to wear and nowhere to love, and they look hopefully to you. Don’t turn your back on the poor.”

World Kindness Day is an international holiday that was formed in 1998 …
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Hats & Mittens

One of my favorite volunteer activities is working on reading skills with Kindergarteners. Today I read the story “The Three Little Kittens” about how they lost their mittens.  Was then fun to surprise everyone with hats and mittens for all.

Last week, a little student asked if I would hold his hand while walking outside to go to recess. Before entering the playground, I showed him how he could put his hands into his pockets to keep them warm.  No more cold hands for Kindergarteners!


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Inspiration

People, places, and things inspire us. Reflecting on the beauty in our world has an amazing impact on our brain and body.

Think about a time when you felt inspired.  Better yet, send an inspiring thought to someone, and imagine their reaction.

 


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The Hurrah Feeling

My friend, Ada, shared how while at the gym she observed a young woman who runs very fast. In a brief conversation, Ada learned that running in the upcoming marathon was something this woman really wanted to do, but simply couldn’t afford it.  A quick call to the owner of a running store resulted in a free marathon entrance.  For Ada, she “liked the hurrah feeling.”

New findings published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology confirm the power of being kind. Researchers found that people who perform a random act of kindness tend to underestimate how much the recipient will appreciate it.  And they believe that may hold many of us back from doing nice things for others more often. One of the study’s authors, Amit Kumar, commented “People tend to think that what they are giving is relatively inconsequential. But recipients are less likely to think along those lines.”…
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Simple Kindness

It’s often the little things that brighten our moments.  We may wonder how a simple nod of the head or a good morning smile could send a message.  But if someone is depressed or even feeling a bit down, that simple gesture can be a reminder that they are valued.

 


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Opportunity To Scatter Kindness

As prices for basic school supplies have greatly increased, we can only imagine the challenge faced by families with many children who all need supplies.  This presents a simple and easy opportunity for us to come to the aid of our neighbors.

Teachers often choose to purchase extra supplies rather than to see a child go without. If asked what is needed, they will quickly provide a short list of things like crayons, pencils, markers, folders, or backpacks which can all be purchased either in-store or online and delivered to a home or school.

Each year I enjoy bringing an assortment of school supplies to Partnership Academy in Richfield, Minnesota where I volunteer to assist a Kindergarten teacher.  The response always makes me smile!


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Summer of Kindness

Before summer ends, add one more random act of kindness to your list of accomplishments.

 

Need ideas?  Here are a few:

  • Leave a thank you note in your mailbox addressed to your mail carrier
  • Take treats to your local fire station
  • Bring a used book to a little free library – littlefreelibrary.org
  • Decorate a paper bag and add a food item or two each time you shop to donate to a local food bank. Find a food shelf near you – /feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx
  • Plant a small tree in honor of someone and plan to visit it when fully grown


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Sandwich Project

A helpful husband and good friend joined me in a fun and easy volunteer activity to prepare 200 sandwiches for urban American Indians in Minneapolis.

The Sandwich Project exists to serve those with food insecurity. Their efforts result in creating healthy and nurturing experiences by providing a basic need — a sandwich for lunch!

 

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