Archive for the ‘Thoughtfulness’ Category

Random Stranger Mail #1 AND #2 (Nice Journey)

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

I don’t think I blogged about the first note I sent to a random stranger. I sent it on the first day of my nice adventure! Someone suggested I mail it to someone in Illinois and so I did. I did a little search on whitepages dot com and used one of my favorite words as the last name and voila! The first stranger was chosen.

This time I chose a particular name (first and last) from random things I love and left the state open… and I came up with a lady with the loveliest name ever.  I mailed it yesterday! How fun is this? I found some postcards but I am already down to three. Postcards are perfect because you don’t have to fill them up like cards but rather just simple messages. =) I think I should design some postcards and have them printed up. This might help conserve money. =)

It is fun to be nice!

(Inspired by OperationNice)

Home made Valentine #1 (Nice Journey)

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Today is the 2nd Tuesday of August and thus, I set out to make a home made valentine. I wanted to do something with Pippi Longstocking because who can motivate a girl like our favorite freckled-face-redhead-girl? I found a picture to color of her and I thumbed through Pippi’s Extraordinary Ordinary Day (by Astrid Lingren) and found the perfect quote. I combined the picture and the quote in psp. And here is the result,

I printed it full page and then wrote a letter around the picture to a friend I have not spoken to or written to at all in months and not reconnected with in years. So, I will mail this and hope it is received as happily as it was made. =) I also apologized for disappearing so often, for being easily distracted for long periods of time. (Making amends…1 down, 2 to go!)

Postcard #2 (Nice Journey)

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

I owe an apology to someone I care a lot about. I am often so inside my own head I do not realize how my retreat within, my withdrawal from the everyday affects others. I recently avoided someone when they needed me, not because they needed me and not really on purpose but more because I was in my own head and trying to avoid the world. No matter my reason, I hurt someone. So, what better time than NOW to send a postcard with a simple apology and words expressing how important this person is to me? That is what I did this morning. Good Morning.

For the record, I am sorry. And love is fade resistant, no matter how far I go, no matter how long I am silent.

All Smiles (nice assignment)

Friday, August 6th, 2010

All Smiles, originally uploaded by optikal..

The newest nice assigment is to smile more. I am a fairly smiley person already so this will be easy and fun. I generally try to smile at everyone all the time. But I will pay attention and try to smile more. I will also encourage others to smile as well.

And for another nice update,

I finished the living eulogy. I wrote it for my dear friend E. and gave it to her when I was finished. She loved it.

I think I will write more for others but I will take a different, slightly more positive direction. I think I will write like I am nominating [said person] as Man or Woman of the Decade. And then talk about why… that might be a more positive version of this ‘nice’ assignment. Eulogies seem creepy. And in some cultures it is bad luck to write a eulogy or obituary for someone who is not dead. It is like putting a curse on them. Wouldn’t want to do that! Particularly not with people I care about… well, no one really but you know what I mean!

Better be safe than sorry!

This leaves only new and ongoing nice challenges. I continue to make nice drops. The other day when we were getting coffee, we paid for the person behind us and left a nice note. It is fun!! This Tuesday I’ll be making a handmade valentine! How much fun will that be?

Want to join me in my quest to be nicer?
(more…)

Journey to the depths of niceness

Saturday, July 24th, 2010

I happened upon a most wonderful site the other day, Operation NICE. Allow the lovely lady who started it tell you in her own words (from the website) what it is about,

Don’t you love it when people go out of their way to be nice? Like when someone waits to hold the door for you. Or when a stranger waves you into a line a traffic. Or even when a coworker shoots you a friendly smile along with a “have a nice day.” If everyone was a little bit nicer to the folks they encountered each day, perhaps the world would be a more pleasant place. Operation NICE was initiated to remind you that a little NICE goes a long way.

And so a movement was born…a journey to be nice and proactively spread the niceness. I am jumping in head first! I am already a fairly nice person. I compliment good service. I write thank you notes. I try to be thoughtful mostly. However, I am ready to begin a journey into new depths of niceness.

Most every week for the past few years the nice lady who runs Operation Nice has given out nice assignments for others to complete. Having just found the site I feel a little jealous I have missed out on all these nice opportunities to be super-duper nice and make another person’s day a little bit better. And so! I have decided I will do some of the past assignments as well as trying to do the new ones that she conjures up! It will be fun, fun indeed. These are the past nice assignments I have decided upon:

  • Mail a card to a random stranger (picked from the telephone book). I will do this once a month, every 3rd Thursday a month, I already sent the first one yesterday to a lady in Illinois! The whitepages.com insists you put in a last name so I chose a random word close to my heart, ‘book’. =) Fun!  (Ongoing)
  • Hand make valentines and give them to those you care about. I had a head start on this one as I did this for Valentine’s Day. But why stop on that day? I will handmake one valentine every month to send to someone I care about–on the 2nd Tuesday of every month. (Ongoing)
  • I love list for each month, write a list or do a doodle composition of what you love about the current month… or as I will do it the upcoming month. I will post my What I love about this month picture or list on the 1st of every month. (Ongoing)
  • Write a living eulogy — I will give this some thought and get back to you soon… I might even post it. If not, I will post about it. (Finished on August 6th)
  • Send a postcard to family and/or friends on a regular basis. I will choose some nifty postcards and send one a week to a different person until I recycle through everyone and then begin again. (Ongoing)
  • Make a I Love list, a positive way of articulating goals or just being grateful. I will make one soon… and periodically make new ones… this one will be fun! (Finished on July 30th)
  • Nice bombs, on the Operation Nice website she provides cards you can print out that say Nice Note and a space for you to write in your own message. She even attaches little gifts with them! How nice!!! I will write some out and sometimes add little gifts… and leave them places, taking photos of the places I leave them to share with everyone. (Ongoing)

Oh! I am excited to get all crazy random nice! How fun! I will keep you up to date on my journey to the inner depths of niceness. In the meantime why not start your own little nice things to do and tell me about it and tell Melissa from Operation Nice about it too! And a big fat thank you to you Melissa for inspiring me to be even nicer.

Updated last (August 25th).

On the wings of hope…

Friday, June 11th, 2010

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is so profoundly sad. It is causing widespread damages that we cannot even begin to access or understand accurately. It is such a shame. And most people feel so helpless… what can we do?

Well, when 5th grade Olivia Bouler heard about the oil spill in the place she vacations with her family, she sat down to write a letter with an offer to help the birds…

http://www.aolartists.com/profiles/olivia-bouler/

And so began “Save the Gulf” operation between Olivia, her drawings and the Audubon Society. As of today, June 11 2010, she has helped raise over $80,000 to help rescue the birds from the oil spill still happening. You can read the news story here. Or visit her AOL artist site and enjoy her drawings here. And you can donate to help save the birds here.

http://www.aolartists.com/profiles/olivia-bouler/

It only takes a willingness to help. And one person can make a difference. Thanks Olivia… you give hope to the future! I look forward to seeing you become an Ornithologist one day. The birds are lucky to have you!

(Originally posted elsewhere on one of my other sites for birds. However, I felt it worthy to share as many places as possible.)

Be Thoughtful (part 3)

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

And another response to the Be Thoughtful list request… this one is from my young nephew…

1. Open the door for people
2. Help people with groceries
3. Help a kid get through a bad day
4. Stick up for a kid in trouble
5. Help a kid get his ball out of a tree
6. If people have their hands full carry something for them
7. If someone loses something help them find it
8. Pick up trash
9. Recycle
10. If a kid is lost help him get home
11. Get something that is high up in a tree
12. Help a kid if he is hurt
13. Call 911 if a kid is seriously hurt
14. Bring the recycle down to the car
15. Make a kid’s day better
16. Make more activities for kids to do
17. Let every kid play with you
18. Help the disabled
19. Let people in line behind you go before if they are in a hurry
20. If you’re in line and someone has more stuff, let them go because its nice
21. Lift a kid up to reach something
22. Help a kid even if he says he is fine
23. Talk with a kid that has had a bad thing happen to him
24. Help solve a fight
25. Give a kid a dollar just because it would brighten his day

Part 1 can be read here.

Part 2 can be read here.

Part 4 can be read here.

Be Thoughtful (part 2)

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

This is a response to my original post of 100 random acts of kindness…encouraging everyone to be thoughtful. Read the original post here

This is Persnickety’s list… yes, there may be overlapping ideas but that is ok … please, send us more!

Pack someone lunch, or a snack, to take with them.
Slip a note in someone’s lunch telling them 5 reasons you like them.
Tell someone you appreciate them, just because they are who they are.
When someone asks for spare change, give it to them.
Give more than your spare change when you are able.
Bake cookies for someone.
Bring homemade treats to work.
Buy a $5 gift card to give the person in line behind you, or more if you can.
Buy coffee for the person in line behind you.
Bring home fresh flowers, and some for a neighbor or friend.
Leave sticky notes around for your loved ones, tell them you love them, appreciate them, and enjoy their company.
Take groceries to someone’s house to make them dinner.
DO the dishes after having dinner at a friends house.
Take a care basket to a sick friend, soup, herbal tea, cough drops and Kleenex.
Leave change in the candy/vending machine at the store, for the next child that comes along.
Write a letter to someone you know and mail it to them.
Give away coupons you are not using to people in the store.
Bring a child balloons, just for fun.
Donate your magazines and books to a retirement home or nursing facility.
Bring someone something you know they like, just because you thought of them today – a favorite drink, dessert, flowers.
Hug your family when you come in the door.
Let people do nice things for you too, and just say “thank you”.
Do someone else’s chores for them.
Wake up a little early, and make breakfast for your family, even if you have to pack it for them to eat on the go.
Smile at people, acknowledge them.
Pay someone’s bus fare.
When you have a positive customer service experience, be sure to tell their boss. If you are in a hurry, take their name and call later.
In the parking lot, offer to take someone’s cart back for them.
Offer to help someone load or unload their groceries.
Say hello to your neighbor.
Read to someone, a child, a friend.
When you think of an old friend, call them to say hello.
Send someone a “thinking of you” card.
Send thank you notes.
Volunteer – even an hour or two a month.
Ask someone you know to go for a walk.
Play a game with your family.
Bring home sparkling cider to celebrate your family.
Mail coupons to someone for something you know they buy, or somewhere you know they shop.
Ask a friend or coworker to lunch.
Make time to help people when they ask.
Ask someone about their day, strike up a conversation, and listen.
Remember the last nice thing someone did for you – now do that for someone else.
Offer to do someone’s grocery shopping for them.
Offer to run an errand for someone, to give them some freed up time.
Mail postcards when you go on vacation.
Mail postcards from your hometown to people far away.
Give someone a neck and shoulder massage.
Take popsicles to your childs class on a hot day.
Tip really well, and write “THANK YOU” on the receipt.

Read part 1 here (the original post). Read part 3 here (the 2nd response). Read part 4 here (the 3rd response).

Be Thoughtful

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

I am officially trying to spread thoughtfulness, if it only it were as catchy as bad moods or the flu… let’s see what we can do to make that happen, shall we? Here is a list of 100 random things we can do to be thoughtful:

  1. Give someone flowers, anyone, strangers or someone you care about… near or far… pick them up at the grocery store, the florist, your garden or FTD them to a long-distance friend
  2. Write an unexpected letter for no other reason than to say hello and ask someone how they are doing
  3. Ask questions and listen, really listen, to the answers
  4. Participate in StoryCorps even if it unofficially done at your own home with a $7 microphone on your computer or tape player. (Ask a friend or family member to join you!)
  5. Offer to do the dishes when everyone is tired
  6. Pick up trash in your neighbor’s yard or in your apartment courtyard
  7. Help someone with their groceries
  8. Clean up after yourself
  9. Fold the laundry
  10. Ask if anyone else would like anything while you are up or out
  11. Order or bring enough lunch for two and share
  12. Make a lunch and bring it to leave in the fridge at work with “THIS LUNCH WAS MADE FOR ANYONE WHO IS HUNGRY — ENJOY” (add a nice quote or note inside!)
  13. When making a sandwich for someone, cut it into fun shapes, even if they are 92 years old, they will love it
  14. Offer to run errands for a sick or elderly family member or just someone who is super busy
  15. Paint a picture for a friend
  16. (more…)