Tag Archives: life

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 742: Survival of the kindest

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In honour of the upcoming World Peace Weekend (Sept. 23-24), wanted to share this amazing video.

It highlights a project that began in Washington State in 2012, called the “Compassion Games” — an antidote to the “Hunger Games” atmosphere of much of our world today.

In 2012, there were two teams in the Compassion Games, Seattle and Louisville. In 2013, two teams grew to 19, and in 2014, there were 159 teams. In 2015, over 200 teams from around the world directly served over 500,000 people.

The Compassion Games website offers ideas on how to participate or support, and even offers tips on starting your own “coopetition,” at work or in your community. “Games” can include any act of compassion, from personal acts of kindness to community service projects, like revitalizing a neighbourhood, starting a food drive or rehabilitating a walking trail.

I’m going to share this idea with our company’s volunteer Philanthropy Committee. Wish me luck!

p.s.

Song for the day. Sara Bareilles singing Smile at the Emmy Awards In Memoriam Tribute in 2014. Beautiful

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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 740: Lone wolf

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Came across this little story today and it really stuck with me.

Maybe because of all the crazy headlines and political turmoil out there right now. I’m certainly guilty of letting it get to me and lashing out online or in person about things I have zero control over.

I want to keep coming back to this story as a reminder to focus on the things I do have control over… like being a little kinder, more empathetic and loving to my loved ones, but also to strangers I may disagree with.

Not easy.

But definitely helps me feel more at peace. We can only do what we can do, as my mom often says.

Maybe it’ll help keep that nasty wolf at bay.

p.s.

Song for the day. One of my favourite jazz vocalists. Enjoy!

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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 738: The power of music

We’ve probably all experienced the power of music at one time or another … how it can entertain, bewitch, even heal.

This story struck me for two reasons. How volunteering can change the life of the volunteer even more than those they’re helping (it’s done that for me).

And how music connects with a deep part of our soul, and brings us to life.

Just had to share, hope you enjoy it.

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