There is something that happens when certain groups of people come together; the summer is perfect for this kind of scenario. You get to meet new people, engage with individuals you wouldn’t have normally done so before and hopefully make some new friendships. I had the opportunity to attend a social gathering this past weekend (don’t I sound sophisticated?) where I became more of an observer rather than joining in the conversation. It wasn’t until the very end of the evening that I was standing around a kitchen table with a dear friend and we were going on about our worriments and dissatisfaction of the way certain things were playing out in our lives. Pretty soon two of us became three as others joined. And while we complaining and comparing, going through our sob stories, a fellow party-goer chimed in with an explanation that can be simplified into one statement: We really don’t have it so bad.
It’s true. I just wrote a final paper for a class in June that examined rape as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Meanwhile I am worrying, causing my eye to twitch more than it should, because I haven’t found what my true purpose in life is. And well, I think I’ve got time to figure it out. It is just unbelievable how one person who you don’t really know that well can walk into a conversation and bluntly put it out there for you as if the answer was right there the entire time. There are people who struggle each day, walk miles to find a water source, worry that their hut will be invaded by armed men who will ultimately rape them. Meanwhile we sit here worrying about whether or not someone responded to our last text message. We have to reassess what is really important in our lives and understand that no matter the circumstances, there is someone, somewhere facing worse conditions than we are.
It reminds me of one of my very favorite quotes - a big part of my desire to start this blog. “Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I know that I have my days (as we all do) where things look pretty bleak but I think if I can remember others and remember kindness it will do much more for the greater good rather to dwell on the minuscule things that ultimately, do not matter at the end of the day.
Happy 4th of July!!! And just what are we celebrating today, you ask? Another reason to have a barbecue, a day off of work!, an excuse to give the ER when we blow off our arm from lighting fireworks (no seriously, this happens). Summertime always means taking full advantage of a sunny day, gathering some friends, food and beverages, and grilling. Holidays where the majority of the world does not have to work are no exception. However, do people really know why we celebrate 4th of July rather than a time to pull out all of those strawberry and blueberry dessert recipes to make a flag cake?
I had a thought as I was typing out this post…if I was the host of a game show and ran around asking people what happened on July 4, 1776, would they be able to tell me??? Snooki probably would. But the rest of you…not so sure. Obviously it was the day our peeps declared independence from the brits. So how did we get to where we are today? Well, let me drop some 4th of July knowledge on you…..
Alright, I really didn’t know all of this about 4th of July, but Wikipedia sure did. It’s actually a really good slice of the history pie, hope you enjoyed. My final thought about today? Be kind to your country, celebrate it and learn about it. Hope you all have a fantastic 4th!
I was watching a dog chase a lawn sprinkle around in circles the other day, in what seemed like a desperate desire to quench his thirst. After watching his unsuccessful attempt to try and figure out why his water source continued to move away from him, it made me wish I was able to have a dog in my apartment. Not because I want to watch dogs chase sprinklers all day, but because of the idea of unconditional love. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if humans love unconditionally? I think about how often we yell at our pets, or put them outside when they’re bad, get frustrated with them, tug on their leashes….I could go on forever. And yet, at the end of the day, you know at the end of the day, just hoping to have the chance to sit down next to you is all they’ll ever want.
This idea of unconditional love is really quite brilliant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t apply to humans. We tend to allow ourselves to become caught up in the drama of everyday life and the slightest argument can rip friends and family apart. And what’s worse is that we tend to harbor those feelings rather than being able to put the past behind us. A dog can’t remember what happened to him/her five minutes ago let alone an argument. I would love if this was the same for human beings. I think I’ll stick to dogs, their easier to figure out and be around.
But dog desires aside, I think we should all take a step back every now again and think about others in our lives. Stop thinking about unnecessary emotions and start thinking about unconditional love. And it doesn’t only apply to the individuals who you surround yourself with everyday. Of course it relates to the kindness you are able to show others - to love people no matter what they look like, what they did, what they do, or where they are going. There is no checklist, just your chance to be kind…and maybe chase a few sprinklers of your own :)
There are many reasons why I enjoy the type of weather we’ve been having on the east coast lately, but really, two stand out in my mind the most. First, being that I am still without air conditioning in my car (three summers and counting…) I am able to roll down my windows, open my sunroof and not melt into a puddle on the drive home from work. The second reason for my love of this hot yet not humid weather is that because my windows are down, I get to interact with the people walking on the street. I know what you’re thinking…I’m out of my mind. Well alright you antisocialists….here is a little story for you. Tonight I was just leaving work when I saw a mom pushing her son along the road in some type of contraption that I wish I still fit into when I noticed she was having trouble crossing the street because none of the other cars payed her an ounce of attention. So I had the decision to either ignore her or let her cross. I motioned her to cross the street and as she did, she waved a gesture of thanks. And as I was pulling out, she says “thank you” and I respond with a “you’re welcome!” Now I ask you, how often does something like this occur? I absolutely love it and yes, it is the simple things. I just don’t remember having that many opportunities to be thanked verbally for allowing someone to go before me and cross the street. So when something like this scenario does occur, it brings an instant smile to my face.
There are many reasons why I enjoy the type of weather we’ve been having on the east coast lately, but really, two stand out in my mind the most. First, being that I am still without air conditioning in my car (three summers and counting…) I am able to roll down my windows, open my sunroof and not melt into a puddle on the drive home from work. The second reason for my love of this hot yet not humid weather is that because my windows are down, I get to interact with the people walking on the street. I know what you’re thinking…I’m out of my mind. Well alright you antisocialists….here is a little story for you.
Tonight I was just leaving work when I saw a mom pushing her son along the road in some type of contraption that I wish I still fit into when I noticed she was having trouble crossing the street because none of the other cars payed her an ounce of attention. So I had the decision to either ignore her or let her cross. I motioned her to cross the street and as she did, she waved a gesture of thanks. And as I was pulling out, she says “thank you” and I respond with a “you’re welcome!” Now I ask you, how often does something like this occur? I absolutely love it and yes, it is the simple things. I just don’t remember having that many opportunities to be thanked verbally for allowing someone to go before me and cross the street. So when something like this scenario does occur, it brings an instant smile to my face.
(Source: thetruthneverhurts, via pinkpanthers)
Is there anything better than an early Saturday morning? Perhaps it is my internal clock that wakes me up way before any real human being should be especially on an overcast and rainy day where the only real desire should be to stay in bed and do nothing. Early mornings on days where you don’t have to jump out of bed, grab a quick shower, make breakfast, throw some things in a lunch bag and then dash out the front door to your car where you will undoubtedly be greeted by endless amounts of traffic are opportunities to use the day as you please. For some it may be that you can get many items on your weekend to-do list checked off, or you can do like me and take a trip to grab an iced coffee, catch up on blogs and news, and then write.
I’ve been reading a few articles and opinion pieces on the topic of downtime, otherwise known as, time for yourself, and the positive effects it can have on your mind. It is an opportunity to regroup after a busy week, to think about things you may have been ignoring, or it may be a time for you to get things done for you and no one else. I don’t think it is something we know how to do. In fact, I’d say it is one of the few pleasures in which we can actually do something for ourselves. We are programmed to be creatures of busy schedules and time constraints. Saturday mornings are opportunities to bask in the joy of quiet and relax.
The majority of my blog posts center around the idea of doing good for others. Occasionally I will throw in a post or two about kindness to yourself and well, this would be one of those types of posts.
(Source: whiteblankpage1, via loveyourquotes)
As I was driving to work this morning, I remember grumbling over traffic and being cranky that I didn’t get as much sleep as I wanted to the evening before. And while I was sitting at a dead stop, cursing morning commutes, a car appeared from a side road, eager to hop in line of the mile long cars that faced him. I sat and watched as vehicle after vehicle passed this car, not allowing the man driving any chance at pulling out. It was at that moment that I decided to let him go ahead of me. What he did next was something completely unexpected. He gave me two thumbs up to which I thought what hand is turning that car, but nonetheless, it brought a smile to my face. Is this what we’re doing now? We’re giving thumbs up as appreciation and thanks? If so, I love it. Probably because it is so completely something that my father would do, but it made me smile all over. I guess we made each other’s days.
(Source: diasdefelicidade, via gorgeoustakethecity)
SO YOU WANT TO HELP ANIMALS. -
I found this great article the other day when scrolling through Huffington Post. I am not suggesting we go out there and become vegetarians or vegans unless that is something you’re really interested in….then I say, rock it! This list is a mixture of all extremes whether you want to help animals through taking that step in changing your diet or just volunteering at a local shelter. Helping animals through actions, reading up on the subject, volunteerism, etc. is a great act of kindness to those who don’t have voices.