Do you know someone who feels alone? Do you have someone in your life; your child, your student, a friend, a partner, or someone you pass by occasionally, that you can tell is suffering?
Last weekend I had the honor of performing at a benefit for Kid in The Corner and I MUST SHARE their mission and message of kindness, inclusion, community, and hope. This organization exists because of one parent’s worst nightmare. more “Kid in The Corner”…
We have this great place in my hood to meet for coffee, or to get a little work done with a cup of coffee out among other human beings. The first time I walked into this new place to meet a friend, Kathy (she’s very nice, you should try to meet her there for coffee too), I immediately noticed that I suddenly was in a better frame of mind. I almost never notice things like that, but goodness is obvious here the moment you walk in.
Coffee brings us together, doesn’t it? It’s a bit of a treat. It provides a socially acceptable meeting location for our stimulant fixes.
It’s possible that the late, great, NBC sitcom Friends and Central Perk may have given us this gift of a great way to hang together. Phoebe, Joey, Rachel, Chandler, Ross and Rachel became a family at Central Perk. more “Black Rock Coffee Bar-A Very Good Place”…
“There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear There’s a man with a gun over there Telling me I got to beware
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong”
Stephen Stills 1967
Kindness is at war with evil.
The battle lines are being drawn by celebrities, politicians, comedians, some cats, my next door neighbor. It’s a battle to fight violence, judgement, hatred, intolerance, apathy, by way of being consciously kind.
It’s a victimless war.
It’s a hard time to believe in people right now–between child detention, the constant revelations of the #MeToo movement, the racial, economic and gender-based injustices we witness every day.
It could not be a better time for a movie about Mister Rogers. But, when has there ever been a time when it wasn’t a good idea to listen to a peaceful man? Our family went to see Won’t You Be My Neighbor this past weekend. It was a 10 PM showing on a Friday night after a long week. We were in recliners at the Harkins at the mall. I had a glass of champagne to sip during the movie. Our kids came with us, they’re 20 and 22, and we’d all been swimming in 110 heat for most of the day. Although,It was the perfect storm to sleep from opening to ending credits, no one slept. It was even kinda riveting. It’s a very quiet, beautiful film about a very quiet, beautiful man who embodies unconditional love. He makes seeking kindness first seem easy. It isn’t always. But, Fred Rogers shows that kindness is a choice we can make daily, that feelings are important and valid, and that love, or its vacancy, is the dynamic force behind our actions.
And then there’s Lady Gaga!!! She’s so much more than we were led to believe at her beginning. She is actively speaking out to make a difference in the world she sees. Personally, I see humans in most places trying to change the world by spreading kindness.
Here’s a thing: To be consciously kind takes a little effort, but not nearly as much as hate requires.
Then! Here in Chandler, is my friend Helen. Un-frickin-believable Helen.
If she reads on facebook that I’m sick or injured, which, to put into perspective, I am injured/sick more often than not-that-way, she goes into high alert as to how she can ease my pain. For exp: a coffee mug of George Clooney’s self-portrait (a personal fave), An In-N-Out gift card, root beer, chocolate covered cherries when my father died because he loved those things, anything from Disneyland that involves magic or Tigger. These perfect gifts will just appear on my doorstep, and after Helen ding dong ditches at a speed only a 5 year-old should be able to achieve, I will open the door to see only the evidence of love and compassion sitting in a potted plant. I’m just one of hundreds of people she stalks for goodness. My daughter, Hannah, calls her S.O.G. for Sister of God. We are humbled by her very nature. S.O.G. you rock.
Let’s be Helen today and do one thing for one person who doesn’t expect or maybe even deserve a little surprise. Even a flower from your yard on their front door is enough. Let me know if you actually do this please!
Your one act of kindness shared can reach the world. This little blog alone is reaching Russia. You have a chance to reach across this huge cultural divide just by saying “Hi.” Or “I put a flower on my neighbors door. They never noticed it…”
I see a world where we continually define ourselves by the way in which we are divided.
Our family moved to Chandler, Arizona from Los Angeles 18 years ago. We found a nice house we could almost afford in a safe neighborhood. My husband and I had two small daughters at the time. I suggested leaving L.A. the day helicopters were hovering over our house bellowing repeatedly through a blow horn for everyone to lock all doors and windows and stay inside. An armed robber was thought to be hiding in one of our backyards after shooting the owner of our corner grocery store. I love LA, but life in Chandler has been way less “survival of the fittest.”
The first day of house shopping brought us into 20 identical, beige, stucco houses in 20 different neighborhoods between Scottsdale and Chandler. more “Neighbors For Good”…