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Why Are People Kind?

Ever get a warm, fuzzy feeling while witnessing a simple act of kindness?  Research published in the US Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests even reading about kind acts can result in contagious kindness.

Positive News reports that things like giving up your seat on the bus to a stranger, makes the giver feel good. Kind acts done often enough become part of our identity, making us feel proud of who we are.

“Kindness is the social glue that connects individuals” notes the organization, Random Acts of Kindness. Volunteering or donating to an interesting cause can open up a new circle of connections.

Human brains are hardwired for empathy, say psychologists at the University of Virginia. So cheering up someone else makes us feel good too. And kindness is attractive — in a study of more than 10,000 people, kindness ranked above physical attractiveness when asked about preferences in …
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Unexpected Joy — A Swan Story

An unexpected surprise came our way early Saturday morning when a pair of trumpeter swans appeared on the little lake behind our home.  For more than thirty years, we’ve watched geese, ducks, and colorful birds appear out our window.  Swans we saw only in books.

Before long, neighbors appeared lakeside, and wide-eyed children couldn’t comprehend what they were witnessing. Photos aimed at capturing this phenomenon could not totally grasp the feelings of this incredible happening. For almost an hour, we watched these amazing creatures glide across the water and eventually take flight.

In doing a bit of research, we discovered this pair probably mated for life. In the 1930s, fewer than 100 trumpeter swans remained south of Canada. More recent efforts have focused on reintroducing the species to areas thought to be part of the former breeding range which includes Minnesota.  In 2015, an estimated 17,000 trumpeter swans were spotted …
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May the Road Rise Up to Meet You

No one knows exactly where the much loved Irish blessing “May the Road Rise Up to Meet You” came from. Some trace it back to St. Patrick because it is similar to his other writings. This blessing was originally an Irish prayer, first written in the Irish Gaelic language and then translated into English.

The Irish are said to have a deep appreciation for all things nature and outdoors. The Celts often used wind, sun and rain as symbols or to show how God is connected with His people.

 

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An Unlikely Friendship

A thought-provoking story provides a journey for us to explore life’s lessons. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse is a heartfelt book filled with characters and conversations to reflect on questions we may have forgotten to ask ourselves.  One of my favorites is:

 

 

This beautiful book, follows the tale of an unlikely friendship between a curious boy, a greedy mole, a wary fox and a wise horse who find themselves in difficult terrain. Sharing their greatest fears and biggest discoveries reminds us of some universal lessons like how to love without limit.

Thanks to my delightful friend, Ada Alden, for recommending this book. She is a blueprint for kindness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Birthday Scattering

So very much appreciate all of the beautiful birthday wishes from around the world yesterday!

An afternoon activity, planned by my always-thoughtful husband and daughter, allowed us to create 50 gift bags for the homeless.  Each one was addressed “To Someone Special” and contain a variety of treats, notepads and pens.  Those staying at the Higher Ground shelter in St. Paul are soon to be smiling.

No better way to celebrate a birthday than with the gift of giving!

 

 

 

 

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All You Need Is Love

“It was an inspired song and they really wanted to give the world a message” commented Brian Epstein, band manager of the Beatles.  The first performance of All You Need Is Love was in 1967 on Our World, the first live global television link, and watched by 400 million people in 26 countries via satellite.

What made this hit so popular?  Epstein concluded “The nice thing about it is that it cannot be misinterpreted. It is a clear message saying that love is everything.”

 

 

 

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Happy National Pizza Day!

The vast majority of people, in America and around the world, love pizza and eat it on a regular basis. This holiday is always held on February 9, according to Holiday Insights.

Some interesting trivia on the ever popular pizza:

  • Pepperoni is the most popular, preferred by 36% of  people.
  • Over 3 Billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year.
  • More pizzas are sold on Super Bowl Sunday, than any other day of the year.
  • Halloween is the second most popular day for eating pizzas.
  • Over 17% of restaurants serve pizza.
  • The first pizza was sold in Naples, Italy in 1738.
  • Americans consume over 23 pounds of pizza per year.

And if you really want to practice scattering kindness today, you could order some pizza for a local shelter.

 

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Prisoner Pen Pals

The goal of writing to a person in prison is to let them know they are not forgotten. Through letters, we show compassion, caring, and understanding. I joined the Twin Cities Prison Ministry several years ago to help provide a presence to those affected by incarceration.

In a letter I received from my first pen pal, Donald, he said how sorry he was for taking so long to write, but he didn’t have money to buy stamps. He went on to say how my letter  put a very big smile on his face.  “Friends are hard to find” he wrote, and “Where there was no hope, now there is hope.”  I also appreciated knowing he’s praying for me and my family. Every letter ended with “write real soon.”

Lenny’s first letter began with how happy and thankful he was to receive a letter and for taking time out of a …
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Kindness Scattered

A group of writers were asked what we can do to scatter more kindness this year. One responded with poetry.

 

KINDNESS SCATTERED
by EsterFlowers1

Empathy takes little heart;

Coins in cups to pay your part,

Scattering, like chicken feed

To fellow human beings in need.

– Or so I was told, at corruptible age,

By one who I always considered quite sage.

 

Now I know kindness is not coins in cups;

It’s the laughter that cures the ill of hiccups.

It’s a sharing of honest reflections and ken.

It’s the nod which passes between two worthy men.

It’s the dog that comes sniffing at trembling hands.

-All those big little things humankind understands.

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