12 March 2009

Random Act of Kindness

Time are challenging right now.  We feel it in our home, but not to the extent that many people are feeling it.  For us, I am not sure that it is an all together bad thing, as it really has given us new perspective on how we lived before, and what is really important.  I am actually enjoying the challenge of finding places to save money.  We try to find the up-side of going out less (more time home as a family), buying less (re-discovering what we have here, stuffed away in closets and storage), and not eating out (do you know how many fabulous recipes are out there???).  So for us, right now, we have clearly taken the lemons and made some lovely spring pink lemonade.

One thing that I am hoping it does for us, as a people, is teaches us to work together, help each other out, and look out for those of us who need it most.  Even though we are all feeling the crunch of our current economy, I hope that those of us who may not feel the pinch quite as much are able to give some small amount of kindness and comfort to someone who might be.

A friend of mine tries to do one nice thing for someone once a week.   One week I had her by and she watched my two year old for me.  When it came time to pay her, she said that watching #4 was her choice for the week, and with that, she was gone.  No chance to argue, try to sneak her money, nada.  I have to say, it really made my day.  

I have taken to bringing baking to various friends whenever I have a few extra colorful cupcakes or cream-filled profiteroles.  I also occasionally will buy the coffee of the person behind me, or some little treat for someone I don't know at the market.  We often go through all that "stuff" that we have and put together bags for our local charity.  Eggs are a given - most people I know love our pretty eggs so I like to just drop a dozen off as a surprise to friends who don't have hens.

We are also collecting all of our change this year to donate to a charity that we all decide on at the end of the year.  Do you have any idea how much change you end up with at the end of each day in your purse or pocket???  It is also really wonderful to include the children and give them a sense of what it means to be blessed and that it is a privilege to be able to help others.

I think this week I will try to find something new to do - maybe find someone who really could use the helping hand.  Any ideas?  I would love to hear your stories!



Mamaoftwins said...

I think thats an wonderful idea. We're going through the crunch too. I was scared to death at first but we're staying afloat. I love the idea of doing nice things for others. It really takes your mind off your own troubles to see the smiles on others faces. Cant wait to see what others suggest.

Ashley said...

What lovely ideas! I would have never thought of buying coffee for the person behind you, splendid! I most definitely agree that we need to help each other out, I have been so worried about my own finances that I forgot that so many others are also going through this! I tend to do the more traditional giving back such as volunteering at a soup kitchen and donating to the salvation army, but these everyday ideas are just genius!

Suzanne : : S.HOPtalk said...

I love this post--we all need something positive to latch on to in these troubled times. Doing something for another is an instant pick me up--thanks for the reminder! My mind is swirling with ideas...

Allidink said...

You are so generous! I love doing service projects for other people. One lady from my church told us a story about how when she was a child her family was living in Europe because her father was chaplain in the army and sent overseas-something like that. One Christmas he told all the children to pick out whatever they wanted most for their Christmas presents. Christmas morning, each child had gotten exactly what they wanted most in the world. And then her mother and father had them wrap their present back up and they took them to this poorer family her father had found out about, who had absolutely nothing for Christmas. The lady said she just started crying when she saw how happy and gracious the other family was for the presents. And that the gift of charity was what her father and mother had given her and her siblings for Christmas. I think it is wonderful that you try to express to your children how important charity is. I try to find little things to do like the other day I was eating out and a woman in crutches! Was going to attempt to walk her "to-go" bags out by herself. I couldn't believe the restaurant people didn't even offer to help so I jumped up immediately offered to carry them for her. :) Have you ever volunteered at a soup kitchen? That was the most amazing experience of my life, it makes you so feel so good to be helping, and grateful for what you have. People express how really appreciative they are for your help.