How are y’all feeling out there?
Seems like a silly question to ask because I’m here, alone, wondering about all of you out there…many of whom I’ve never met! But, as I write every week, I think about who might be reading this on the other end and I do honestly wonder about you…all of you.
How are you feeling…really?
It’s been a tough year.
And let’s have some straight talk here; although I’m sure some of you have had things to celebrate over the past 12 months, most of the world is still in a bit of a funk.
I know I’ve written a couple of posts throughout this pandemic about how things have changed (Will People Still Bake When This Pandemic Is Over?, Baking to Relieve Stress: How Will We Get Through This?). And as I sit here writing, yet another, blogpost about our feelings this past year, this one feels different.
I never intend to write somber blogposts (most of my posts are the exact opposite) but the two posts above were written to make sure people knew that their feelings were valid…that it was okay to be sad during such unprecedented times.
But, for this week, the feelings that we will be sharing are feelings of good…and of kindness…and of love.
Because we all need a whole lot of love – especially now.
Today will be different. Today we will lift people up. Today we will fidn it in our hearts to help heal a wounded world. Today will be about random acts of kindness.
This will be about how we can all collectively make the world a happier planet by just doing some simple things.
Don’t worry. I am not going to put more on your plate. And, if at any time you fee like the thought of doing a small act adds stress to your life, please file the thought somewhere in the back of your brain where you can access it later when you are feeling up to it (because the last thing I want to do is to add stress to someone who is trying to eliminate it from someone else’s life).
I started posting about Baking it Forward in 2013 (I’ve actually been doing it for a very long time). The thing that compelled me to write about it was simple – perhaps people needed help with the “how do I start” part of doing good in the world. I speak to many people who, through the goodness of their heart, overcomplicate this act of doing good. It really takes very little thought and also, very little effort.
This week (Feb 15-20, 2021) is Random Acts of Kindness Week and I think we can all do good by starting to think about how our small acts can change people’s lives. I found a couple of great examples on the Random Acts Of Kindness site:
Start with an empty jar & decorate it however you’d like. Every time you witness an act of kindness, write it down and place the memory in the jar. Collect memories, observations and unexpected surprises of kindness throughout the week.
On the last day of kindness week, Saturday, February 20, 2021, empty the jar and reflect back on the kindness you experienced, witnessed, or perhaps performed yourself.
Keep the jar going and continue to Explore the Good throughout 2021 and help Make Kindness the Norm.
Gather items to create a blessing bag for a temporarily displaced resident. Once complete, put in a vehicle you often travel in or your backpack to hand out to the next person who could use a lift me up.
Items to include: Socks, to go wet wipes, travel size tissue, chapstick, face mask(s), travel toothbrush & toothpaste, pads/tampons, small first aid kit, hat, gloves, protein bars, instant oatmeal packets, ready-to-eat cans w/ tab open lids, cash (trust your gut). Place items in a large plastic gallon bag that zips closed or find a plastic water bottle to put items in.
When handing to the recipient don’t forget to make eye contact and smile as human connection helps us all remember to Explore the Good and help Make Kindness the Norm.
We don’t have to make this difficult. Here are some things that will easily make someone happy (yet, not become a burden on you):
- If you’re baking up some cookies, pack up 12 and drop them off on a neighbour’s porch…or a friends doorstep. Write a quick note and tell them what they mean to you (one sentence is all it takes).
- While you’re making your dinner (or even packing up your lunch for the next day), pack up a small container for someone else. You may think this is nothing, but that “someone else” will think you are a spectacular human being.
- Pay for someone’s coffee behind you at your local coffee shop (the best $2 you’ll ever spend).
- Send a quick email or text to someone…check in on them and see how they’re doing. Make sure they know they are being thought of and that they are not alone.
- The next time you are at the grocery store, turn around to see who is behind you. If they have only a few items, let them in front of you.
- Bake someone a loaf of bread and tell them you can’t wait to “break bread” with them when things return to normal. Heck, why don’t you go ahead and just buy a loaf!
I know many of you don’t leave comments here, but I would love to hear from you today.
Have you ever done a Random Act of Kindness?
Were you able to witness the effect it have on the recipient.
How did it make you feel?