Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes

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Key Largo mornings by Kim O’Neill
A Little Warmth on A Cold Winter’s Day…
After taking photos out in very cold yet sunny weather this morning, I thought I would post some warm images by me and words by the incredible story teller, singer and writer,  Jimmy Buffet.

Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes

It’s these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of our running and all of our cunning
If we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane

by Jimmy Buffet

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Loving Kindness

“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.” –Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta

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100 Good Deeds

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I just watched a segment on the Today Show about Thomas Morgan, filmmaker and father, who created the 100 Good Deeds game with his family. It really touched my heart how enthusiastically his children responded to this idea and are making a difference every day they play the game. The rules of the game:  A “good deed” means we’ve gone out of our way to help someone and only counts if the deed remains anonymous.

This resonates with me as I search for my purpose. I’ve been adjusting to the empty nest as well as our “nest” relocating to the Northeast for my husband’s work has been a challenge for me.  Pursuing good deeds would be a great way to reach out to my new community.  I found a great list of 100 ideas on http://www.virtuesforlife.com.

Here are some of my favorites ideas:

Leave a gift for someone in a random public place such as on a park bench, at a bus stop, the library, a coffee house, or restaurant. Laura Miller started kindness missions by leaving a single hydrangea flower on the windshield of a car in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. That single act has now blossomed into an international phenomenon of anonymous acts of kindness. Check out her website Secret Agent L.

Volunteer or organize a clothing or food drive with your neighbors for a local shelter. Your taking initiative to collect and distribute items will not only make it easy for them to give, but will also inspire them and help others.

Lend an elderly person a hand, if you see them struggle to reach something in the grocery store or while doing another activity.

Thank a service person such as your postman, military, a police officer or fireman for their hard work and dedication to serving others.

 Sincerely compliment someone every day, whether it be their physical appearance, their character, or what they’ve accomplished in spite of difficulties.

Let someone into traffic who looks like they are in a rush.  Remember though to be very cautious especially if either of your vision is impaired.

The next time you have exceptional service at a restaurant make sure to tell the waitperson’s manager what a fine job they did, either in person or in writing.

Donate your used books and/or magazines to a local library.

Give up your seat on the train or bus to an elderly or pregnant person, or someone who looks tired.

Create a craft that can be brought into a local children’s hospital. Some ideas include knitted items, quilts and beaded necklaces.

Send someone an e-card for a special occasion or to let them know that you are thinking about them. A great website for e-cards is www.gratefulness.org.

Leave a newspaper, magazine or even a book at a coffee house once you’ve read it for the next person. You can add a note that says you hope they enjoyed it as much as you did.

 Mentor an at-risk child or teenager by becoming a big brother or sister with the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation and help them achieve their potential.

Say good morning or hello to passersby during your day, even if you don’t know them, simply as a friendly gesture.

Adopt a soldier and help a soldier in a variety of ways such as sending note cards, donating items, or hosting an event for a veteran.

Donate blood to the Red Cross and tell of your experience, encouraging others to do the same.

Buy an inspirational book for someone who needs some uplifting.

Make a child’s wish come true through the Make a Wish Foundation, the nation’s largest wish-granting organization. You can help give hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Start a blog or website that can help people. You can also sell advertising and then donate some of the proceeds to a nonprofit.

 Leave a $10.00 bill in an open public place for someone to find. You will make their day! But be sure it’s not in a place where it may be turned in by an honest person.

When you have finished mowing your lawn, mow your neighbors too! Be sure to ask them first and let them know that you are practicing kindness, and they would help you if they agreed to your offer.

Say “thank you” and “please” as generously and often as possible.

Think about a loved one or friend who has a need and respond to that need. Whether it be to lend support in their job search, helping them with a project, or just offering your ear whenever they need to talk.

Stick up for a person who has been treated wrongly.

Let someone, who only has a few items, go ahead of you in the checkout line of the supermarket.

Adopt a pet from the humane society near you. You can even search for a pet locally through Adopt-a-Pet.com.

Resolve to Be Real in life. A truly kind person will be authentic with their words and actions, realizing the negative or positive impact they can have in every encounter.

For more information on 100 Good Deeds, go to http://www.100gooddeeds.org/about.html

 

Easter Brings Renewal

Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel)

“Christ’s resurrection is not an event of the past; it contains a vital power which has permeated this world. Where all seems to be dead, signs of the resurrection suddenly spring up. It is an irresistible force. Often it seems that God does not exist: all around us we see persistent injustice, evil, indifference and cruelty. But it is also true that in the midst of darkness something new always springs to life and sooner or later produces fruit. On razed land life breaks through, stubbornly yet invincibly. However dark things are, goodness always re-emerges and spreads. Each day in our world beauty is born anew; it rises transformed through the storms of history. Values always tend to reappear under new guises, and human beings have arisen time after time from situations that seemed doomed. Such is the power of the resurrection, and all who evangelize are instruments of that power.”

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