Tag Archives: David Archuleta

Day 741: Elevator diaries

travel-tourism-elevator-lift-automatic_elevator-hotel-elevator_control-vsh0304_low.jpgSo, how’s your day going? Busy? Not busy enough? I hear ya.

Mine’s going okay, pretty quiet.

So quiet that something occurred to me today. I realized that without consciously thinking about it, I’ve started to talk to strangers more than I used to.

Now, the thought of saying even “Hello” to a stranger used to send me into a state of panic. No idea why. I might muster up a smile in return for one, or hold a door open for someone, but rarely, if ever, would I initiate any convo with someone I didn’t know.

“You dropped your glove,” is about as friendly as I’d get.

I think what helped me is that, when our office moved to our current building, we needed security guards to ride up the elevators with us and operate it with a key for the first six months.

The first trips in silence were beyond awkward, so I started asking them how they were doing, what book they were reading, any plans for the weekend? Kindergarten stuff for some, PhD thesis stuff for me.

In fact, when they upgraded our elevators so that we could operate them by ourselves, I really missed those guys. And still say hello when I see them on the main floor.

At first, I thought I was doing them a good deed by giving them a break from a boring task. But once they moved on, I realized they’d been giving me the break. Some warmth, some human connection in a sometimes frosty environment.

So now I’ve started to chat with other strangers too. If I give money to someone sitting in the subway, I greet them or *gasp* make eye contact. Also when waiting in line or for the bus.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s still not easy for me… but it is getting easier… baby steps, my friends, baby steps.


Thought this song was appropriate for today. 🙂



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Day 734: Random or not-so-random, kindness matters

coverstory-blitt-newspaper-revised-875x1200-1478270888I love hearing about random acts of kindness. That’s basically what this whole blog is about. Those small, everyday kindnesses that can make a big difference to someone else.

So I found this article by Dr. Susan Smalley, called There are no random acts of kindness: the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value, really interesting.

Here’s an excerpt:

I think it is a misnomer to describe acts of kindness as random; kindness arises with an intention to “be kind” followed by an action. While the acts may be directed toward anonymous people or animals, the person’s act of kindness is anything but random — it is deliberate and directional — non-random in nature.

I think that the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value. It reflects a conscious choice on the part of the actor, to give, to help, to share and to soothe. It seems to me that it is in the conscious choice we reveal our role in shaping our own humanity and even our evolutionary future.

The preparation of a sack lunch for a loved one is full of kindness; it is intentional and directional. I remember writing little notes and including small “surprises” (e.g. Hershey kiss) for my kids in their lunches when they were little. A sack lunch can carry a lot of love within it.The other day I saw my daughter preparing a “sack lunch” for her boyfriend who is in a rather rigorous 5 day a week 8 hour a day school program. She wrote his name on the bag — just like I used to do for her and her brothers when they were little. It was such a sweet act of kindness, and it made me think about all those sack lunches that will be prepared in the next months as the fall school season begins.

But there are many non-random acts of kindness around us all the time. When we meet a homeless man or woman on the street, we may offer a cup of coffee, give some change, or just wish them well with a smile and hello. That is anything but random — we choose to place our attention on them and we choose how to respond — with kindness or not…

I think what we really want to practice are more non-random acts of kindness – directed to those we know and to those we don’t know – as much possible.

I am sure it will make our lives happier and the world a kinder place.

So, whether we call them random or deliberate is clearly not the important thing. But that we try to do them at all.

One very non-random thing I’ve done a couple of times is to donate stacks of my beloved New Yorker magazine (which I try to read cover to cover, because every issue is just so dang amazing, but don’t always get to do) at my local hospital.

They conveniently have a big bin near the entrance to collect reading material for patients and their friends and families. What a great idea!

Recycling is all well and good but if you can share a great read with others that, to me, is an act of kindness… although definitely not a random one.


Song of the day, for the holidays. Enjoy!

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Day 727: Sneaky cards

I love this!

This Instagrammer got a demo copy of the new “pay it forward” game, Sneaky Cards, and is sharing each card on IG.

This one told me to prepay for a vending machine snack. Done! 2/55 #playitforward

A post shared by Gripp… Plays It Forward (@gripp.plays.it.forward) on

I’ve actually done this one before for GDAD and just hoped the person who found the coins in the machine might think to do the same for someone else, but this game spells it right out for them. (Which I know I need most of the time. 🙂 )

Song for the day… warning: can’t get this one out of my head. mwahaha Enjoy!

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Day 725: Random Acts of Kindness Day

So apparently it’s Random Acts of Kindness Day today — aka every day here at GDAD. 🙂

In honour of this special day, thought I’d share stories of some very lovely gestures of kindness that happened during the big Ottawa snowstorm yesterday (via @CBCOttawa on twitter).

I went to university in our nation’s capital so I know just how cold winters are there… but happy to know Ottawa hearts are still as warm as ever….

And my personal favourite:

Have you experienced any random acts of shoveling this winter? Please share!

Song for the day… Snow Patrol of course… an acoustic cover of Chasing Cars, appropriately enough. Enjoy!

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Day 688: De-stress yourself

Wow, I’ve been away for longer than I thought, lol.

But I just got back from a vacation and I got this sudden urge to share some of the relaxation I experienced. (And should last for maybe an hour now that I’m back at work. 🙂 )

I’m convinced that nothing is more relaxing than watching frolicking dolphins, so here you go (videos taken by me!):

And I was checking out other ways to relax and found these interesting tips:

Knit to unknot
Along with taking a walk, deep breathing, yoga etc., apparently it’s very relaxing to knit or do other handicrafts: “Repetitive motions can soothe anxiety, according to avid knitter and pediatrician, Perri Klass, M.D. Mindfulness expert Dr. Herbert Benson agrees: Knitting fulfills the two criteria of mindfulness practice, as he sees it: ‘the repetition of a sound, word, phrase prayer, or movement, and the passive setting aside of intruding thoughts and returning to the repetition.'” Knitting as “phrase prayer” … I never thought of it like that but it makes perfect sense.

Snack slowly
Did you know that a small indulgence (like chocolate or ice cream) can be good for you? Especially if you take your time to savour the moment, the texture, the whole experience — meditate on it!

“Dr. Drew Ramsey, an assistant clinical professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons and the author of The Happiness Diet told The Huffington Post earlier this year: ‘Stress is a brain and immune system mediated phenomena, and your gut is the largest organ in your immune system.'”

So go have that bonbon!

Give yourself a hand
“Applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle (the joints at the base of your pointer and middle fingers) can help to create a sense of instant calm, according to Sharon Melnick, author of Success Under Stress.

“‘It activates a nerve that loosens the area around the heart, so any of that fluttery feeling you feel when you’re nervous will end up going away,’ Melnick told Business Insider.”

And music may be the best relaxer of all, enjoy and Happy Holidays!


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Day 681: Back-to-back good deeds

TTC-Streetcar-Snow-TorontoI rode the bus with some very kind people today. It was a standing-room only crowd all bundled up because the weather turned bitterly cold today.

When a couple got on with their two small boys, an elderly Asian lady, her cheeks crinkling as she smiled, struggled up to her feet to offer them a seat.

The mom turned to ask the youngest boy if he wanted to sit down, he shook his head no, as did the older boy. So they thanked her and she sat back down.

Then the bus rocketed around the corner and everyone standing, including the young family, struggled to hang on and keep their balance. So a young man in a single seat also stood up and offered the boys a seat. Again they said no, probably because we were about to pull into the station.

It still warmed my heart to see that even during rush hour, strangers could show each other kindness.

I was reminded of that kindness later in the day when I dropped off some pasta and tomato sauce into the food bank bins by the Christmas tree in the lobby of our office building. They were overflowing by then and I had a difficult time fitting my bag in. Very nice to see.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

P.S. Song for the day, “The Prayer” … enjoy!

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Day 677: Pan-demonium

I saw something today that I just had to share. Something small. But something lovely.

I was waiting in line at a lunch place near my office and it was later than I usually have lunch so my stomach was literally growling. So was I… hunger makes me cranky.

And just ahead of me was a short bald man who looked sort of lost. He kept looking up at the blackboard that listed the specials and scratching his head.

By the time he got to the cash register, he mumbled a bunch of questions to the cashier but she kept leaning forward to ask him to repeat them. His accent was Eastern European but I think, but I couldn’t quite place it.

He must’ve asked how the fish was prepared because the girl began to describe in great detail how it was cooked.

“In a frying pan,” she enunciated.

He shrugged, still not understanding.

“IN A FRYING PAN!” she repeated, loudly.

Nope, he still wasn’t getting it.

“F-r-y-i-n-g-P-a-n,” this time s-l-o-w-l-y with hand motions miming the whole frying process.

Now, I had started out wanting to bodycheck this guy out of the way so I could get my dang lunch already, but the more she tried to explain, practically re-enacting a scene from Iron Chef, the more it made me smile.

So by the time she took things to the next level and marched to the back of the kitchen to actually grab a frying pan and show it to the guy, I was ready to give her a big hug (the long line that had formed behind me might have felt differently, however.)

It just really touched me that this young cashier (who gets zero tips, by the way) worked her little heart out trying to help this guy.

And yes, he got his pan-fried fish (if he’d have changed his mind and had lasagna, things might’ve gotten ugly) … and yes, I finally got my lunch, and walked out so cheery from watching it all unfold, I gladly donated to the charity drive some students were holding on the next corner.

So I guess you could say we all lived happily ever after.

P.S. In honour of this “pan” story, here’s Pat-A-Pan. 🙂 Enjoy!

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