Helping can be humbling

Helping a fellow human being, while it can be inconvenient, has a few humble advantages. Here’s an extremely incomplete list, just to get you thinking — I’m sure you can come up with thousands more if you think about it.
1. Smile and be friendly. Sometimes a simple little thing like this can put a smile and warm feeling in someone else’s heart, and make their day a little better. They might then do the same for others.
2. Call a charity to volunteer. You don’t have to go to a soup kitchen today. Just look up the number, make the call, and make an appointment to volunteer sometime in the next month. Volunteering is one of the most amazing things you can do.
3. Donate something you don’t use. Or a whole box of something’s. Drop them off at a charity — others can put your clutter to good use.
4. Make a donation. There are lots of ways to donate to charities online, or in your local community. Instead of buying yourself a new gadget or outfit, spend that money in a more positive way.
5. Redirect gifts. Instead of having people give you birthday or Christmas gifts, ask them to donate gifts or money to a certain charity.
6. Stop to help. The next time you see someone pulled over with a flat tire, or somehow in need of help, stop and ask how you can help. Sometimes all they need is a push, or the use of your cell phone.
7. Teach. Take the time to teach someone a skill you know. This could be teaching your grandma to use email, teaching your child to ride a bike, teaching your co-worker a valuable computer skill, teaching your spouse how to clean the toilet. OK, that last one doesn’t count.
8. Comfort someone in grief. Often a hug, a helpful hand, a kind word, a listening ear, will go a long way when someone has lost a loved one or suffered some similar loss or tragedy.
9. Help them take action. If someone in grief seems to be lost and doesn’t know what to do, help them do something. It could be making funeral arrangements, it could be making a doctor’s appointment, it could be making phone calls. Don’t do it all yourself — let them take action too, because it helps in the healing process.
10. Lend your ear. Often someone who is sad, depressed, angry, or frustrated just needs someone who will listen. Venting and talking through an issue is a huge help.
11. Help someone get active. A person in your life who wants to get healthy might need a helping hand — offer to go walking or running together, to join a gym together. Once they get started, it can have profound effects.
12. Send a nice email. Just a quick note telling someone how much you appreciate them, or how proud you are of them, or just saying thank you for something they did.
13. Donate food. Clean out your cupboard of canned goods, or buy a couple bags of groceries, and donate them to a homeless shelter.
14. Just be there. When someone you know is in need, sometimes it’s just good to be there. Sit with them. Talk. Help out if you can.
15. Be patient. Sometimes people can have difficulty understanding things, or learning to do something right. Learn to be patient with them.
16. Tutor a child. This might be difficult to do today, but often parents can’t afford to hire a tutor for their child in need of help. Call a school and volunteer your tutoring services.
17. Create a care package. Soup, reading material, tea, chocolate … anything you think the person might need or enjoy. Good for someone who is sick or otherwise in need of a pick-me-up.
18. Lend your voice. Often the powerless, the homeless, the neglected in our world need someone to speak up for them. You don’t have to take on that cause by yourself, but join others in signing a petition, speaking up at a council meeting, writing letters, and otherwise making a need heard.
19. Offer to babysit. Sometimes parents need a break. If a friend or other loved one in your life doesn’t get that chance very often, call them and offer to babysit sometime. Set up an appointment. It can make a big difference.
20. Love. Simply finding ways to express your love to others, whether it be your partner, child, other family member, friend, co-worker, or a complete stranger … just express your love. A hug, a kind word, spending time, showing little kindnesses, being friendly … it all matters more than you know.

How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.
– William Shakespeare

The Teacher

I thought this was inspirational and insightful….take a look! 

Stories like this, always have a way of putting the right perspective on life.

Jean Thompson stood in front of her fifth-grade class on the very first day of school in the fall and told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her pupils and said that she loved them all the same, that she would treat them all alike. And that was impossible because there in front of her, slumped in his seat on the third row, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard.

Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed he didn’t play well with the other children, that his clothes were unkept and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy was unpleasant.

It got to the point during the first few months that she would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X’s and then marking the F at the top of the paper biggest of all. Because Teddy was a sullen little boy, no one else seemed to enjoy him, either.

At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child’s records and put Teddy’s off until last. When she opened his file, she was in for a surprise. His first-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is a bright, inquisitive child with a ready laugh.” “He does his work neatly and has good manners…he is a joy to be around.”

His second-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is an excellent student well-liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle.”

His third-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy continues to work hard but his mother’s death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best but his father doesn’t show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren’t taken.”

Teddy’s fourth-grade teacher wrote, “Teddy is withdrawn and doesn’t show much interest in school. He doesn’t have many friends and sometimes sleeps in class. He is tardy and could become a problem.”

By now Mrs. Thompson realized the problem, but Christmas was coming fast. It was all she could do, with the school play and all, until the day before the holidays began and she was suddenly forced to focus on Teddy Stoddard.

Her children brought her presents, all in beautiful ribbon and bright paper, except for Teddy’s, which was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper of a scissored grocery bag. Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents.

Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of cologne. She stifled the children’s laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume behind the other wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed behind just long enough to say, “Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my mom used to.”

After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing, and speaking. Instead, she began to teach children. Jean Thompson paid particular attention to one they all called “Teddy.”

As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. On days where there would be an important test, Mrs. Thompson would remember that cologne. By the end of the year he had become one of the smartest children in the class and…well, he had also become the “pet” of the teacher who had once vowed to love all of her children exactly the same.

A year later she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that of all the teachers he’d had in elementary school, she was his favorite. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy.

He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still his favorite teacher of all time.

Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he’d stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson she was still his favorite teacher.

Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor’s degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still his favorite teacher, but that now his name was a little longer. The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, M.D.

The story doesn’t end there. You see, there was yet another letter that Spring. Teddy said he’d met this girl and was to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering…well, if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the pew usually reserved for the mother of the groom. And guess what, she wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And I bet on that special day, Jean Thompson smelled just like…well, just like the way Teddy remembered his mother smelling on their last Christmas together.

THE MORAL: You never can tell what type of impact you may make on another’s life by your actions or lack of action. Consider this fact in your venture thru life.

Kindness…It’s Contagious

Kindness is contagious- when you perform a random act of kindness you can truly touch the life of another human being.  Have you ever received a compliment from someone when you really needed a boost?  You can live off of that feeling for days.  Whether you’re holding the door for the person behind you, picking up whatever dropped or giving a compliment…the feeling of genuine kindness in our hearts is the practical expression of any spiritual path.  Every living creature wants to feel cared about, including ourselves.  There are hundreds of ways to perform a random act of kindness, what will be yours today?

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.”        – Mother Teresa

Inspire

Inspiration can come from many different places.  A sunset, for example, could be an inspiration to someone.  Some people also carry the character quality to inspire others.  How do you inspire others?  Simply offering a guiding hand, story telling, keeping an open door or merely listening could offer inspiration to someone in your life.  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.  Share with us how you inspired someone this week or how someone else inspired you!

“Before you can inspire with emotion, you must be swamped with it yourself. Before you can move their tears, your own must flow. To convince them, you must yourself believe.”  

Winston Churchill 

Will You Help Feed Local Hungry Children?

This May, New Beginnings is campaigning to create awareness toward our community of the devastatingly increasing hunger development of local children.  We have shown you the numbers reported by Lake County Schools of homeless children as of April 1st, 2011.  There are other children in our area that are “at risk” of loosing their home and are going to bed hungry.  These are real children and real families that are struggling on a daily basis.  Will you help?  For the month of May every $10 you donate, you will receive a coupon from Chick-Fil-A good for one chicken sandwich.   And for every $10 donated, provides nutritious meals for a child for 3 days.   Donating is easy….just click the “Donate” tab next to this post and follow the prompts.  It’s quick, it’s simple….it’s making a difference.  Will you help a make a difference for one child?