Entries by Karen Kitchel

What Can You Do With One Shiny Penny?

A shiny penny is said to bring good luck. But have you ever considered using that one shiny penny to bring joy to someone?

When I was young, my brothers and I would gather up our pennies and rub them on the living room carpet until they glowed. Then we would stash them away to buy some penny candy. Those were the days!

Today I still save my shiny pennies until there is a nice stack. I discovered a fountain at the Mall of America where kids need only a penny to make a wish. After scattering pennies on the ledge, where they are sure be found, it’s fun to sit back and watch what happens.

One day a little guy came along, and I heard his Mom explain how to make a wish. She wouldn’t budge on him having to close his eyes or it wouldn’t come true. Next …
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Looking For Kind People

Know a kind soul? Heard about someone whose middle name should be “kind”?

Take a chance on having your unsung hero featured here. No rules on who, where or what. Your opinion matters.

Send what you want others to see by April 8 to karenkitchel@comcast.net

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Springtime Scattering

Welcome back birds and flowers – and frequent smiles! On the day spring arrives, our sense of wonder expands.

Add a bit more spring to your step today. Stop to say hello to someone you don’t know. Scatter a bit of kindness wherever you go.

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Questions Needing Answers

Here’s an opportunity to give advice to support youth in low-income communities, such as students who plan to become the first in their family to attend college, or students who are first generation immigrants. Working in communities traditionally lacking the most access, CareerVillage uses the power of their website to enable the most underserved youth to find new pathways.

More than 15,000 volunteers have shared their experiences. Once you sign in, you can customize your profile to identify the types of questions you would like to answer. You can then answer just the questions relevant to your background or expertise.

Here are a few examples of questions being asked:

* How can I make myself look like the best candidate for a scholarship?
* What qualities and skills do startups look for in a new hire?
* From a singers point of view, what’s life like?
* Are there any …
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Receiving With Grace

(By Guest Blogger, Leah Renter)

Asking for and receiving help can be difficult for me.

Maybe it’s geographic. Equal parts stubborn German and proud Midwesterner, I was raised to roll up my sleeves and rely on sheer work ethic. Maybe it’s genetic. I once argued with my grandmother for ten minutes in line at Subway over who was paying for the $5.50 cold cut combo. Or maybe it’s just me. I couldn’t accept a compliment with a simple, “Thank you” until my early 20’s. Perhaps you’re like me — only in your comfort zone on the giving end of the equation. In recent years, I’ve come to learn that receiving gracefully is the other (and often more difficult) side of the same coin.

During the past year, I’ve taken on a large home renovation project with my partner, and we’ve relied on so many people to complete the work. While …
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While You’re Away

Vacations should be fun!  Exploring new places and experiencing something new often adds to an adventure.  When planning a trip to the Caribbean, we chose Grenada because it appeared to offer a good variety of things to do, not to mention turquoise water and white sandy beaches.

We chose to stay at the Mount Cinammon Resort where we learned they have a “Pack for a Purpose Program.” Guests are invited to bring small school supplies to support the South St. George’s Primary School.  Being a volunteer kindergarten teacher, I liked the idea of spreading a bit of kindness around the globe. Spending time with some of the students was a real delight!  They say “If you save just a few kilos of space in your suitcase and take supplies for the project we support, you’ll make a priceless impact in the lives of our local children and families.”

You don’t …
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The Gift of Longevity

 (By Guest Blogger, Cynthia Brian, from her book “Be The Star You Are” Millennials To Boomers)

 

Life expectancy has changed dramatically since the time of the Roman Empire, when the average lifespan was 22 to 25 years. In 1900, the world average was 30, while in America a male could expect to live to 46 and a female to 48. Fast forward a hundred years to millennials born in 2000, where the average man is expected to live to 75 and average woman to 80.

The world’s highest life expectancy is found in Japan according to statistics gathered from the United Nations for 2005-2010. What characteristics set them apart from the rest of the world’s population?  An Okinawa Centenarian Study found that elders are laid back, adaptable, optimistic, and rely on strong family and friend connections plus deep spiritual beliefs. They also follow a low calorie diet and eat …
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How Do You Demonstrate Dignity?

Dignity is the right of a person to be valued and respected for their own sake, notes Wikipedia. We may not realize the great impact dignity has on our lives and our relationships. When we feel accepted, we have greater hope for the possibilities in our future.

How do you demonstrate dignity?  Simply treat people with courtesy and kindness. It can be as simple as asking someone’s name or looking them in the eye and saying good morning as you pass them by. The opposite is also true. If you lose a game and you say nasty things about your opponent, you may be acting without dignity.

Sometimes people who don’t look or act like us might cause us to think less of them, but it only takes a moment of thoughtfulness to prove our own dignity.  After serving breakfast to a woman at a homeless shelter she said: “You …
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The Gift Of Joyfulness

(By Guest Blogger: Cynthia Brian, from her book “Be The Star You Are! Millennials To Boomers”)

 

Experiencing  the world through the eyes of a child is a path to happiness.  Kids have such vibrant imaginations and they know how to squeeze bliss into even the tiniest details. The joy and wonder of being a child is a treasure to remember and relish forever.

When my son was five, he hugged my leg and said, “I love you so much, Mommy. But I don’t know who to love more: you or Santa?  You help lots of people, but Santa helps millions. This is a tough question! My heart skipped a few beats, and the joy that rushed through my veins was as strong as the current of Niagara Falls.  If he only knew…

Here are my simple suggestions for a life-altering payoff. Start practicing gratitude. Taste the sweetness of a …
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