Posts Tagged ‘AOK Thursday’

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: 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: Online Comments

Thursday, October 7th, 2010 by JEL

Since canceling my newspaper subscription about 6 months ago, I have relied almost exclusively on online sources of information (except my indispensable New Yorker in print). By and large, this has worked out fine. Except when I get to the bottom of whatever article I’m reading. I know what’s coming and I know I should just move on, but something compels me to scroll down into the very depths of Hades itself.

I’m talking about the “comments” people post. It could be a story about baby pandas or a child prodigy or a new all-natural candy bar that tastes great and has no calories and the comments would be still be filled to the brim with hate and churning stomach acids. People screaming at each other and the world at large. I won’t even mention the political articles.

Wouldn’t Jesus be appalled at this behavior? You may hide behind your WACKBOY885 handle and think all of your bile is anonymous fun, but it’s not. It’s hate pollution.

If you believe Jesus is watching all things at all times, consider yourself in line for a good smiting.

Then consider some kindness.

AOK Thursday: Judge’s Orders

Thursday, September 30th, 2010 by JEL

We’ve learned there’s nothing “random” about acts of kindness. They are intentional, chosen behaviors of goodwill toward others. This video takes the “not random” concept to the extreme: Judge Trudy White in Baton Rouge issues a court order to Aramis Jackson:

“The court is going to require that you do three random acts of kindness which you don’t have to come back to the court to report on. That’s between you and your maker.”

Watch the full story:

AOK Thursday: Where Kindness and Justice Meet

Thursday, September 16th, 2010 by JEL

Earlier this week Ft. Worth’s Broadway Baptist Church announced it was cutting ties with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Ties that ran long and deep, since 1886. The issue was one of the convention’s articles that denies membership to churches that “act to affirm, approve, or endorse homosexual behavior.”

Broadway’s Pastor, Brent Beasley, wrote a letter to BGCT saying that his church is committed to:

“welcoming all persons into our church, including the outcast, those on the margins of society, and those who have not found that welcome in many other places, including, unfortunately, many churches.” [As a result, Broadway Baptist Church has] “become a vital and diverse community of faith, coming from many different backgrounds and representing many different perspectives, but united in the love and grace of Jesus Christ.”

So how is this “radical,” very Christian stance working out?

“These are good days at Broadway. Our finances are strong — our giving is ahead of expenses and well ahead of last year; the spirit of the congregation is positive and healthy; our worship attendance is on the rise; new families and individuals are finding their place at Broadway.  We continue to serve those in need in a multitude of ways.  We are focused on our mission in the present and beginning to look to the future, which is exciting.”

AOK Thursday: Kindness Research

Thursday, September 9th, 2010 by JEL

The Dalai Lama created a minor splash in the news yesterday when he announce he is donating $50,000 from his personal trust to help fund kindness research at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The Center will use the funds to continue its exploration “into how healthy qualities of mind such as kindness, empathy and compassion develop and might be nurtured.”

Pretty interesting. If you take a look around you, I’m sure you’ll agree that not everyone is kind. Or at least that some people are kinder than others. Maybe it’s genes, maybe it’s upbringing. But maybe, kindness can be taught.

AOK Thursday: Definitely Not Random

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010 by JEL

Last week we talked about the silliness of the term “random act of kindness.” There’s no such thing. Acts of kindness are deliberate, intentional acts. Just ask Terry Mustion.

Ms. Mustion is a single mother of three daughters who has offered to donate a kidney to her mother who is suffering from kidney disease and diabetes:

“Even if you’re on the list, sometimes it takes 10 years or more to find a suitable donor.” The doctors said her body would have a better chance of accepting the kidney if it came from a family member. I got tested and found out that the match was beyond perfect. I agreed immediately – it was never a question.”

It will take a couple of months for Ms. Muntion to recover, and the three girls will no doubt have a few more items on their to-do list during that time. It’s an act of kindness from the whole family.

AOK Thursday: No Such Thing as “Random”

Thursday, August 26th, 2010 by JEL

People throw around the term “random act of kindness” all the time as an accepted phrase in our lexicon. It’s always troubled me. Randomly being kind? Really? Like, maybe you tripped in the kitchen, falling into the lemon meringue pie, ruining it, and thus saving your Aunt Trudie from a slice that would have only inflamed her gout?

Sorry, but I don’t buy it and neither does Susan Smalley, PhD in Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at UCLA. She says in a recent essay,

“While the acts may be directed toward anonymous people or animals, the person’s act of kindness is anything but random — it is deliberate and directional — non-random in nature.

I think that the non-random nature of kindness is key to its value. It reflects a conscious choice on the part of the actor, to give, to help, to share and to soothe.”

So give some kindness, and give yourself some credit at the same time.