Why this old man chose me to share his blessing I will never know, but I felt pretty lucky that day. I wondered if this was the first time he had done this or if this is something he tells people every day. What really mattered was he was spreading kindness, just a simple blessing to a stranger in a post office. In this day of modern technology, cell phones, e-mails, text messages, it is nice to remember to just talk to people. Give a stranger your blessing and make someone else's day who knows maybe you will be making your own?
Saturday, July 30, 2011
The other day I was at the post office mindlessly putting stamps on a huge pile of mailers, when suddenly an old man wearing a tweed newsboy style hat and a red cardigan sweater touched my arm and said something. I didn't hear him, so I asked him to say it again. He said "May you never want as long as you live and may you live as long as you want." Then he tapped the side of my head and said "It's all up here, kid." and walked away with his wife who gave me a sweet smile.
Posted by Gretchen at 6:10 PM
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
These days most of us complain A LOT! We love to complain about customer service, the city officials, the teachers, the president, our meals in restaurants, but what about all the good things that happen to us? What if for every time you complain to someone about a job poorly done, we also commended someone for a job well done? You could talk to the manager of a store about the great customer service you received, tell the chef of a restaurant how much you loved your dinner, thanked your kids teachers for doing such a great job, sent an e-mail to the president about how much you appreciate what he has done for our country. We all want to be noticed for doing well and for making a difference, so we should do the same for others no matter how big or small their job may be. So please find someone to thank this week for a job well done!
Posted by Gretchen at 10:41 PM
Friday, July 22, 2011
Have you ever seen someone fall down, drop something, see a child or a pet that is lost? We all do on a regular basis and when that person is us, we hope that someone will help us. I am amazed when I see a pet in the middle of the road and car after car drives past it doing nothing or when someone falls down and no one stops to ask if they are o.k. Have we become so jaded and suspicious of other people that we have forgotten to be empathetic? Or are we so busy that we can't take a moment to help someone or something in need? None of us are perfect, but let's try a little harder to be the person we would want someone to be for us in our time of need.
Posted by Gretchen at 6:43 PM
Monday, July 18, 2011
My husband and I learned an amazing lesson while driving through Germany on vacation this year. We were in a small town trying to find our bed and breakfast. We were lost and frustrated in a country where we didn't know the language and were struggling with asking for directions and following the signs.
We finally found a small restaurant along one of the roads. I went inside hoping to find help. I walked in to find a small group of men smoking and drinking, none of them spoke very good English, but they seemed to understand where I needed to go. One of the men said he would be leaving soon and would help us. I returned to the car and a few moments later the man emerged and got in his car. He proceeded to drive us quite a distance right to the doorstep of our bed and breakfast. We were so grateful for the help this stranger and a little shocked by his kindness and generosity at our time of need.
We both realized how important it was to help visitors in our city and country. We all know how it feels to be lost in a strange place and the frustration we all feel to not speak the language. Think about what you can do next time you see someone looking at a map on the street or when someone asks you for directions. We all need to remember how it feels to be in someone else's shoes and what we would hope someone would do for us.
To this stranger in Germany, I send you a heartfelt thank you.
Posted by Gretchen at 7:51 PM
Sunday, July 10, 2011
A few weeks ago, my husband and I were at a bakery with our niece and nephew. An old man approached our table with a little wood spinning stick. The stick was carved of wood with a small propeller at the top and notches along the sides. You rubbed another stick along the notches to make the propeller move to the right or left. The stick was hand painted and had a hand scribbled instruction sheet along with it titled "Wally's Hooey Stick". The stick also had been numbered and we were given number 13,428! Wally had been making these little toys for over 20 years by hand and giving them to people everywhere. 13, 428 of them! Wally was not asking for money, he simply handed out these small toys to make people smile and to share something with them not expecting a thing in return.
I have thought about Wally a lot since that day. I don't imagine there is anyone else out there making Hooey Sticks and that Wally may just be the last of his kind. How wonderful would it be, if we all did such random acts of kindness and only got a smile in return?
Posted by Gretchen at 9:28 AM
Saturday, July 9, 2011
I remember when you would go for a walk in your neighborhood and you would pass people and you would smile or say hello. What happened to those days? When did we become so jaded and so untrusting of people that we can no longer just be polite to each other? Try for at least one day to smile at people you pass or better yet say hello to them. Smile at the person making your morning coffee, your neighbor, a person holding open a door for you or a child. Imagine how much nicer the world would be and how much nicer people might be to each other.
Posted by Gretchen at 9:52 PM
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
In this age of technology where we can text, call or e-mail anyone at almost anytime, do we seem to forget our social graces when it comes to contacting people when we are going to be late or are not going to show up somewhere? I hear this all the time from people showing apartments, selling things online or even with restaurant reservations. People will call to say they would like to come over at a certain time and then never show up. Really? We have no trouble calling someone for something we want, but when it comes to wasting someone else's time, we don't care. It only seems right that if someone else is waiting on you that you either let them know you have changed your mind or that you are running late. Wouldn't it be a much nicer world if all of us were a little more thoughtful of each other's time?
Posted by Gretchen at 9:02 PM