Live Inspired

Entries Tagged as relationships

To the Best Friends We've Never Met

by Dan Zadra · 05.14.2010

 

Who can explain the magical sets of circumstances that conspire to create a lasting friendship or bond between people?

 

Here at Compendium some of our most cherished relationships are with people we’ve never even seen face-to-face. Sure, we may have talked with each other by telephone, communicated online, or even collaborated from a distance on mutually important projects. But we’ve never actually sat down and looked each other in the eye, or shared a handshake or a hug.

 

And yet, we know in our heart of hearts that these people who we’ve only known from afar have come into our lives for some important reason, large or small. We count them among our friends and kindred spirits. Over the years I’ve adopted a special name for them—a term of endearment that you are welcome to use if you, too, are lucky enough to have similar people in your life. I call these people “the best friends I’ve never met.”

 

Let me introduce you to one. Back in the 1990’s Compendium received a phone call from an elderly woman who lived on a small pension in a trailer park in Lacy, Washington. Her name was Betty Kieler, and though she spoke in a gentle, wavering, grandmotherly voice, we quickly discovered that she could be very tough and determined when it came to fighting for her causes.

 

Betty proudly informed us that she was the newly-elected President of the Northwest Senior chapter of Random Acts of Kindness. Their goal was to somehow feed and clothe hundreds of disadvantaged children in the Pacific Northwest, and also teach them to read. Betty wanted Compendium to help by donating our Gift of Inspiration books and our window cards to their causes.

 

 

 

 

Over the next decade, Betty became one of the very best friends we never met, staying connected across the miles by phone or email. We marveled as she overcame recurring heart attacks and cancer on the way to recruiting dozens of senior citizens to her organization. Over time, Betty and her elderly volunteers fed and clothed thousands of students, and created a wonderful student reading program that became a national model.

 

We didn’t have to meet her face-to-face to know who she was, or what she stood for. It was clear. To all of us at Compendium, Betty Kieler was a kindred spirit, a familiar and reassuring soul, a beautiful example of what we like to call the “inspired community”—and one of the best friends we never met.

 

There have been lots of others along the way—people of all ages and walks of life with whom we share something special, hopeful and affirming. And now, thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and other far-flung ways of connecting across the miles, there are more of us getting connected than ever before. Here's to the inspired community, and to the best friends we never met. People like Betty. People like you.

 

» 3 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · volunteers · compassion · window cards · inspirational products · friendship

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To Mom, For All the Wonderful Things You Do

by Dan Zadra · 05.03.2010

 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 82.5 million moms in the U.S. (including yours), but more than three times that many Mother's Day cards and gifts will be given out this year. Why? Because Mom has been a lot busier than most of us realize.

For starters, it turns out that she is not just your mom, she is also someone’s sweetheart, wife, or best friend---and that definitely deserves a couple more cards or gifts.

 

If you have brothers and sisters, you’ll probably run into them at the card or gift shop this year, because your mom is their special Mom, too.

 

Now consider that your mom may also be someone’s cherished stepmother, adoptive mother, godmother and/or grandmother. I can remember that my big sister Lynne’s house used to look like a jam-packed Hallmark store on Mother’s Day. A single mom, Lynne somehow held down a full-time job, raised seven great kids of her own, and still found time to nurture several beloved grandchildren and godchildren---and they all made the pilgrimage to her house each year with a special card or gift in hand.

 

 

 

Today, our mothers are not only managing the home, they are also leading the House and the Senate. These days your mother may still be running the PTA, but chances are she may also be leading her company, community, church, hospital or volunteer organization.

 

"We mothered this nation," wrote former White House correspondent Liz Carpenter, "and we have no intention of abandoning our roles as nurturer or wife, mother, loving daughter, tax-paying citizen, homemaker, breadwinner."

 

How does Mom do it?  I’m not sure. Just be glad she does. And on Mother’s Day, be sure to celebrate, honor, love and affirm her.

 

Note: Continue our Mother's Day conversation; tell us about your Mom and the special ways she cares for you.

» 2 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · mothers · gift books

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Priceless Gifts for Mother's Day

by Meredith · 04.20.2010

Of all the gifts she gave us, please

The greatest of these

Were the memories.

---Isabella Graham

 

She nurtured you, encouraged you, believed in you, and gave you time and space to find your own place in the world. She gave you her hand to hold, her heart to call home, and the gift of laughter to keep and to share. What can you give her in return?

 

Through the years, your mother made a treasure out of every finger-painting, home-made present, and photograph that reminds her of you. This year, for mother’s day, show her once again that some of the best gifts in life cost the least but mean the most.  For example:

 

-Frame a photo of the two of you, and write her a note describing your memories of that shared moment.

-Buy a small flowering tree like a cherry, dogwood, or crabapple, and plant it in her yard. She’ll think of you as she watches it grow and bloom.

-Buy two matching teacups; give her one, and keep the other. Tell her to think of you sharing tea together whenever she uses hers.

-Write a letter describing some of your fondest and most beautiful childhood memories together.

-Give her a set of stationery or a box of cards, pre-stamped and hand-written with your address. Promise her a response to every letter she writes.

 

Here at Compendium, almost all of our most popular Mother’s Day gifts cost under $15.  One of the best examples is a little hardcover book entitled, “My Mom—Her Story, Her Words.”

 

This book is filled with questions that only your Mom can answer—questions such as, “Mom, when you were a child, what was your neighborhood like?  What is the best memory of your own Mom and Dad?”  You’ll spark conversation, cherish old memories and create new ones as she answers these questions, and end up with a family heirloom in your mother’s own handwriting.  This book costs only $9.95, but creates a priceless keepsake—something that will be treasured for generations to come.

 

No matter how you decide to remember your Mom this Mother’s Day, remember this: in the end, the true value of a gift is not its price, but its significance.

 

As we at Compendium get ready for Mother’s Day, we’d love to hear from you about special memories of your Mom.  Is there a meal she always made, a flower she always grew, a saying that makes you think of her?  Post your memories here. Join our community and share the love.

 

 

» 6 Comment s   Tags: love · relationships · mothers · gift books · inspirational products

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How Do Couples Make Life More Beautiful for Each Other?

by Dan Zadra · 02.25.2010

Kobi Yamada and I are working on a new Compendium book, and we are looking to you for inspiration. All you have to do is respond to the following question by writing your answer in the reply section below.

The question is: How do couples make life more beautiful or meaningful for each other?

[Read more »]

» 33 Comment s   Tags: love · wedding · anniversary · boyfriend · relationships · friendship

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