Tag Archives: humour

Day 755: 5 ways to celebrate World Kindness Day

flowersToday is World Kindness Day, basically the Olympic Games for good-deed bloggers.

The pressure is on and I am UP for it! Well, I’ll try, anyways.

Here are the 5 ways I plan to be kinder today:

  1. Lend a hand
    I got a head start this morning when our elevator wasn’t working. (Apparently the elevator software was in “holiday” mode because of our office being in a public building and it’s a government holiday for Remembrance Day.)There were two strapping young gentlemen in the elevator with me, but I volunteered to hike down the long hallway to security to alert them of the problem. The security guard at the main desk put in a phone call and the person acted so quickly, the doors almost shut before I ran back into the lift. That would’ve meant seven flights of stairs for me. Not a great way to maintain a kind mood… but I digress.
  2. Don’t be annoying
    Not as easy as it sounds. How have I accomplished this so far? I let others go ahead of me in line for the microwave in the staff kitchen, not letting my hunger pains turn me into an ogre who stampedes to put their lunch in first. Oh, I also avoided making loud phone calls next to others and kept my cracker crunching to a minimum.
  3. Let a smile be your umbrella
    It actually is raining today, so that kind of fits. 🙂 I tried to make a new person feel welcome this morning and smiled at 2.6 strangers (one of them wasn’t a complete stranger).
  4. Truly listen
    This one can be hard. When you’re busy or in a rush, it can be really stressful to stop and take the time to listen to someone who needs to share something. It wasn’t easy, but I did do this today, and I want to try and do it more often.
  5. Reach out 
    I spoke with two family members today and messaged a friend, and I want to connect even more this afternoon. I’ve been in that mindset before where you’re waiting for someone to contact you and wondering why they haven’t. Fortunately, I usually snap out of it, give my head a shake and say to myself, “Maybe they’re wondering the same thing about you, bozo.” (I know I usually recommend being kind to yourself, but sometimes something stronger is required. 🙂 )

Have fun out there celebrating, my friends!!!!

p.s.
Song for the day… a Smile from me to you. Enjoy!

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Day 744: Poetry Friday

Needed to hear this today. Just in case you do, too, I thought I’d share. Powerful.

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Because opening our heart to others often begins with opening our heart to ourselves. And that doesn’t mean letting ourselves off the hook, or giving ourselves an easy ride.

But digging deep to be our best selves. Finding the motivation we need to do the best we can with the gifts we’ve been given. To make an effort to make a positive difference in the world, even in small, everyday ways. To try and love our neighbours as ourselves.

Happy Friday!

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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.

p.s.

Thought this song was appropriate for today. 🙂

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Day 739: Falling for transit

So, I came across this story today and it really hit home (no pun intended).

Ever since I had a bad fall last September on a city street and dislocated and broke my wrist, I have been very nervous walking down the stairs at the subway.

Just like the man in this story, I’d been rushing … to catch a bus to meet my husband for dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary, as it happens.

I still can’t remember if I tripped on the streetcar tracks, or was jostled by hordes of Toronto Blue Jays fans (I still blame the Jays), but I came crashing to earth as if in slow motion and immediately knew something was wrong with my arm.

I had my own guardian angel that day. A lady in white who appeared out of nowhere and asked if I’d like her to go inside the restaurant I sat in front of to ask for some ice.

A passing police officer also helped me, along with a coworker who happened by and wondered why I was on the ground talking to a policeman. He said he didn’t think I’d had enough time to leave the office and tie one on at the bar. 🙂

Anywayyyys, enough about me.

The reason I mention that is because reading the story below about Yves Allard — who fell down the stairs at Toronto’s Bathurst station and was helped by a Good Samaritan —  reminded me of those lovely people who helped me that day.

I really hope I’ll jump in and help too, if I’m needed. I know now how much simple concern and kindness can mean so much when you’re disoriented and hurt and feeling vulnerable.

I’m going to share this story on social media and I hope anyone reading this does so too, the original link is HERE… to help Yves find the “Good Samaritan” so he can thank him.

Here’s an excerpt of his story:

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by Amara McLaughlin, CP24.com

A Toronto resident is searching for a “Good Samaritan” who called 911 after he tumbled down a TTC staircase while rushing to an appointment on Saturday afternoon, sustaining a head injury.

Yves Allard fell down a flight of stairs in Bathurst Station around 4 p.m. while he was making his way to the subway platform. … A man standing on the platform rushed to his aid until emergency crews arrived.

“He kept my conscious so once in a while he would tap my face to make sure I didn’t pass out,” Allard said.

He was rushed to hospital where he was treated for a deep gash wound on the back of his head, receiving eight staples. … Now he wants to thank the stranger in person and has started an online search, posting to social media “letting my guardian angel know I’m okay and that he saved my life.”

The “Good Samaritan” is described as a shorter man, believed to be in his late 20s or early 30s, with dark hair.

“I don’t know how to reach him or too much about him … [but] all I want is to thank this man from the bottom of my heart for helping me through a severe trauma,” Allard wrote in his online post.

Full story here.

p.s.

Song for the day:

Love the message of this song, and the performer, Gregory Porter, who I was fortunate enough to see in concert at The Toronto Jazz Festival last summer, and meet him by accident in the CBC Building that same day! It gave me the chance to tell him how much I love his music. I NEVER do things like that if I spot a celebrity… but he was so gracious, he made me glad I did.

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Day 737: Lost and found times two

mitten.JPGOnce upon a time I had a pair of mittens. Warm mittens. Emblazoned with a maple leaf.

I was so careful with these mittens, you’d think they were spun with pure gold, not wool. When I wasn’t wearing them, I’d tuck them into my purse or a tote bag so I wouldn’t drop them. I kept them in a safe place every night so I could grab them in the a.m.

But then, one morning, as I was coming into work, I got distracted by holding the door from the street open for a young guy using crutches, his left leg in one of those hard plastic casts.

I’ve had my fill of casts this past year, so I was eager to help him out. When I left the office that night and my mittens weren’t in my bag, I thought I’d just left them behind on my desk.

Nope. They weren’t there in the morning. I’d lost my beloved mitts.

I shared my sad tale with some colleagues when we were out at lunch and they suggested I check with the security desk on the main floor. Since I’d dropped them somewhere between the main door of the building and our office on the seventh floor, there was a chance some kind soul might have turned them in.

So, on the way back from lunch, a lovely coworker stepped up to the security desk and asked about my mittens. Bam. He pulled out a red, white and grey woolly item. Only one. Then I struck out at the other security desk closer to where I’d opened the door for Mr. Foot Cast.

I was happy to have one back but wasn’t about to give up. A few days later, after a prayer to St. Anthony (the patron saint of lost articles never lets me down 🙂 ), I kept looking around the main floor of the building in case someone had left it on a ledge or something. Nada.

Then something told me to ask again at the security desk I’d struck out at. And Bingo! The security guard pulled out a bin that looked like it was designated for lost and found items and there was my second mitten!

So that meant two different people were kind enough to turn in each of my mittens (which I must’ve dropped separately) at two different security desks.

There is much good in the world my friends. Much good.

p.s.

Song for the day, enjoy!

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Day 735: Ice, ice, baby


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Okay, so it hasn’t been quite this icy on Toronto streets lately, but it has been pretty slippery in spots out there.

And I have broken both wrists over the past two years … the left one after a very bad fall that bruised both my arm and my ego.

So, forgive me if I’ve been a little skittish out there and inching along even more slowly than my 82-year-old Pops.

In fact, right outside his building, I almost went flying went I walked across a patch of black ice on the way to the grocery store.

So when I saw that the lock had rusted off the box of rock salt outside the store, I was hit with a brainwave (my annual one).

And a plastic bag left behind at the bank machine beside the supermarket helped me execute my cunning plan.

After I came out of the store with my dad’s purchases, I used the extra bag to scoop up as much salt as I could from the box. Since I was using it for the public good, on a route directly in front of the store, I figured no one would mind. (And I didn’t set off any sirens or alarm bells, so, SCORE!)

I carefully navigated the snowy sidewalk back to my dad’s building, and when I got to the patch of black ice, I carefully distributed my swiped salt as evenly as I could over the surface.

Yes, I ended up having to use my bare hands and risk dreaded chapped skin, but it was well worth it. Disaster hopefully averted… until the next storm, anyway.

In other winter good-deed news, a friend of mine told me that her neighbour regularly takes her snowblower over to my friend’s property and takes care of her driveway too… how nice is that?!

Stay upright, all!

how-to-walk-on-ice

p.s.

I shouldn’t laugh at this after my falling history but I just can’t help myself. Enjoy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Day 731: Fighting the good fight

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You might notice my last post here was in May.

My life took an unexpected turn in May. My sister got very ill. Then, my brother needed emergency lung surgery. And a few weeks after that, my dad had a stroke and my husband and I spent the summer overseeing his care, packing up his house and moving him from his town two hours away to Toronto, to be closer to us.

Oh and I fractured my wrist out of sheer folly and carelessness.

Not only did I have no time to blog about good deeds, I didn’t much feel like doing them. It felt like there was some kind of dark cloud hovering over our family and around every corner was more bad news and road blocks and frustrations.

Did I rise to the occasion and feel appreciative of the small miracles of life and more loving toward my fellow humans? I’m ashamed to say, no. Quite the opposite.

Being sleep deprived and wracked with worry made me short tempered and selfish and resentful. “Why me?” “Why now?” “When do I get my life back??”

Tough times can bring out the best in people, draw out admirable qualities and virtues they never knew they had. You read about average Janes and Joes in the World Trade Center on 9/11 who didn’t hesitate to put others first when it really mattered and rose to the challenge of trying to save as many people as they could.

Or just today, I heard an interview on CBC radio that brought me to tears, about a man in New York who — without hesitating for a second, and at risk to his own health — donated his stem cells to a complete stranger in Toronto who suffered from leukemia.

And here I was complaining about having to trek two hours to Cambridge, Ontario, every Friday after work to pack up my dad’s house and make arrangements for his care.

Very humbling, folks. And a good reminder to me of why I started this blog in the first place.

Because I’m not one of those noble, truly selfless people I mentioned above. I’m usually too stuck in my own head and preoccupied with my own comfort to automatically put the well-being of others before my own. To spontaneously lend a hand. Offer a shoulder. Look a stranger in the eye and smile.

My family isn’t out of the woods yet but I felt like sharing this today after I watched the video above. Not sure why it touched me so deeply but it cracked open a box of worries and regrets and new resolve that hopefully means I can keep fighting the good fight.

It struck me that even though I may not be made of heroic stuff, I can certainly keep trying to be better. Kinder. Even if it’s just in small, simple ways. Doing things from a place of love. For I do believe that’s what we’re here for.

Here’s hoping writing it down like this will help me stick to it. One good deed at a time.

p.s.

In my absence, I missed this really cool project that Patrick shared on my “About Me” page, called the Good Mojo Project. Please do check it out!:

What a fantastic blog and project you have. I wanted to share an idea I came up with called the Good Mojo Project. The idea of the Good Mojo Project is to give a flood of positive messages and posts to one person a day who needs a pick-me-up (like when it is your birthday on Facebook). With enough people buying-in, it would be an amazing experience to see all that support and good energy being directed towards them when they are having a hard time.
What do you think of this idea? Would you be open to sharing the page below and getting more people on board to send the messages?
https://www.facebook.com/GoodMojoProject/
Thanks for checking this out!
Patrick

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