Changing the World Through Kindness

Photo Credit: Troth God of Knowledge via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Troth God of Knowledge via CC Flickr

One of my favorite TV shows that I used to enjoy watching when I was a kid, was about this friendly, caring and compassionate man who loved to share the good things in life and his positive personal thoughts with us kids…Mr. Fred Rogers, host of “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”.

He always had this kind and gentle way of explaining the important and every-day-things of life in entertaining and educational ways. I used to think that it must have been really a cool thing to live in a neighborhood like that. Unfortunately, or course, the neighborhood wasn’t real and “life” was a lot harder and different from the way it was portrayed. 

The one thing that I learned the most from watching most of his shows, something that I still try to do every day…even now…is to show kindness and compassion to other people…especially individuals that were less fortunate than me.

One of the best examples that I ever saw of the great, beautiful kindness of Mr. Roger’s was the following video clip of Mr. Rogers and a little crippled boy in his wheelchair named Jeff Erlanger in 1981. The result of this interview and the way Fred Roger’s spoke and treated Jeff during this time, changed Jeff’s life forever.

Twenty years later, Fred Rogers was nominated to the TV Hall of Fame. During the H.O.F dinner something magical and beautiful happened…which you will see in this video.

It WILL touch your heart and hopefully, illustrate to you the fantastic power of showing kindness and compassion to others…just be sure to have a box of tissues with you…you’ll need them 🙂

How can YOU change YOUR world through kindness?

Life is Hard….

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Loren Kerns via CC Flickr

There are thousands upon thousands of books, articles, and countless other kinds of information which tell us how to deal with the hardships of life.

Sometimes, it is the simple thoughts and / or stories that will remind us the most of the important things in life that we can use to remember. 

Thus is the reason for today’s short story.

Is your life hard? Are you struggling with some difficult situations right now? Hopefully, today’s little tale will help you make your life a little easier.

A farmer had a dog who used to sit by the roadside waiting for vehicles to come around. As soon as one came he would run down the road, barking and trying to overtake it. One day a neighbor asked the farmer “Do you think your dog is ever going to catch a car?” The farmer replied, “That is not what bothers me. What bothers me is what he would do if he ever caught one.”

Many people in life behave like that dog who is pursuing meaningless goals.

Life is hard by the yard, 
but by the inch, 
it’s a cinch. 

–Gean Gordon

Pictures That Speak Volumes #62

Photo Credit: Timetobreak.com

Photo Credit: Timetobreak.com

I have always found it interesting when people complain about “how bad they have it”…whether it be at work, a job, at home, etc. What we quite often forget is how awful and depressing conditions are for other people that live around the world.

Take for example today’s picture of a mine worker who is required to work under atrocious and dangerous conditions every day…quite often just making a few cents or dollars a day. Notice the fingers of the worker in the picture above and observe how black they are.

So, take some time today to be thankful for all of the blessings that you have been given and say a quick prayer (or you may want to do something) for people living around the world in tough decisions everyday!

The Perfect Dog

Photo Credit: Alex Brown via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Alex Brown via CC Flickr

A day or so ago, I came across a short story “The Perfect Dog” written by Jan Peck, a contributor of the book, “Chicken Soup for the Kid’s Soul” that I thought was a beautiful short story that should be shared with you. It is a sad fact, that in the eyes of some people, they believe either that they or others are ugly, unattractive or worthless. They short-change themselves, become pessimistic, unenthusiastic, and develop a harmful degree of low self-esteem and self-worth.

The important thing that we all need to remember is this…we are all a unique individual and creation. There is NO ONE in the world that is EXACTLY like you. Like I said, you are an original..not a copy. Maybe more importantly, there are people all around us that will love you JUST THE WAY YOU ARE…regardless how you look. We all need to remember things like this and there is no better way to illustrate this concept then today’s story!

————————————

During summer vacations, I would volunteer at the vet’s, so I’d seen a lot of dogs. Minnie was by far the funniest-looking dog I’d ever seen. Thin curly hair barely covered her sausage-shaped body. Her bugged-out eyes always seemed surprised. And her tail looked like a rat’s tail.

She was brought to the vet to be put to sleep because her owners didn’t want her anymore. I thought Minnie had a sweet personality, though. “No one should judge her by her looks,” I thought. So the vet spayed her and gave her the necessary shots. Finally, I advertised Minnie in the local paper: “Funny-looking dog, well behaved, needs loving family.”

When a young man called, I warned him that Minnie was strange looking. The boy on the phone told me that his grandfather’s sixteen-year-old dog had just died. They wanted Minnie no matter what. I gave Minnie a good bath and fluffed up what was left of her scraggly hair. Then we waited for them to arrive.

At last, an old car drove up in front of the vet’s. Two kids raced to the door. They scooped Minnie into their arms and rushed her out to their grandfather, who was waiting in the car. I hurried behind them to see his reaction to Minnie.

Inside the car, the grandfather cradled Minnie in his arms and stroked her soft hair. She licked his face. Her rattail wagged around so quickly that it looked like it might fly off her body. It was love at first lick.

“She’s perfect!” the old man exclaimed.

I was thankful that Minnie had found the good home that she deserved.

That’s when I saw that the grandfather’s eyes were a milky white color – he was blind.

Where is Your Treasure Stored?

Photo Credit: Shad Bollin via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: Shad Bollin via CC Flickr

I once heard a fantastic, short story which gave me a perspective on life that I still use to this day. As in one of my previous blogs “The Garbage Truck Principle”, I enjoy sharing things that I feel may help other people. It is again my hope that today’s posting will, in some way; help you or someone you know, look at life from a different point of view.

One day, many years ago, one of the richest men in the world decided to take the wise man of a village on a hike to the top of one of the tallest mountains. After packing up their supplies and hiking for several days, they finally reached the peak.

The rich man, filled with pride, smugness, and conceit, pointed all around him then said to the wise man, “look around you as far as you can.” “Look to the west, then to the east, the north and south.” “Everything that you see, I own.” “I have spent my entire life acquiring more wealth and riches than any other person in the world.” “Do you see that huge flock of cattle over there?” as he motioned his hand down to the valley. “They are mine” he gloated. “Do you see all of the cities down there scattered around the countryside? I own them too.” “I have more riches and treasures than anyone could ever know!”

The rich man then looked directly into the wise man’s eyes and asked the old man, “and where are your riches and treasures?”

The quiet old wise man then smiled and simply pointed up to the sky and said, “THAT is where my treasure is stored!”

Folks, we all need to understand that while having money and other nice things in life are good to have but they are not the most important things. You see, the most important things in life are not the things that you see but the things that you don’t see. The focus in our lives should not be in how many things that we can get, how much money we earn, or other material items we own…they should be on the stuff we can’t perceive…like how we act and treat others, love our family and friends, and worship God.

We should always strive to lay up our treasures with God for someday, if we remain faithful, He will be the one that will honor us for entrusting Him with our hopes and treasures. Why? Because every man is mortal. It was once said that we will leave this earth the same way we entered it. In other words, we came into the world with nothing and will leave it with nothing. The most important things will be where we decide to store our treasures and what our legacies will be to our loved ones.

Where have you been storing your TRUE riches, treasures, and wealth? If you are like the wise man, you will know where it should go!

The Garbage Truck Principle

Photo Credit: P. Gordon via CC Flickr

Photo Credit: P. Gordon via CC Flickr

There are many kinds of people that we come in contact with each day. Some people have encouraging, positive, and happy personalities, some have quiet and soothing behaviors, while still others, have just plain mean, nasty, and miserable people.

Personally, I am the kind of person that enjoys helping, encouraging, and uplifting others.  Nothing “makes my day” more than making someone smile or going out of my way to hold a door open for someone, cutting someone’s lawn, or, believe it or not, pay for an anonymous person’s meal or their food at the check out line in a supermarket. Why? Because it makes me happy…it brings me joy…it’s the strength of what I do.

You may be wondering why I am revealing these thoughts with you. The reason is simple…I would like to share a principle, a theory with you that I once heard, that affected the way that I react when certain people “lose their cool.” It’s called the “Garbage Truck Principle.”

The “Garbage Truck Principle” goes something like this… there are some people in today’s world that are like Garbage Trucks. They are filled with all kinds of “garbage”, anger, resentment, rage, hatred and other poisonous feelings. They fill themselves with all kinds of trash until they can’t take any more. The result? They look for something or someone to dump their trash onto. These individuals “explode” by yelling, screaming, shouting, or displaying hurtful actions towards others.

There are a couple of ways to deal with the “Garbage Trucks” which will help us stay positive and prevent them from robbing us of the joy we have. First, don’t allow these negative people to dump the trash on you. When you meet a person that is filled with these poisonous emotions, avoid them. Don’t react to them by what you say or do…just ignore them and move on. Remember, they are looking for a place to dump their trash. Second, be mentally strong. Make up and prepare your mind in advance when you do come across a Garbage Truck, you will not allow them to steal your joy. You will not allow them to take control of your actions or emotions. You have better things to do with your life than to waste it on these people. Remember, you are not a garbage dump. You are special, one-of-a-kind person, that was put on this earth to be an encouragement and help towards others.

Lastly, don’t become a garbage truck! Don’t allow the negative experiences and hurtful things in life make you bitter, angry, and resentful. Turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. Instead of seeing what people can do for you…change your thinking…”what can I DO for others?” You will find your life will be more fulfilling and meaningful.

Remember…Don’t Be A Garbage Truck!!

Finding Strength in Difficult Times

There are times throughout our lives when things or circumstances can get so difficult…that our dreams or goals seems totally unreachable. But, the difference between an extraordinary person and an ordinary person…is that little EXTRA! 

There are also times that we need that one special person to help us “pull through” the tough situation that we may experiencing and encourage us to “fight on” and overcome our diversity.

It is my hope, that this incredible video will touch your heart, soul, and mind and encourage you to stay strong when you feel your weakest.