Kindness :: A Word for Us All in 2020

An infusion of kindness throughout our individual lives and relationships, our cities, towns, country, and the world is needed.

I came across these words from Albert Schweitzer recently. They offer wisdom and hope in considering how we can spread kindness.

 

Kindness, quote, quotation, Albert Schweitzer

Think for a moment about evaporating the angst, hatred, racism, and prejudice at work in today’s world.

 

Featured Image Attribution: The Extraordinary Businesswoman

Hey Mom!

Hey Mom!

 
I knew immediately who was calling—the dinner hour, traveling for work, alone, no one else to talk to. It had to be our older son, Craig. At 48, he still called home when he needed to talk or ask a question. Your kids may grow up but in some instances, they never grow away.
 
At the dinner table, I put the phone on speaker so Bob could hear. 
 
Hey Craig! What’s up?
 
He began by reminding me he was in Eastern Oregon on business and happened to be in Pendleton. A town with which we have a little travel history from our trip moving to Portland. We drove cross-country with two dogs and a cat. Our itinerary had planned stops in interesting places. At age 12, Craig had much he could learn by traveling 2200 miles from Tennessee to Oregon. One stop brought us to Pendleton, a rodeo town full of cowboys and interesting places and people.
 
Mom, can you remember the name of the hotel we stayed in?
 
I couldn’t and neither could Bob so Craig continued with his description of the place in question.
 
It’s the place we stayed and when we went down to the restaurant for dinner, we sat by the window. There was a sidewalk there, and I looked out the window and saw this guy walk into a lampost. Then he turned around and walking in the opposite direction, he stopped and peed on the post! Remember how hard we laughed?
 
No doubt we remembered the story Craig was sharing. We had to work hard to calm ourselves down to stop drawing the attention of other diners.
 
Amazing as it seemed, Craig remembered that night. His recollections were detailed and as funny as the time it happened.
 
As a family, we have many memories from that cross-country trip in 1983. And it was gratifying to have your son call to share one with you. Maybe it’s one of those forever memories I talked about in a post several days ago. A memory you’ll never forget and have ready to tell your kids or grandkids someday.

 

Hey Mom!, memories, forever memories, Dr. Suess

 

Feature Image Attribution:  Rohit Tandon on Unsplash

A Second Reading

Last week as we watched TV, perhaps preseason football, an ad for a new movie popped up. The movie is an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize (2014) winning novel, The GoldfinchAs I watched the trailer, for some reason I thought I had not read The Goldfinch. 

After the game finished, I quickly went to find a copy of The Goldfinch at one of our local libraries. I requested it and downloaded it to my Kindle. Noting that it was quite lengthy, I began reading it right away. It wasn’t until the next day as I read a particular scene that I realized I had read this book before.

This one particular scene, rich in detail and emotion, stood out. My recall sent me to my Goodreads account, and sure enough, The Goldfinch is listed among my read books. Usually, I check Goodreads and Amazon before going to buy or check out a book. But not this time.

At that moment, I decided I wanted to read The Goldfinch again. I am, and I am enjoying it more than I did the first time. Do you ever read a book a second time, or maybe a third? There is a lot to be gained from a second reading. Here are a few salient points on this topic:

  • Revisiting a book or article is a good way to remember it. Perhaps using a notecard system like the one Ryan Holiday describes or the one Cal Newton describes in this post. Or you may have a different and better system of your own.
  • You’ll read things the second time you missed the first time. Quotes you missed the first time. Another page you want to dog-ear. Here’s where the notetaking systems come in handy. After all, we don’t want to keep revisiting the same books.
  • Listen to the audiobook version, if available. Hearing the words, and perhaps hearing them more than once, will likely create the desire to take action.

If you read it and hear it, you’re much more likely to take action on it.
~~ Zig Ziglar

  • Have you ever attended a conference? Do you remember the high the conference experience gave you? The motivation and inspiration you received last a few days, and in the different environment of your home, the high is lost. This is where revisiting a book, article, audiotape of an interview or talk makes the impact of lasting benefit.

That’s all for today. I’ve got a full schedule waiting for me—I’ve still got 530 pages of The Goldfinch to read.

 

Featured image attribution: Image by Earl McGhee (no changes made to image)

 

Patience

Outside our family room window, two large hydrangeas are heavy with buds. Knowing what they will look like in bloom makes the waiting hard. My patience with this process is better than my patience in other areas of nature and life.
 
Hydrangea buds open slowly, like this recovery I’m going through. The buds and petals of the hydrangea tease, as do my good days versus not so good days. Patience wears thin at times.
 
Patience is not simply the ability to wait –
it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.
~~ Joyce Meyer
 
Joyce Meyer reminds us that it isn’t only about waiting. Our behavior while waiting is important as well. 
 
Today I’m putting a stop to complaining, fussing, and whining about the length of this recovery. The better choice is to treat my waiting time more like the budding of a new flower. That is, something I’m able to wait for without complaining, fussing, and whining.