Friday, June 19, 2009

Acts of Kindness Retold

Today I wrote about an experience of an "accidental act of kindness" I committed as a teenager. It was never intended as such, but made an impact on someone and I found out about it MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS LATER.

You may want to go read about (the link is below). But when you do, try to make yourself aware that the smallest of things can make a difference. And even if you don't TRY to make a difference in someone's life, just being kind cane make all the difference in the world. And, in my case, it wasn't about being kind as much as it was "don't make a crappy situation worse than it is." I can't take any credit for being kind and that's why this is a perfect example.

I always tell my kids that the goal is to make the world better when you leave it than when you come into it, but if you CAN'T do that, at least leave it as good. Or if you want to be succint, "Do no harm." That's the minimum we can all manage, surely.

Okay, now off with you... go read How to Deal with a Bully.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Backyard Campout

The Great American Backyard Campout is June 27 this year. What on earth can this possibly have to do with good deeds and spreading change?

Well, there have been numerous articles in the last couple of years about children and getting them outdoors. Many of the articles talk about childhood obesity, but the importance of children communing with nature goes way, WAY beyond getting more exercise.

There has been a study about childhood myopia. It is proven that children SEE BETTER when they spend less time indoors.

There has been a study about the alleviation of ADHD symptoms.

There has been a study about how children learn about their physical world better when they do it while outdoors.

There has been a lot of writing about how children relate to the environment and show concern about the environment when they've spent more time in nature.

As adults many of us are entrenched in our various ways of living. Sure, I agree it would be great to use less gasoline, but I haven't done anything to change my driving habits. It is difficult for most humans to make the large-scale changes in our daily lives that are needed to benefit the environment.

So, one thing we can do is use our influence to help the next generation do better than we are and we can start by getting kids outside.

And here we circle back to camping in the backyard. Mark your calendars. Do you have kids? Grandkids? Nephews and nieces? Why not plan to camp out in your backyard this year? The site even has a map that shows people all around the U.S. who have made the commitment to camp out this year.

Don't have kids and don't know any kids? Consider making a kid-friendly cache and registering it at That will provide one more place in this small world of ours where kids can go to explore nature.

If you want to read more about this topic, check out the article at APA Online. Also, the wiki on "nature deficit disorder" has more info and some interesting links.

And one last cool thing... nature is free!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Operation Nice

I love watching movies from the 50's because it seems like things were calmer and more idyllic back then. Don't get me wrong. I love technology, I love my modern life, but certainly there is a lot more hubbub and stress. More than I need, definitely.

Does it seem to you like people aren't as nice as they used to be? I got into restaurants or to pay a bill or to get something from the store and it seems like most people hate their jobs and don't care a hoot to give you good service even though that's what they are there for. I mean, if you're not helping me you're just gonna go off and help some other random person that you resent, so what's the hurry?

It boils down to the fact that there's just not enough NICE to go around. And I bet that's exactly how Melissa felt when she started up Operation Nice.

Operation Nice is a web site that promotes kindness in a creative way. After all, every act of loving care, compassion and courtesy all stem from a place of niceness. Essentially she is gently bringing us back to our roots so that from there we may flourish in our various nice ways.

I think it's nice. Better than nice, really. I'd say it's awesome. Please go give Melissa some love and then head out and find someone to nice-up. You can start with me by leaving a nice comment. Hee hee. :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Seed a Need

Have you ever done a good deed for someone and wondered if it ever impacted their life or if they paid it forward? Wouldn't it be cool to track the influence you have by being kind and doing things for others.

Now you can!

Here's a great idea... Go to the Seed a Need web site and register to receive a free good deed card. It's a plastic card with a number on it. You write the number down in a safe place where you won't lose it. Then you watch for the opportunity to do a good deed.

When you do your good deed you leave your card or give it to the good deed recipient. On the card are the instructions for the Seed a Need project and how to register good deeds. Eventually if things work out the way they are intended you will be able to go to the site, type in the number of the card you were sent and you'll be able to see the chain of good deeds as your card travels around the countryside or maybe even the world!

Rush over there now and request your card. Celebrate this terrific idea!