Talking Philosophy with the cold caller

So yesterday, a young man knocked on my door.  I live in the suburbs and work from home, so his happens from time to time.  I always answer the door, because about half the time, it’s the postie delivering something and I really don’t want to have to go to the post office to pick it up.  Occasionally, it’s even a friend or neighbour!  But often, it’s someone who wants me to do or buy something (and yes, I consider changing electricity providers as ‘buying something’).

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Beautiful photo courtesy of my friend, Alexandra Oke, Soprano (multi-talented human)

If they are collecting for a charity, I consider the request.  If they are kids selling school fundraising chocolates or the like, I buy some.  (It’s only neighbourly and I am, after all, a writer.  Coffee and chocolate are necessary adjuncts to the creative process.)  If they open with ‘I’m not selling anything,’ they get short shrift, as I object to being lied to.  (The politeness or otherwise of the short shrift depends on whether they let me get a word in edgewise and how well the writing was going before they interrupted.) Continue reading

Feel Good February

Further to my post on Thursday, here’s a primer for how to do some good in your community.

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This graphic came from my new friends at Feel Good February.  A friend put me on to them the other day I thought it was a fabulous idea.  The graphic below explains the concept, but you might want also to visit their website or Facebook page. Continue reading

Kindness in times of grief

Recently, a new friend (made on Twitter, bless it) has had a terrible shock and has been grieving.

My heart bleeds for her as hers bleeds for her friend who is fighting for life, and it made me think that it might be time to share some things I have learned in recent years about grief.

The first is that grief is almost never what you think it will be.

Before I had ever lost someone, or had to watch someone I loved suffer, I guess I thought grief was how it appeared in movies.  Not that it’s portrayed the same way all the time in movies, but the point was that I think I thought that grief was something that you could see – in tears, in white faces, in rages, in talking – and that it was something limited.  Movies end, after all.  None of that is very sensible, when you think about it, but I guess the point was that I hadn’t really thought about it.  Not much.

Before I’d experienced it, I didn’t know that grief can happen before a person dies and that death isn’t the only cause of grief.  You can grieve for loss of function, for loss of hopes, for changes that they didn’t want to make.  You can grieve for the hardship inflicted on their families by their suffering.  You can grieve for their anger, frustration and pain.  You can also grieve for your own.

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It’s Kindness Project Day!

It’s the second Wednesday of the month, which means that it’s Kindness Project day.

I blogged about the Kindness Project here, but in short, it’s an initiative by a group of bloggers to try to make kindness not a random act, but a daily reality for themselves and those around them.

I had plans for this project, but I must admit, they have fallen somewhat behind. But I have been re-energised today by reading this story in the Harvard Business Review.

It’s a story about a some guys in Boston, which is apparently renowned for being unfriendly, who are going to set up a social media tool to give people a public, lasting way to thank people who have gone out of their way to be nice.

I think it’s a wonderful idea and hope they get it off the ground.

And, since I believe in spreading good ideas, as well as kindness, I am going to honour their ambition by including in my daily tweeting, at least one tweet thanking someone for their kindness to me and mine.

It may never reach the kindness-doer, but I hope that it will help me make me (and maybe some of the people who read the tweets) mindful of others’ kindness and grateful for the goodness in people.

I will start here and now (and go and put in on Twitter in a minute) by thanking the bus driver of my girl’s school bus, who, no matter what the weather or hour, always seems to have a smile for the kids heading off to school.  It warms me, on these cold dark mornings to see it, and I am grateful.

What about you? What are you grateful for, this Wednesday?

Spread a little Kindness: it’s good for all of us!

Last Friday, I said I had stopped talking about what makes men sexy.  Due to popular demand (two people, but that’s a quorum where I live!), I have changed my mind and will be continuing the series, but I am breaking in to do two quick updates and something new.

First, updates:

For everyone who expressed concern over the technical issues, chez Imelda, thank you and I am now the proud owner of a gorgeous, thin, light, long-battery-lifed laptop, which is making me very happy.  No doubt there will be a rhapsodising post at some point.

For those who liked the post on Pigtail Pals, Melissa has a post up on her blog today about just how hard it was to bring her business baby to life and keep it afloat which is touching reading and an encouragement to anyone struggling to keep up a good fight.

And now, onto the new thing: The Kindness Project

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