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Tag Archives: April A to Z 2014

S is for something to wet your whistle

SI got to work a few minutes early this morning, and armed with a baggie full of dollar bills, I committed a Random Act of Kindness on the soda machine. Unfortunately I had not researched the going price of a soda ahead of time, or I would have filled the baggie with six ones instead of five. At some point during the day, three students got a drink, and someone got fifty cents. Sorry!

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2048 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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R is for rice, rice, baby

RDid you know that just by answering some multiple choice questions when I’m watching mindless reality shows in the evening, I am feeding starving people around the world? At Freerice.com, for every correct answer I choose, 10 grains of rice are donated through the World Food Program to end hunger. There are multiple subjects to choose from, so depending on my mood, I can either stick with a sure thing (multiplication tables) or challenge my memory with subjects studied eons ago (French vocabulary).

free rice

I am under no illusion that I am going to single-handedly stamp out world hunger via this website. According to my very lazy calculations (I measured out a serving, counted and piled up 100 grains, then scraped together similarly-sized piles until it was all gone), there are somewhere around 2500 grains of Uncle Ben’s in one 1/4 cup (uncooked) serving. But if a hungry child gets even one serving of rice because of my efforts, well, that’s one more serving than he would have had if I hadn’t logged on.

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2048 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 21, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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Q is for quiet hero

QThis post is sort of cheating on my theme, because I am not reporting on one of my own Random Acts of Kindness. Instead, I want to tell you about a friend who is a walking, talking, breathing RAoK.

A couple of years ago, this friend, whom we like to call WGPP, reluctantly retired from a job that was really more like one of his hobbies. That left him with a lot of free time each day, hours that couldn’t be entirely filled by his other main hobbies, fishing, reading, and poker. WGPP’s wife steadfastly refuses to let him stay home all day, so he had no option but to go out and find something else to occupy his time. What he found was a bunch of friends in need of transportation. One needed rides to chemo treatments, a double amputee needed rides to appointments at the VA hospital, an elderly woman with failing sight needed rides everywhere. His wife and a couple of friends, who shall remain nameless but look very much like me and the hubby, needed a sober driver to take them to local wineries for wine tastings.

Driving-visibilityWGPP is a consummate driver. He drove for more than 20 years in his job, and there are very few places in this state he can’t get to (he’s also one of the few people I know who never uses a GPS to get anywhere). He is happy being on the road. He enjoys being able to share stories with a captive audience. He has lots of free time and a wife who won’t let him stay home (did I mention that already?). These factors have led him to become the go-to guy whenever someone in his circle needs to get somewhere. Rarely do they have to ask him to drive. As soon as they mention they’ve scheduled an appointment, want to see a movie, or need bread and milk (or a glass of wine), he says, “I’ll be there at X o’clock to pick you up.” He never asks to be compensated for his time, his fuel, or the wear-and-tear on his car. He pays no mind to the distance, the hours consumed, the foul weather, or any other inconveniences many others might gripe about.

He drives for love. For the love of driving. For the love of being in the company of friends as the miles roll by. For the love of a good chat over a meal that wasn’t necessarily part of the original itinerary. For the love of unexpected side trips, because this thing worth seeing was along the route home from the original destination. For the love of being out of the house. He drives for love.

WGPP’s acts of kindness have a profound effect on the lives of those he touches. I’m not sure he always hears or absorbs the appreciation he deserves, because he often acts like the person he drove was actually the one doing him a favor. But I know the gratitude is there, not only from the ones in the car with him, but their family members who have been temporarily relieved of chauffeur duties. He is a quiet hero with a heart of gold who rides up to save the day in a chariot made by Volkswagen.

WGPP, on behalf of all of your passengers, past, present, and future, I thank you for your kindness, your selflessness, and your love. May the road always rise up to meet you.

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2051 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 19, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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P is for praise in unexpected places

PpraiseI’m kind of stuck on the theme of recognizing those who work hard in thankless jobs this week. I thanked my mailman on Wednesday. I’ve also thanked a few people whose names I don’t know, but without whose hard work, life would be a lot less pleasant.

I put a little thank you sticky note on the janitor’s checksheet in the bathroom at work. Another between empty trays stacked on top of the trash can at a local fast food restaurant. One more on the handle of a broom propped in the corner at the Costco.

Would you like a little unexpected recognition for your hard work? Who could you thank today?

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2051 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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O is for “One for you, one for me…”

OSimple RAoK today, but so fun to see the reaction of the recipient!

All I did was purchase one extra Reese’s Peanut Butter Egg than I needed (okay, I didn’t technically NEED any of them) and hand it to the cashier as she gave me my change.

Her facial expressions changed like a slide show: confusion, hesitation, more confusion, tentative happiness, full-on joy.

So much fun! 🙂

eggs

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2051 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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N is for noting a job well done

NIn my opinion, there are a lot of jobs in this world where you only get feedback if you’ve screwed something up. You never hear about all the things you’ve done well.

quiI think mail carriers fall into this category. They can deliver hundreds of letters, bills, catalogs, magazines, and packages in pristine condition, and no one ever thinks to say thanks. But let one magazine arrive with a torn cover or one piece of the neighbor’s mail find its way into the wrong box, and suddenly the USPS complaint line lights up with a fury. Gosh, that’s got to be horrible for workplace morale–I bet reprimanded carriers drive their routes fuming and seething. Not that legitimate concerns shouldn’t be voiced, but honestly, is a torn magazine cover really worth a formal complaint? Do you really want to antagonize the person who is delivering your biweekly paychecks?

I happen to have an awesome mail carrier, so this morning, a random Wednesday in April, I let him know how much the hubby and I appreciate his hard work with a note and a blueberry muffin in the mailbox. I followed that up with a formal compliment via the USPS website. I don’t know if praise filters down through the system to individual employees (I probably should have gone to the local post office instead), but I wanted to be sure someone higher up knew what a great job he was doing. Everyone deserves a pat on the back once in a while, don’t you think?

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2083 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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M is for making eye contact

MWe’re all busy. We’ve got things to do, places to go, people to see.

A lot of times we’re so busy we forget to see the people we meet while we’re doing things and going places. The cashier handing back our change at Starbucks. The guy sweeping up the trash around the pumps at the gas station. The elderly woman and her little dog slowly approaching us on the sidewalk. The little kid blocking up every single aisle in the grocery store. So many times we cast our eyes right past the folks who are moving in our circles but who aren’t IN our circles. As a result, many people in our society are given the impression that they are somehow inferior. They are demoralized each time someone looks through them or past them as if their existence does not matter. Eventually, they begin to believe what they live.

eyeballIn general, I am a big fan of making eye contact and do so fairly consistently, but I’ve made a concerted effort this month to make sure that every single person I encounter knows that I see him or her. Old or young, medical professional or busboy, clean and polished or dirty and ragged, I’ve acknowledged them all with at least a direct look and a smile, and when the circumstances warrant, a friendly comment or short conversation. I’ve noticed several people become more animated right before my eyes…their posture straightens, their eyes brighten, their faces relax. And suddenly they are the ones initiating eye contact and making conversation with strangers. It spreads like ripples on a pond.

Random acts of kindness don’t have to take a lot of planning. They needn’t require substantial financial resources. They can be as simple and as meaningful as looking someone straight in the eye and sending the message: “You matter.”

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In an attempt to overwrite all the negative feelings I have about April, especially today, on the 8th anniversary of my dad’s unexpected death, I have made a pledge to complete 26 random acts of kindness this month. Reporting on these acts is the theme of my participation in this year’s April A to Z Challenge. If what you read here inspires you to commit your own RAoKs this month, please share what you’ve done in the comments. Together, we can rewrite April’s legacy!

If you’d like to check out how some other bloggers are responding to the A to Z Challenge, click here. Beware, there are 2083 participants at the time of this posting…I accept no responsibility for the hours you are likely to lose once you start browsing! 🙂

atoz [2014] - BANNER - 910

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2014 in Challenges, True Life

 

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