Category Archives: Kindness Counts

Kindness Counts Friday

Well well well. It’s been a long time absent from I Will Bloom but it’s calling me to be brought back, so here we go….another instalment of Kindness Counts Friday.

[Kindness Counts Friday is Kim’s original idea; I’m babysitting whilst she’s on a blog break]…

kindness counts

Time to recount the kind acts we’ve engaged in, received or witnessed and for me to highlight some of the kindness related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around Internet Land….

Here goes:

Kind acts engaged in

– The Head of Primary at my son’s school called me over the other morning. To congratulate me on my son’s kindness. There’s a new family at school and their middle son is in my son’s class. He doesn’t speak a word of either Spanish or English and was, apparently, a little lost, until my son took him under his wing, making sure he managed to eat something at lunch, making sure he got on the right bus to get home etc. [Yes, my Mama’s heart did almost explode with love for him]

– Offering to do some editing for free for a group of students at the local University [Their enthusiasm won me over!]

Kind acts received

– A letter in the post from a dear, dear friend. As always seems to happen, it arrived at exactly the right moment. [Thank you]

– A gardener friend who’s sending me uplifting messages (and photos of orchids) by WhatsApp (always cheering me up and putting a smile on my face)

Kinds acts witnessed

– A man stopping his motorbike (in the middle of a very steep hill), to offer a ride to a lady walking up said steep hill.

– A father and son picking up litter at the little lake near our home

Kindness-related posts from around Internet Land

-The great power of intentional acts of kindness (article from Happier)

– this poem from Naomi Shihah Nye

and I’ll leave you with this (which I heard my son saying to my daughter the other day!)….

aa8e39b09276cd4f13a42e4850a8c53b

Helen xxx

Kindness Counts Friday

kindness counts

No regular Kindness Counts Friday this week and a debatable use of my blog to call for my readers to donate to the help the people of Nepal. I haven’t been able to read the news this week (too, too upsetting) but was just sent a link to a BBC article, which has me in tears….

8 million Nepalese have been affected by the quake (1/4 of the total population of Nepal).

3.5 million people are in need of food.

600,000 families have had their homes destroyed.

As the BBC article states (what I’ve been able to read of it, through my tears)….

“One of our teams that returned from Chautara in Sindhupalchok district reported that 90% of the homes are destroyed

The hospital has collapsed, and people are digging through the rubble with their hands in the hope that they might find family members who are still alive

and, it seems, the effects of this tragedy will have knock-on effects for the whole of Nepal, as the quake “…destroyed seed stocks for the mid-May rice sowing season, as well as grains kept dry in stone storage huts that have now been razed to the ground. If farmers miss this month’s planting season, they will be unable to harvest rice – Nepal’s staple food – until late 2016“.

It’s unimaginable, really, what some fellow humans are going through at the moment and what the tragedy will mean for Nepal as a whole as they move forwards after the quake.

I know many readers are going through tough times financially (as am I), but if you can spare anything, however little, do consider making a donation:

The Red Cross Nepal appeal

The Himalayan Trust

I have friends who work in development and in relief situations and they always tell me that people should just donate what they canhowever small – if everyone did this, those small amounts would add up. It doesn’t need  grand gesture (of hundreds of pounds)…..if we all chipped in whatever we could, this would make a difference…..

Kindness Counts Friday

kindness counts

It’s Friday!…..time for Kindness Counts Friday! [Kim’s brilliant idea that I’m baby sitting]

Time to recount the kind acts we’ve engaged in, received and witnessed….

Here goes….

Kind acts we’ve engaged in:

– Gifting a whole load of books to various people. I felt I was being called to give them away, like a really strong feeling telling me certain people needed to read them. It was strangely liberating and comforting at the same time.

– I was asked to lead a meditation this week. Not as grand as it sounds: it was for a few friends here who are interesting in learning how to meditate, so they came round and we did a meditation together. It went really well and who knew that the effects of meditation are magnified when it’s done in the presence of others?!

Kind acts received:

– The ‘family commissioner’ (seeing I was without legal representation and was slightly apprehensive about the whole thing, especially regarding the ‘language issues’) went out of his way to be especially patient, ensuring I was understanding everything. It made a huge difference to how I felt about the whole thing. [Things went well for us, thank goodness. Huge sigh of relief.]

– Strange one this one. But thank you to ‘Take That’ whose song ‘How deep is your love’ made me dance with joy and cry tears of happiness as I got back from said meeting…you know when you just needed to hear something at some moment and you just feel totally better afterwards?! [And, yep, I did just admit to getting emotional over a Take That song!]

– I was gifted a series of sessions with a Pranic energy healer. It worked wonders. I’m a little in awe of how well it worked and how quickly and am beginning to feel I should start to believe in magic! (whilst my rational brain wants to Google my sense of wonder and awe in to oblivion, until I understand how and why it’s worked…). I am literally amazed at the effects it’s had in my life. When I think of my Dr, I always think of her as ‘my miracle worker’. It’s one of those meetings that I sort of already know will change the course of my life.

– Football practice, near-hurricane conditions, lightning all around. Me and the littles the only people who don’t have a car to be able to escape awful weather conditions. One Very Kind Mum piled us in to her car and rescued us from certain ‘soaking to the skin and possible electrocution’!

Kinds acts witnessed:

– An elderly couple, helping a toddler unwrap their ice cream. They took such obvious delight in seeing his anticipation and were chuckling to themselves a long while after he’d run off, ice cream in mouth, happy as Larry (I didn’t actually future out who’d been the kinder party!)

– A ‘donate your hair’ day at the hairdressers just near us. A whole load of women rushing in to cut inches off their hair to donate it…amazing. I’ll definitely be donating mine when I go for my haircut!

– A bake sale at my son’s school. A very sizeable sum raised towards buying a member of the ‘auxiliary’ staff a home. [They do various events like this throughout the year and put all the proceeds towards a new home (which cost around $12,000) and raffle the home off amongst the auxiliary staff each year. Since my son’s been at that school, six homes have been donated through this process! Donations have also helped fund the construction of a local three-room school in the area and a small, but functioning, medical centre. Incredible.]

I’ll leave you with this image: such a great little motto to live be. If only we, as humans, could be guided by its sentiment at all times!

1175642_236493993172104_1738939690_n

I’ll be back with ‘One + Four‘ tomorrow and back to blogging more regularly shortly…..

Have a great weekend, all!

Helen xxx

Kindness Counts Friday

kindness counts

Goodness, long time no Kindness Counts Friday post from me….blame life (in all it’s beautiful twisted frustrating joyful glory!)…

[Kindness Counts Friday is Kim’s original idea; I’m babysitting whilst she’s on a blog break]…

Time to recount the kind acts we’ve engaged in, received or witnessed and for me to highlight some of the kindness related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around Internet Land….

Here goes:

Kind acts we’ve engaged in

– My son, ever the kindness warrior, was gifted a small amount of money at school this week. What did he do with it (that just about broke my Mama’s heart)? He spent it all on his sister (a chocolate bar and a lollipop)….”…because she hasn’t had a treat in a while, Mama”.

– Baking up a storm….60 chocolate zucchini muffins baked for my son’s school friends who took part in an amazing assembly show this week……to say a big thank you for all their hard work. [It was really an amazing show they put on and had me doing both the ‘Proud Mama’ thang and the ‘tears welling up whilst listening to God Save the Queen thing’…don’t ever say I’m not in tune with my emotions ;)]

Kind acts received or witnessed

– a lovely reader of my blog, who’s become a friend, sent me something I Appreciated A Great Deal and it’s been such a blessing. Thank you, you!

–  another lovely blog reader, who’s also become a friend, also sent me something (well, two beautiful things…which arrived quite a while ago now, but I wanted to note their arrival here) and they made me so, so happy! Thanks, Lady….

[Isn’t it amazing, how we can not have met someone in real life but, through the connections we make via our blogs, we can feel and just know that they’re kindred spirits? The power of the internet is real, ladies!]

Some kindness related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around T’internet Land….

Not many this week but they’re ‘crackers’ (good ones), as my Grandad would have said:

The science behind the power of kindness….don’t be put off by the word ‘science’, it’s a really fascinating read and will get you ruminating. Promise!

– And this – a link to a survey for the first worldwide study of awe…..they’re trying to determine what awe is and whether it’s felt differently across cultures. ‘Why is this kindness related, Helen?’ (I hear you asking)…well, wouldn’t it be kind of cool to know more about awe [that most awesome of emotions ;)]? And they can’t find out more about it unless people fill out the survey….(Be kind. Do it. You’ll get to remember something awesome. It’ll make you feel better! And you’ll help someone as part of the bargain!)

And that, my friends, is Kindness Counts Friday for this week. Normal service will be resumed from now on…..linky thingy is still playing silly, so I can’t guarantee I’ll have a link-up next week, but do play along….if we all did just a few more acts of kindness each week, or even acknowledged acts of kindness with gratitude…

I do believe the world would be a much different place.

Oh, and last but not least…..this made me Laugh Out Loud…..hopefully it’ll give you a chuckle (or two) as you go about your day….(I couldn’t find the original source….if it’s yours and you’re offended by my use of it, please let me know and I’ll take it down; no offence was intended. Quite the opposite in fact….it was meant to get people rolling in their aisles!)….

22855e41374ce0e6c094e8652d836bb3

[Don’t ever say I don’t provide light relief here at I Will Bloom….!]

Kindness Counts Friday: 13/02

kindness counts

Kindness Counts Friday (Kim’s original idea that I’m babysitting): time to recount tales of kindness we’ve engaged in, received or witnessed and time for me to share some kindness-related ‘bits and bobs’ I’ve seen on my travels around the internet.

Kind acts engaged in:

I haven’t been feeling well this week 😦 But we did manage to make some little Valentine’s tokens for my son’s school friends and for my daughter’s friends from nursery. They had a ball making them and are very excited about handing them out to their friends. It’s the little things like this that make life happy, isn’t it?!

Kindnesses received:

– Lots and lots of ‘get better soon’ wishes from my blogging friends (thank you so much!)

– An amazing Christmas package from an Australian penpal (thanks Eva!)….my son and daughter were over the moon with the gifts enclosed for them. Her kindness touched me so, so much.

– A very kind postal worker who, hearing that my son had yet to receive a package we’ve been expecting for a while, went out of his way to locate said package and deliver it to him as he stepped off the bus from school yesterday. Definitely over and above the call of duty and so much appreciated (by son and Mama alike)!

Kind acts witnessed:

I find as I’m out and about nowadays, I’m more attuned to seeing kindness.

I see it in a lot of places: a helpful hand for the older lady struggling to get on the bus; a gentle word for the boy injured, and crying, in front of his mates at football practice; employees going over and above their expected duties; words of encouragement for the little girl frightened to do her presentation; men holding the door open for ladies, young and old.

I love that, by looking for kindnesses for a few months now (as a way of overcoming my personal circumstances), my eye has become trained to see kindness, as a default. As a consequence I feel I live in a much kinder world. I like that.

Kindness-related internets:

Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia….pizza sells for $1.00 a slice. Customers can donate $1.00, write on and stick a post-it note on the wall, and anyone who’s in need of food can head in, take a post-it note and get a ‘free’ slice of pizza….8,300 slices of pizza have been donated so far. Imagine if more restaurants did something like this! 

Artists using their talents to make hospitals more aesthetically pleasing 

– Love this news piece about a Californian county that’s declared itself a Kindness Zone. Adore the idea of the place becoming shrouded in blue ribbons as a symbolic way of registering acts of kindness witnessed. Beautiful.

Here’s to the world becoming a kinder place.

I read some very wise words this week (recounted by Alexa), in a comment on Barbara’s blog.

The world is always going to have strife and anguish, and bad things will always happen.

We can’t explain why, we can’t give an answer for why but – as the words said…

“God is in the response, not the event”…

We can always control our responses.

As often as possible, let’s try to make those responses be fuelled by kindness.

For me, that’s where God lies: in every day acts of kindness, every day acts of taking time to witness beauty and taking time to offer witness to good. 

Kindness Counts Friday: 06/02

kindness counts

It’s Kindness Counts Friday! [I’m baby-sitting for Kim]. Time to recount the kind acts we’ve engaged in, received or witnessed and for me to highlight some of the kindness related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around Internet Land….

[Quite a busy week this week so less ‘things’ than usual…normal service will be resumed next week!]

Kind acts engaged in/received:

– Baby sitting one of my son’s friends whilst his Mum headed off to the clinic with a family emergency

– My son who, having read about RAKs (from a post on Pinterest – he’s quite the little Pinterest-er too!), decided he wanted to write some little notes of encouragement. He spent an age writing them, drawing special pictures and folding them in to origami shapes. He popped them all in a little bag and then I didn’t see them again. Until a few days later when we headed out to the shopping centre close to our home. I could see he was a little bit nervous about handing them out so I suggested we try to find places to leave them so people could find them. We had quite the adventure, all of us, seeking places to leave them and dotting them all around. They were both positively glowing by the end of it, imagining all sorts of heroic stories about how the note might have helped someone. The walk home has never been shorter, filled, as it was, with tales of people being saved from Deep Sadness, of a woman who, feeling she couldn’t tell the man she loved that she loved him, found the note, promptly told him she loved him and now they have two babies (yep….that one was from my daughter! She loves babies!)….Who knows? A little bit of imagination and kindness from my son might equal a turning point in someone’s life….as the saying goes, you never know what effects a small act of kindness might have.

Kind acts witnessed:

– All the kind comments that all my readers leave! They’re one of the highlights of my day and you’re all so kind!

Kindness-related posts from Internet Land: 

– This post from Liz at Simply Complex Mum in which she describes her daughter’s first trip to their local food pantry. Liz always writes beautifully but this post is something else! [Thanks, Liz!]

This post about a kind act that allowed a man to continue his daily tribute to his wife who passed away and this post about a man who gave his Kindle away. I’m glad they made the news but, at the same time, I’m kind of sad they made the news: shouldn’t these things really be normal, every day, behaviours? Imagine how very different the world would be if they were….

This….just beautiful….my writer’s mind is in overdrive at the stories in that one…

– Lindsay Ross’s post Fear not to do good.

And that’s it for this week…do good, my friends, do good….be kind when you can and be quiet when you’re not feeling kind 😉

Kindness Counts Friday: 30/01

kindness counts

Friday! Kindness Counts Friday! [I’m holding fort for Kim whilst she’s on a blog break…]

Time to recount all the acts of kindness we’ve engaged in or received, any kind acts witnessed and to link up to any posts about kindness that I’ve seen on my travels around t’internet.

Here goes!

Kind acts engaged in/kindness received:

– We went through my daughter’s wardrobe and donated lots of things to a lady at my son’s school….her son-in-law died a while ago, leaving her daughter with two children and not enough income to give them ‘extras’ (clothes, toys etc). She was really happy to receive a bag of clothes, some toys and some hairbands and colouring things.

– I’ve been helping the man near me who’s trying to ‘prettify’ the road we live on. Its looking quite lovely. He was particularly grateful for the company this week as his son has been in an accident and he’s been feeling a bit lost. We had a lovely conversation and got a lot of weeding done!

– The porter in our building was looking a bit thin again and it turns out he’s not been bringing lunch to work. Needless to say, my son tootled off downstairs to give him lunch, from our home, every day he was here at lunchtime. My Dad always used to say, “Where you can feed two you can feed three, where you can feed three, you can feed four….”.

Kind acts witnessed:

– I actually haven’t been out much this week, so no kind acts witnessed….back to ‘regular service’ for this part next week!

Kindness posts:

What are you capable of giving? from Alexandra Franzen. She writes, “‘Other people’ are not your competitors and they are not your concern. Your only concern is what you can give. You. Right now. What are you capable of giving today? I guarantee: it’s more than you think”. Loved it. A great reminder that we should turn our focus in to ourselves, and from there, ask ourselves what we can give (to ourselves and to others).

– Finding this site, and reading the story behind the work left me completely awe-struck. Britney Gengel (and many others who were part of the same project) died in the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010; her parents set up a charity in her honour, to fulfil one of her dreams, which was to build an orphanage in Haiti. Incredibly moving.

– 100 kind acts in 100 minutes [Really brings home just how many opportunities exist for bringing more kindness in to the world]:

– Last but not least, I’ve had this ringing in my ears all week:

8614d0a0a3b00d7940e2db22ebda8c19

Spread some kindness, ladies: you’ll never know what effect that kindness might have on someone’s life!

Kindness Counts Friday

kindness counts

Goodness, Fridays come round quick! Time for another Kindness Counts Friday…[Kim’s original idea; I’m babysitting whilst she’s on a blog break]

Time to recount the kind acts we’ve engaged in, received or witnessed and for me to highlight some of the kindness related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around Internet Land….

Kind acts we’ve engaged in/received:

– We went to the library one afternoon this week and my son got a little agitated (a little headache-y and thirsty). There’s a guard at the library who makes the most beautiful little works of art from origami and, seeing my son’s agitation, quickly made him a little something to cheer him up. It was a really kind gesture and the man looked so happy to offer it to my son. It made my heart leap (and definitely cheered my son up no end!)

– The guy we rent DVDs from is always really kind to the littles, always ready with a smile or a little gift for them. It was his birthday on Sunday and my daughter had the great idea of making some muffins and taking them across to him. Needless to say, they were very well received! [Amazing how a little bit of effort can have such a positive effect on another person!]

– My son has started his football classes again this week. They’re in a local University and the grounds around the football pitch are littered with huge quantities of rubbish [it never fails to amaze me how inconsiderate other people can be of shared environments]. A few of us Mums have been saying for a while that we should get our work clothes on and give the place a tidy up (it’s horrible that our young sons are playing in the middle of that “yuck”). So we made a promise that we’d turn up ready for litter picking on Wednesday and we did! Fifteen Mums set to work and we cleared that place up! One Mum had the idea of putting some signs up around the pitch, “Our sons play football here. Please take your rubbish with you”. Fingers crossed there’s decidedly less litter when we head there again on Monday.

e7c587c4028a6d209d7fe90786e8f487

Kind acts witnessed:

– I was travelling on the bus the other day and there was a disabled man on the bus, wanting to get off at the next stop. The bus driver failed to allow enough time for the man to get off safely, and he almost fell over as he was rushing to get out of the door. Another (giant of) a man rushed up to help, and to physically block the doors of the bus (which, actually, must have hurt him quite a bit). He then proceeded to ask the bus driver to, next time, consider his actions, arguing that, “It doesn’t matter that you might be a few minutes late, what matters it that you’ll be kind enough, next time, to realise when people need you to be kinder”. [I couldn’t have put it better myself].

5ab77490ae449aad6bae2f9868166f9d

Spied on my journeys around Internet Land:

This post from Lisa-Jo Baker made me cry happy, very happy tears. Lisa-Jo is, amongst other things, the lady who began Five Minute Friday (one of the highlights of my blogging week!) and the lady who single-handedly set up a campaign, via her blog, to raise funds for a community in South Africa. Thanks to her kindness, and the kindness of the readers who supported her idea, the community now has fresh water, a vegetable garden, a play ground and sports grounds and, I guess, a lot more hope and, most important of all, a lot more dignity because now they’re living a more dignified life[I can feel the itch of an idea coming to me, to do something similar in the future, via I Will Bloom…there’s so much need in the world].

– The singing nurse. [Have too many things to say about it that I find myself with literally no words].

This news piece about the security guard at Disneyland who asks little girls who are dressed as Princesses for their autographs: it’s so heart warming! [Imagine if many more people took the time to do sweet little things; the world would be a really different place].

– Charlotte’s Kindness Counts Friday post from last week (I will try to get the link-up sorted asap; banks can be over-zealous with fraud stops on cards for international transactions sometimes….”Ggggrrr”).

Some ideas, from Good Housekeeping, as to how you can incorporate kindness in to your daily life: there’s some great ideas!

– Alexandra Franzen’s piece about living with more empathy, ‘I wonder what kind of battle they’re fighting today?’

And, last but not least, love this:

be-the-reason

Happy weekend, everyone! Hope it’s a good one. And for those of you who are facing troubles and worries, my thoughts are with you and my most loving, hopeful, energies are being sent right your way xxx

Kindness Counts Friday

kindness counts

It’s Kindness Counts Friday again! Yay! 

[Kim’s original idea; I’m holding fort whilst she’s on a blogging break].

Time to recount the kind acts I’ve engaged in/received/witnessed and link to any kindness-related ‘things’ I’ve seen on my travels around Internet Land.

Here goes:

Kind acts engaged in/received:

– We donated some of our time to the man who cooks meals for the homeless. We went on Tuesday afternoon and helped with the preparation for that night’s meals.

– I added some food for the food bank donation to our weekly shop. I’ll take it all there once a month.

– I wrote a piece (without charge) for a newsletter a friend needed to send out.

– I edited (without charge) a grant application a friend was sending out for funding.

– My son received a letter from a friend; beautifully written (in such wonderful hand writing!). He was over the moon!

– I received a lovely care package, from a friend in England, in the post. We were all very happy with it’s contents!

– I received a lovely handwritten letter from another friend: unexpected and so beautiful.

Kind acts/kindness related posts I’ve seen across Internet Land:

– Loved this idea! It reminded me of my Dad: he always used to watch Hallmark movies of an evening (to wind down). I used to make fun of him, a little, asking him why (my reasoning being that, surely, there were other, better, films to watch): he always said that someone had written them, that it had been important to the writer, and that he always learnt something from every single one of them. I love the idea of books wrapped in brown paper: I wonder what gems we would find in book shops if we weren’t swayed by the mighty power of marketing. It struck me as such a very kind idea: giving the ideas an opportunity to shine. Lovely. really want to go to this book shop!

This post from Stephanie Howell about how a kind disposition can help mothers

This post from Rachel about the act of a kind reader. Wonderful!

This post from Rachel – it’s an old one but I keep re-reading it, as it’s just so well written and the argument is so genius!

[Apologies: I wanted to set up the link-up for this week but my trial period has expired and I haven’t been able to figure out how to renew it as yet. Hopefully it’ll be ready for next week; if you’ve written your own Kindness Counts Friday post, leave a link to it in the comments and I’ll add your link in to my post…]

Kindness Counts Friday: first one of 2015!

kindness counts

It’s Friday. It’s Kindness Counts Friday (Kim’s brilliant idea that I’m continuing whilst she’s on a blog break). Time to recount all the kind acts I’ve engaged in, received or witnessed, and time for me to ‘spread the kindness bug’ by sharing links/images about kindness that I’ve found on my travels around Internet Land. First, however, remember:

ff0650e611c202de27c88486a7470d21

Kind acts I’ve engaged in/received:

– A blogging friend sent me a package in the mail which was so, so kind of her. It’s already being put to good use and is making me so much happier each and every day. Thank you (you know who you are!)

– A blogging friend sent me an image which really touched my heart: that she’d found it, thought of me and sent it across. It really made my day, made me so, so happy. Thank you!

– I spent the period between Christmas and New Year clearing stuff (and I thought we had very little stuff in our home – how wrong I was). I just got this incessant urge to make space (got quite desperate about it, actually). Anyway, to cut a long story short, the clearance resulted in many, many bags of things being given away. I finally got rid of the vast majority of my scrapbooking supplies (leaving only things I’ll actually use) and donated the bulk of it to a local organisation that offers art therapy. It felt good to do it and it feels so good to be living in a home with less stuff.

– We donated some food to the local food bank. It’s something we’re going to do regularly this year. I’ll just pop some ‘staple’ extras in our trolley when I do the food shopping. It is a financial commitment but one I can accommodate by making a few adjustments to our own shopping lists. I found myself becoming unable to shop for us without doing something for others who aren’t in as good a position as we are again (thankfully). I find myself – strangely perhaps? – giving thanks for the fact that we lived through weeks, last year, when I was short of money, because it’s made me so much more sensitive to other people’s situations and so much more aware of the need to help now I’m once again in a position to be able to help.

996258c7d2e6ab8ecf2115d6599fb8ca

Kindness-related ideas/images:

– Love this ‘Box of Sunshine’ idea (a related Pinterest board here, with ideas on what to include etc). Imagine how cool: receiving a box of sunshine in the post!

– This image which I found on Pinterest (I can’t find the original source, sorry). Many great ideas on how to spread a little kindness:

29ad8adc72039ffad68d18e5da01b00c

If we live in goodness, in kindness, those things come back to us, many-fold, to enrich us in ways we can’t imagine when we make the conscious decision to be kinder.

Enjoy your weekend!

[I’m toying with the idea of setting these posts up as a ‘Kindness Counts link-up’: is this something people would be interested in joining? It takes a little while to set up the link-up, and time is often a scarce resource around these parts, but if people are interested in linking up, I’ll definitely make the effort to set up the link-up properly. Let me know!]