Archive for the ‘Acts of Kindness (AOK)’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011 by JEL

Tomorrow we celebrate that first feast between the Pilgrims and the Native Americans. The Pilgrims, fleeing to the New World in search of religious freedom found harsh conditions they were not prepared to meet. Enter the Native Americans who showed the newbies a thing or two and saved their bacon in the process. History shows how much gratitude they were shown in return.

If you have your health, food to eat, clean water to drink, a roof over your head, and kindness in your life, be thankful. And show some kindness of your own; the world could surely use it. We’ll be back next week.

Paul Farmer

Friday, September 16th, 2011 by JEL

In my opinion, Paul Farmer is a person actually following the teachings of Christ. Doctor, instructor, and co-founder of Partners in Health, he has worked tirelessly around the world to provide medical care to the “poorest of the poor.” He has spent a great deal of time in Haiti, and while you may think that’s old news now, here’s what he has to say about Haiti after the earthquake:

Watch the full episode. See more Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly.

So Refreshing

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011 by JEL

One of the articles I linked to yesterday, the one about proseltyzing, referred to a You Tube video of Penn Jillette, the famous magician/comedian (and atheist) talking about receiving a book of Psalms from a fan after a show. It’s really nice to see how Penn thinks about this interaction. He’s open-minded, sincere, and respectful even though he doesn’t believe in the same things his fan does. As Penn says in the video, if you’re a Christian who believes in heaven and hell…

“how much do you have to hate someone to NOT proseltyze?”

Anyway, give the video a look:

AOK Thursday: Daily Interactions

Thursday, March 10th, 2011 by JEL

I think a lot of people view “being kind” as taking on some sort of project. They need to brainstorm what to do, bounce it off a couple friends, plan it out, practice, and then execute. Well, that may be effective for big-whopper acts of kindness, but what about your daily interactions with people you see every day? These are certainly more frequent opportunities for kindness and may yield more benefit.

This Amanda Marrazzo column was well done. Think about how you treat the people you see the most…

“So, think about the guy who gives you coffee in the morning, the garbage man, waiter or waitress, anyone who is doing anything that makes your life a bit better. We are all of equal value sharing this earth for a short time, working hard to make a better life. Each interaction presents an opportunity to leave the world a little warmer or a lot colder.”

AOK Thursday: Small Steps

Thursday, February 10th, 2011 by JEL

There’s a lot going on in the kindness world these days. USA Today is halfway through their Kindness Challenge, and I’m pretty sure next week is Random Acts of Kindness Week. I’m not sure exactly what the latter entails, but I’ll look into it.

Comedian Steve Harvey, one of the participants in the Kindness Challenge, has a foundation whose goal is to “share, teach and demonstrate the principles of manhood to young men, enabling them to achieve their dreams and become productive men who are balanced emotionally, politically and economically.” In 2011, he wants to expand the mentoring weekend program from LA and Dallas to New Orleans, Chicago, and New York.

When asked what advice he could give to other Challenge participants, Harvey answered:

“It’s great to have goals, of course, but there’s a saying, ‘Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch.’ Take one notch at a time. Then it’s not so daunting. You end up with a consistent feeling of accomplishment. So if your goal is to want to help 100 boys, help one first. Learn the process. Set the goal for that. Then help 5 boys. Then 20. And so forth.”

AOK Thursday: Bags Fly Free +

Thursday, January 20th, 2011 by JEL

It’s been kind of a rough week in Christian news, don’t you think? The new Alabama Governor, Robert Bentley, started off the week with this doozy of a quote:

“Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.”

He has since apologized, and as Jesus taught forgiveness, perhaps we’ll cut him a little slack. Then you’ve got Franklin Graham, son of Billy, complaining about the terrific Obama speech gave at the memorial for the Tucson shooting victims. Apparently there wasn’t enough Christian God in the text for Graham, so he made the gigantic leap to:

“They scoff at the name of Jesus Christ.”

So, I need a little reminder that there is some kindness and sanity in this world. For that, I’ll turn to the Southwest Airlines pilot who purposely delayed the departure of a flight so that one of his late-arriving passengers could make the trip to say goodbye to a dying grandson. When the passenger finally boarded, the pilot was there to greet him:

“They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”

AOK Thursday: Giving

Thursday, December 16th, 2010 by JEL

In the spirit of the Christmas season (which, by the way, would be nice all year long), I thought as we’re giving each other gifts, we might re-examine the true meaning of giving. That is, giving to those less fortunate who are really in need. Jesus had something to say about the subject:

“If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.” – Matthew 5:40-42

Brought to present day, here’s a nice story of a Waukegan waitress who took Jesus’ instructions to heart (whether she knew it or not).

AOK Thursday: Veterans Day

Thursday, November 11th, 2010 by JEL

Kindness can come from anywhere at any time. Even in war. I found this interview with Carver McGriff gripping. Not just because of his even-tempered account of D-Day, but for his honesty and integrity and his deep thinking about what he had been a part of. His story about the 3 Mexicans is a lesson for all of us.

Watch, think, and thank a Veteran for their service:

AOK Thursday: Lottery Gifts

Thursday, November 4th, 2010 by JEL

If you won $11 million in the lottery, what would you do with it? New car, new house, new wardrobe, travel? If you’re Violet and Allen Large, a retired Canadian couple, you give 98% of it away. Once they won the prize, they found only headaches and anxiety, with strangers calling them up and asking for money.

The donations soon began. They compiled a list of potential recipients and the spree soon followed. To the local fire department, churches, cemeteries, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, hospitals in Truro and Halifax, and organizations that fight cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

“What you’ve never had, you never miss.” – Violet Large

AOK Thursday: Boom Boom!

Thursday, October 28th, 2010 by JEL

We’ve talked several times about acts of kindness never being random. Instead, they are intentional; you make a decision to be kind. As such, being kind can then be taught, right? Like to our children?

Yes, definitely. In fact, Boom Boom! Cards’ Family Deck just won the 2010 Brilliance Award in the Responsible Toy of the Year category. What is the Family Deck?

Boom Boom! Cards brings your family together to perform 26 acts of kindness. Once you’ve done a card, put a Boom Boom! sticker on the Command Central Activity Board to indicate that you’ve done it, post the story of what happened on the website, then pass the card on for someone else to do. Each card’s unique ID enables your family to follow the cards you do on the website’s map and see where they end up! Included discussion cards inspire conversation about the whole experience with your children. Teach the values of compassion, kindness and community and have fun doing it!

Awesome, right?  I love the company tagline: “the intentional acts of kindness kit”. Other great copy: “the uprising of  guerilla goodness”. Learn more and pick up a deck for your family at