Sunday, June 05, 2005

Random Acts of Kindness

I've been tagged by the brilliant and most eloquent 17-year-old blogger behind Ink As Rain to note 5 random acts of kindness that I have completed.

I'd like to think that I do them all the time without being conscious of it, but now that I've been asked to share them with the blogging world, it's much more difficult to pinpoint. But here goes:

1. I was out with my daughter today at a mall and was in the toy section of Sears, when I saw a doll from a Barbie's Kelly collection.The doll was called Becky, and I suddenly thought of a girl at work whose name is Rebecca, but whom everyone calls Becky. It's not that I'm even close with this girl, but I thought she might get a kick from this miniature doll, and so I bought Becky for Becky. Can't wait to see her reaction tomorrow at work when I give her this unexpected toy.

2. I can be notorious for leaving dishes in the sink between meals if I'm under a time constraint. Today I happened to stop at my parents' home when they weren't around, had a drink and washed the glass and put it in the drainer.

3. Lately I've been gladly offering my knowledge of the publishing world to fellow bloggers who have asked. I even gave someone more information than they requested with some job-related Web sites, and even a contact name at a company.

4. At my children's swimming lessons this morning, I was talking to a fellow parent who has an autistic son taking lessons as well. I searched for pen and paper in my purse to write down a recommendation of a book I'd read many many years ago about a family and their experiences with their autistic son, who seemingly overcame his disabilities. If anyone is interested, the book is called Son-Rise, written by Barry Neil Kaufman, and I think it came out in the late 1970s.

5. My final random act of kindness is that I AM NOT GOING TO TAG ANYONE SPECIFIC WITH THIS. I've learned that not everyone appreciates these "chains," although I have no problems with completing them. But I will throw it open to all my [many/few] readers. Please feel free to tag yourselves and share with us in your blog or in my comments section, 5 recent acts of kindness you've done.


Footnote: It so happens that in a couple of days I will be meeting this blogger who tagged me. She will be in Toronto and we arranged to meet. I'm looking forward to it. A week later I will be meeting other fellow bloggers.

I think it is rare that bloggers get the chance to meet; if they do, that veil of mystery and anonymity is lifted and they become two strangers who get to meet, rather than remain as just two strangers. And very often, strangers do become friends...

The Simple Pleasures in Life

Blogroll Me!

"Doesn't take much to make me happy
or make me smile with glee..."

I think I live by those song lyrics -- I take pleasure in the simplest things in life: my husband's good and generous nature, my children's smiles and laughter, a robin's song, the smell of freshly-cut grass, a rainfall, my ability to find just the right words to help me say or write just the right thing, my love for music and singing, giving compliments, lending a helping hand, having a good rapport with family and friends, etc.

Of course, I could write pages and pages of blog posts about the simple pleasures in my life. But I won't take my time -- or yours -- to do so. You each have your own simple pleasures; some might match mine.

Basically, I think we are happy if we are healthy, if our families are healthy. Truly, everything else is secondary.

But I will say that one of my simple pleasures is going on a Web site that I discovered not all that long ago: I love to see the successes they've had in matching up people, I love to read these people's stories relayed in brief to us readers and learn how they met and how the "courtship" evolved. I love learning that there are two fewer single people in the world -- these people have met their basherts and are setting on a new life course...together.

For me it isn't about the mitzvah of matching someone up, or the mitzvah of them marrying to fulfill "Pru Urvu" -- it's the simple fact that two people have found each other, two people with similar outlooks and an attraction to one another, and a mutual goal. Two people who deserve a chance to be happy together.

I am elated when I meet people who've met at their workplaces and later married, or the few people that I know who went on, met and eventually married.

To share in someone's happiness, even a stranger's, is a wonderful means of seeing beyond yourself, beyond your own happiness...and appreciating the simple pleasures in life.