Your community supports you and creates your world. Say thank you to those all around you with random acts of kindness and gratitude!
As part of my practice in living the Thankful Life project, I've been trying to pay attention to all the small things that bring me joy. Every night I make a list of the things I was grateful for that day: a hot cup of coffee, clean clothes to keep me warm, a coworker's compliment, my daughter's squeal of delight when her dad tickles her belly, and, of course, a comfortable bed with blankets to snuggle up with.
Throughout the day, I take note of things to add to my list. This past week, I was walking in Wallingford near our office when I discovered something that made me smile: a small wooden house perched on top of a pole in the middle of a neighbor's yard.
Underneath the house, there was a sign that read "Little Free Library," and inside of the house was a small collection of books free for the taking. My heart leapt with glee--what a wonderful surprise!
When I returned to our office, I grabbed a copy of our book What Makes You Smile? and wrote a note of gratitude inside the cover.
I ran back to the little wooden house and tucked the book inside next to Temple Grandin and Ivan Doig in the hopes that someone else will discover the simple joys in life and find gratitude in the small things.
Thank you to the Little Free Library for adding to my Thankful Life!
Mid-winter in Seattle can be pretty blah. The skies are gray, it’s usually raining, and we still have months to go before the balmy weather and sun return. In other words, we’re ripe for any kind of a pick-me-up the world might send our way.
So you can imagine the surprise of discovering that someone, some person with a heart of gold, has been posting these signs around town.
On busy roads and main intersections, they've cropped up everywhere. And no matter where your mind is when you pass one, it makes you stop and think.
Yesterday, I passed one of these signs on my way to the coffee shop after work. “What this day needs is a cup of hot cocoa,” I thought, and as I was walking briskly to get it, I passed by a gentleman who moved his umbrella aside to let me pass. As I was in the coffee shop ordering my cocoa, who should walk in but the gentleman with the umbrella? A little voice, one which must have been inspired by those signs, whispered to me, “buy his coffee!” So I did. I tried to do it anonymously, but he eventually figured it out and stopped by my seat to thank me on the way out. “What a kind thing to do,” he said. “I like it. I really like it. It does a body good.”
And, just like that, I remembered how simple an act of kindness can be. Also, just like that, I might have started a new tradition for myself—one of little kindnesses wherever I can give them. Have you done something like this lately? You hear so often how great an act of kindness can make you feel, but when you actually do it, it’s astonishing. It really does feel good. It's enough to make a gray day bright.