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Christmas Trees and Small Acts of Kindness
Thirty years ago, in Urbana, Ohio, Tracy Bild and her brother wanted to buy a Christmas tree as a present for her Mom. But that would take money, which they didn’t have.
So they decided to visit their local Dairy Queen, run by a man named Gerald Woodruff, who locals called “Jug,” to scrounge for coins in the parking lot and even in the seams of the restaurant seats. This was somewhat fruitful, but not enough to buy a Christmas tree, which were being sold in the Dairy Queen’s lot.
But Mr. Woodruff (or “Jug”) noticed what was taking place. Known as a kind man, he gave Tracy and her brother a Christmas tree. He called it “the best tree in the lot.” Tracy joyfully brought it home.
But the story doesn’t end there.
It turns out that Tracy and her family maintained a friendship with “Jug” for the rest of his life. Although Jug is recently deceased, she still socializes with Jug’s family from time to time.
Kindness isn’t something we expect, but we do privately crave it. It even has some interesting qualities. According to the experts,
- Kindness begets kindness
- The more kindness we get, the better our lives become
- The earlier we receive kindness, the better our lives become
There’s also a kindness hormone called “oxytocin.” It makes people smile, as it does the recipients of smiles. It even changes our biochemistry.
Sounds contagious to me. All we have to do is smile at others, and extend acts of kindness to them, as soon as we can.
And perhaps go looking for a Christmas tree, whether we have the money or not.
It just might lead to a lifelong friendship.
“Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays” from the Make Life Good Team.Source: Sunday Morning, CBS, 12/17
Random Acts of Kindness Day Is February 17th
Here at The Make Life Good Company, we try to “remind, encourage and inspire” people to make life good for others every day. With this in mind, my wife and I visit a tavern in Scituate, RI for occasional food and libations. We occasionally commit a random act of kindness by buying a drink for someone we don’t know. We rely on the wait staff to identify someone who might appreciate the gesture. We expect nothing in return, and we expect, in fact we ask, that the transaction will be anonymous.
But as we have written in our earlier blogs, once again it seems impossible for such gestures to be accomplished anonymously. The wait staff person is pressured to identify who offered to pay for the drink, she relents, and a very happy and appreciative patron visits our table to thank us. The result? We have made a new friend at the tavern! Committing random acts of kindness can be good for everyone involved.
Like the tavern patron, sometimes one can be the recipient of a random act of kindness at the most surprising of times. Pastor Joel Osteen of the Lakewood Baptist Church in Houston, Texas, tells a story to illustrate this point. He will occasionally visit members of his Congregation when they are hospitalized. However, he privately dreads driving to the hospital because of the difficulty of finding parking.
On one such visit, he drove to the hospital to gladly find a parking space right in front! It was so unusual, he suspected that there had to be a Godly reason for it. As he walked toward the front door, a woman was walking in the opposite direction. She stopped him and asked if he was Joel Osteen? He replied that he was, and she proceeded to tell him how much his ministry had meant to her and her life. Pastor Osteen joyfully accepted the complement! He knew that this must have been the reason why the parking space was available on that day. An unexpected, but appreciated, random act of kindness by an unknown passerby.
The Make Life Good Team is pleased to see the efforts of others who are trying to commit and encourage random acts of kindness. A good place to start for examples of this is Random Acts of Kindness, the website (www.randomactsofkindness.org), with stories of ways in which we all can make the world better through kindness in our schools, homes and communities. This site is one of our faves.
Also, let’s note that even the major television networks have gotten in on a very good act. Lester Holt of NBC News features weekly stories that describe the ways that people are making life good for other people. Please check out these motivational stories called “Inspiring America” at www.nbcnews.com.
If you’re not in the habit of committing random acts of kindness, please give it a try! You may be surprised at what you find while making the world a better place.
Remember, the official Random Acts of Kindness Day this year is Friday, February 17th. That’s a great day for all of us to commit a random acts of kindness and continue the practice throughout the year.
Random Acts of Kindness Make Life Good!We’re quite excited for the Random Acts of Kindness (RAoK) Day on the 17th because we’re a little more prepared for it this year. While still in our initial stages as a business, we’ve grown and are fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to create several new designs for the social holiday. One iterates how the act of helping others is rewarding to you personally and the other simply states, “Random Acts of Kindness Make Life Good!” It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
We hope that these designs on this apparel reaches a fresh set of eyes…someone who hasn’t been so exposed to our calls to action and someone who could really stand to see positive messages like these. For that to happen, we need to get the shirts out there! Buying our products is great because a portion of the profit will go to organizations that make life good and the message you invested in will probably mean something to you personally; but, if you make sure to wear that shirt or sweatshirt out and about, the potential GOOD you could do is so much greater.
Our products are eye-catching because we want these messages to be seen! You can feel good about being an MLG ambassador on National RAoK Day because the purchase you will have made will find its way back to a business that does good for others. You can wear that smile proudly because the design you’ll be modeling will put a smile on someone else’s face—and ideally push them to put a smile on another person’s face.
Fair warning: you might be approached or questioned about your product! Whether it’s your bag or your bracelet, people will wonder what Make Life Good is all about and why you invested in us. This is an opportunity to make a true connection and communicate honestly. We could use more of that nowadays.
Lead the charge this RAoK Day and do so sporting a Make Life Good product. We want the positive influence you’ll have on others to be as great as can be. Share your random acts of kindness with us. We’d love to see what you come up with. We can always use a little more inspiration.