The 13 Habits* (#4)

 

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Do a Kindness

Practice a kindness every single day. If you’re already doing this, consider being kind to – yes – a rude person, or someone you are not particularly fond of. It’s challenging, but it’s important, if we’re going to change the world.

 

 

 

 

Asian in Arizona

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I glance up and see him, pushing his shopping cart

he is sporting overalls and an enormous white beard

I’m sure he drives a white truck with flag (U.S. or Confederate?)

I’ve been accosted by his type before, in Iowa:

Hey Jap! Go back where you came from!

So I am wary

 

He’s speaking                    to me                    right now

They have a sale on bananas! A whole bag for just a dollar!

He points to a small paper brown bag in his cart

Your kids will love ’em!

 

I’m jolted – surprised – dismayed

How does he know I have kids?

And I realize that what is in my cart

are bags of suspicion, dread and cynicism

 

 

Busy, Busy Bee

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Drawing practice #50

Feeling stressed and anxious about the holidays is a choice. Yes, it is.

Don’t succumb to the pressure to buy.

“This year, shoppers plan on spending $660 on average for the holiday season. 27% report they did not create a budget at all and 24% say they overspent last year.” (USA Today)

Create a budget. Stick to it. If anyone has a problem with it, it’s exactly that – their problem.

Focus, instead, on expressing love for friends and family. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. That is the true spirit of the holidays, no matter what your faith.

Here is an interesting graphic from USA Today:

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Where Does the Ladder Lead?

“Success” in the career realm often means “climbing up the ladder” or obtaining a promotion. If you are interested in this, Eric Barker has data-driven advice:

Network. There are wrong ways and “right ways” to do this. The right way is to offer help to those around you at work – and not just to the well-liked people. If you can forge a strong working relationships with everyone, you’ll be more likely to hear about opportunities and therefore, be able to apply for them faster than others.

And, stating the obvious: If you are helpful to others before you need their help (advice, introductions to others, etc.)  then you won’t be sleazy. In fact, people will want to help you.

If you aren’t interested in climbing the ladder or playing this game, but you’re kind to everyone regardless of your job, you’ve already reached success.

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Show a Little Tenderness

K is for Kindness

To be kind means to be benevolent, to be compassionate and caring.

I am kinder on some days than others. When I’m not as kind as I’d like to be, it’s always because I am not being so kind to myself. Being hard on myself because I didn’t eat as healthy as I should have, or skipped my work out, or said or did something “dumb”…can lead me to show not-so-kind behavior to others.

If we were all kinder to ourselves, and we made a concerted effort to be kinder to others, this world would change.

Truly, I believe members of hate groups (such as the KKK) do not like themselves. They possess unsavory feelings about themselves and then their outlook on the world changes. They look for scapegoats to blame for their own unhappiness and fears.

Have you noticed when you’re really happy – happy with yourself and your life’s situation – the last thing you want is to be mean to others?

I wonder if you know the story behind the KIND bars. The founder (Daniel Lubetzky) is a son of a Holocaust survivor. He remembers his father telling him that while he was in the concentration camp, one German soldier threw him some potatoes, risking his own life in order to be kind.

Watch the three minute video. I love how this company says that “nice” is passive, but being kind is an ACTIVE verb!

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Compassionate Living

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“Don’t expect applause.”

 – Pema Chodron

I was waiting for my car to be repaired at Discount Tire. Waiting at the counter, sitting on a tall stool, was a girl of about six. She was coloring in her coloring book. Her little brother started to walk up towards her. He must have been four or five. Anticipating his height, she pushed the stool next to her closer to the counter and he was able to climb onto it. She resumed coloring. He didn’t say thank you and she didn’t anticipate it.

“Don’t expect applause” means don’t await thanks for what you do. And do not do kind acts in hopes of having people like you. Be kind for integrity’s sake.