Changing the World

Can you change the world? Can I? It’s not an easy undertaking. The world is a pretty big place, after all. What could you do to change it? Something so big, so important, that the whole world takes notice and thereby becomes a better place.

Nah. That’ll never happen. I’m too small. Too insignificant. I’m just one person, what can I do?

What I can do is change how I define the world.

What is the world? For me, for you, for all us, it is our house. It is our neighbors and neighborhood. Simply put, the world is the part we have a direct influence over. It is the part we interact with.

It begins with our family, the people we live with, the ones we interact with every day. We can easily change their world. Kindness. Patience. Compassion. It’s often hardest to show such traits to those who share our dwelling. They have the greatest opportunity drive us batty. But we can change their world with a few positive character traits. We can make their day, set their day off on the right track, or end their day with a smile.

I may not be able to change your world. However, I can certainly change mine and those around me.

Change the World Quote

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Even When It’s Not Easy

I read in a book that when given the choice between right and being kind we should always choose to be kind. Both boys understood that concept. Wouldn’t it be great if we could teach it to the whole world?

I know I’m probably preaching to the choir here. You, my reader, are kind. You probably show kindness wherever you can, whenever you can, to everyone you can. I don’t need to tell you not to judge others because they wear mismatched socks, or yell at their kids, or cut you off on the highway, or took the last bag of storm chips. I don’t need to tell you to use words of encouragement, to lift others’ spirits, or how a smile can change someone’s day. I think my readership already understands the power of kindness.

You do, don’t you?

However, the words”you can” from that last paragraph leaves us a bit of a loophole, doesn’t it? If you can, you do. If you can’t, you don’t. It is really tough to show kindness that arsehole who just told you you’re a bad parent. It’s really tough to show kindness to the jerk who just flipped you the bird. It’s really tough to show kindness to the idiot who just drove a front loader through your house. But if you can, be kind.

I see it as paying it forward. I’m kind to someone and in return they’re kind to someone else. Eventually, that chain of kindness will return to me. Or you. Or all of us. I think that’s how karma works.

I can honestly say, as much as the boys can drive us absolutely mental sometimes, one thing they fully understand is kindness toward others. Crash looks out for his classmates with special needs. He makes sure they get outside safely when the fire alarm scares them. He sees that they have all their belongings while they’re on field trips. Bang knows how people people laugh. He has adopted all the ladies of the church choir as friends. Sure, they can be total jerks to each other. They’re brothers. However, when it comes to others, I’m proud of them.

*Kindness is one of the greatest attributes one’s character can possess.

*An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

*When you lift others up, you also lift yourself.

Please share your favorite quote on kindness in the comment section. It can even be one you made up…

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Daily Random Acts of Kindess

Back on the second day of this month I wrote about a different kind of Advent Calendar. Essentially, instead of doing a Christmas count down with a tiny piece of chocolate each morning, we are doing a random act of kindness for each day leading up to Christmas.

So far we have:

  • Donated food to the food bank
  • Paid for the customer behind us at Tim Hortons (coffee shop)
  • Make friends with someone
  • We were generous with hugs and smiles
  • Donated coloring books and crayons to the dotctors office
  • Did chores without being asked
  • Delivered cookies to the RCMP (police) and Paramedics
  • Made homemade bird feeders for our feathered friends (and a couple squirrels)
  • Donated some of our toys
  • Called family members we hadn’t talked to for a long time
  • Rounded up stray shopping carts in a parking lot
  • Shovelled a neighbor’s driveway
  • Surprised the garbage/recycling collectors with a box of chocolates
  • Ran an errand for a friend
  • Write a nice letter and mail it to someone who doesn’t get much mail
  • Had a family fun night
  • Lent a helping hand
  • Volunteered at an event in our community
  • Chose our 3 favorite decorated houses and gave them a certificate
  • Baked cookies and shared them with the boys’s teachers and bus driver

Tomorrow we’ll be on the road travelling for an over-nighter. Crash has yet another oral consult to find out what can be done about his front tooth that has come in pointing towards the back of his mouth. Braces? Surgery? Something else entirely?

While we are at the hospital on Wednesday we will “candy cane bomb” as many cars as we can (64 since that’s how many candy canes we have). Each on has a Merry Christmas message taped to it and we’ll leave them randomly under windshields.

Then on Thursday we’ll leave money in vending machines so that when people go get a treat or drink they’ll find it’s already paid for.

Upon our return we will only have 2 more Random Acts of Kindness or, as Bang calls it, Random Actness Kindness before Christmas morning.

The whole purpose when we started this was teach the boys the true meaning of Christmas. It’s not about the gifts we’re going to get or Santa or Christmas lists. It’s also not about all the decorations or the sweets. It’s about being thankful for what we have. It’s being thankful that we are able to help others simply to make them feel good. It’s about the first rule of Christmas:

It is far better to give than it is to receive.

Bang took to it like a reindeer to flight. He was eager to help. If you could have seen him during the event where we helped serve 250 senior citizens turkey supper you would have seen him serving plates of food and later handing dishes over to be washed. While Crashed joined us and was eager to help he would still ask, “Do we get anything for helping?” No. You get thanked.

But it’s hard when you’re 9, I guess. To his credit, we have caught him doing more for others. Holding doors, helping others when he can, and attempting to think of others first. He’s made “gingerbread men” for the doctor(s) we’ll see tomorrow by drawing people on brown cardboard and coloring them.┬áSo we take our wins where we can. Perhaps he is learning after all.

Merry Christmas and Thank You for All You Do

This is the time of year when we bring trees inside and decorate outside. I didn’t work today. This “work to rule” strike has made getting subbing days even harder. All professional development days have been cancelled for teachers. Anyway, I’m not here to moan about subbing…

I was busy today. I so wanted to write this morning, but I had a list of things to accomplish longer than my arm. Cleaning was first and foremost. Along with finishing the laundry I started last night. It all makes me want to live in a nudist colony. I wouldn’t mind DW walking around naked all the time…

Back on track…

Today’s Random Act of Kindness was to bake cookies and deliver them to the RCMP (police) station, the paramedics and firefighters. I made 72 oatmeal chocolate chip. They’re a household favorite. Perhaps I’ll share my recipe. After the boys got home from school, Crash did his math homework and then we delivered said cookies.


At the police station we met 2 very nice officers who thanked us and allowed the boys to get some pictures with them. Then they showed them the rest of the station, including the jail cells. I let the boys know should an officer ever call me and tell me they are in there, I’ll be leaving them there until morning. Of course, the boys had a million questions and one officer gave us his business card so the boys could email him if they thought of any more.


Then we hopped over to the EHS (emergency health services) and delivered cookies to the paramedics. Again, the boys were thanked and allowed a photo op with a couple of  medics in front of the ambulance. One paramedic took their picture to be put on the EHS’s Facebook page! Then they were invited inside and given a coloring book, reflective slap bracelet, and a color changing pencil.

At both places the oldest would hand over the tin of cookies while the youngest passed a Christmas card. One would tell them, “Merry Christmas.” and the other would tell them, “Thank you for all you do.”

From there we skipped over to the fire station, but being a volunteer station there wasn’t anyone around. So we’ll have to try them again.

While the cookies were baking this afternoon, I managed to decorate outside. It’s not much, but Santa shouldn’t have trouble seeing our place as he flies overhead.

Merry Christmas. Thank you for all you do!

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A Very Giving Advent

 

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“Hand”made

Are you tired of the “gimmies” or the “can-I-gets”? I sure am. Especially when they’re so prevalent at this time of year with every asking, “What did you ask Santa for?” Teaching gratitude and empathy aren’t easy lessons. We’ve found a way to lighten the burden, bring joy, and provide a life changing experience. What nice little gift!

DW is brilliant. Have I ever mentioned that?

Well, she’s shining bright again with this fantastic idea. Granted, it wasn’t technically ‘her idea’ but she has adapted to our family to make her idea. Then she brought the idea to life. Well, technically, Woody and Elfis, our house elves, brought it to life.

We aren’t doing the Advent calendar this year. No tiny piece of chocolate every day. We’re not skipping it because it’s “unhealthy”. Who doesn’t enjoy starting the day with a yummy piece of chocolate after breakfast? It’s a tasty way to count down the days until the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself comes.

One little girl of 3 years of age was told that when the chocolates in her advent calendar were gone it would be Christmas. Later in the day they couldn’t find her. They knew she was in the house, yet she was nowhere to be found. Not with her toys. Not in her room. Not in the bathroom. She was in the closet and had eaten all her chocolates. She proudly announces, “It’s Christmas now!”

This year our elves have delivered a special gift, a package of tasks to be completed. There is one act to be done each day. Every single one of them is a random act of kindness.

So far the boys have:

  • Donated food to the food bank
  • Shared hugs and smiles
  • Paid for an order at Tim Horton’s
  • Made a new friend (sat and talked with an older gentleman at Tim’s)

Today’s task was to buy coloring books and crayons and donate them to a doctor’s office. While I would LOVE for the boys to be the ones purchasing these items (usually from the dollar store) they currently don’t have enough in their wallets. Crash can’t even afford to pay attention. Bang, on the other hand, has plenty, but it’s not exactly fair to make Mr. Penny Pincher pay for all the donated stuff. However, the food bank items they did pay for themselves. They each had been given $5 gift cards by the grocery store (thanks a million Superstore!) They spent it on food for the food bank.

I’ll leave a link to the files if you’d like to do your own Random Acts of Kindness. It’ll be my gift to you. I mean, DW’s gift to me that I’m regifting to you. Spread across 5 pages, there are 25 acts in all. The last page contains a few blanks so you can add your own. Just click the image to download it and print it!

The first rule of Christmas is “It is far better to give than it is to receive“.

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Click to download
Random Act of Kindness 1
Random Act of Kindness 2
Random Act of Kindness 3
Random Act of Kindness 4
Random Act of Kindness 5