I love this week’s challenge! So far Deb at Home Life Simplified has given me lots of challenges to clear my ‘inner clutter’. Week 11 is all about Kindness & Gratitude.
THE most important lesson my father left me when he passed, was that of kindness and gratitude. He was a master at helping others and forged many friendships through random acts of kindness. He would always lend a hand to someone in need and hoped that one day someone would return the favour if ever anyone in his family was in need. Gratitude has helped me come to terms with his passing. Interesting how life’s biggest moments, both good and bad, are followed by waves of gratitude.
Things that come to mind when I think about Kindness and Gratitude…
HELPING OTHERS: Dad always carried a towel and bottle of water in the car, in case he came across someone stranded in a broken down car. He often completed work at no charge for charities and fundraisers. I remember him telling me about a family who lived in our street who had many children and were less fortunate than our family. The family were very reserved and would never accept charity, so my parents would wrap baked goods and place them on our neighbours front door step. Another occasion he organised a friend, dressed in a Santa suit, to deliver presents to a family on Christmas morning. He believed in kindness and the greater good.
THANK YOU LETTER: When I finished high school, I had this compelling desire to write a letter to my grade 6 teacher. I thanked her for helping me settle at my new school, and thanked her for being a wonderful mentor and inspiring me to become a teacher. She tracked me down at my part-time job and called me in tears to thank me for the letter; I was both surprised and a bewildered at the time. I hadn’t done it for thanks or recognition, but to thank her and let her know the impact she had had on my life. In turn, it was nice my simple act of kindness could impact her life too 🙂
PAY IT FORWARD: I love the idea of Pay It Forward. I love that someone else can experience the same joy I have. I’ve been blessed to have home-made lasagne and other meals hand delivered just days after coming home from hospital with my 3rd child, another friend recently gave me a massage voucher; and I’ve equally loved paying them forward to other friends. What a wonderful world it would be if we all paid good deeds forward 🙂
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Show appreciation. Use manners, smile, compliment others, acknowledge blessings in life. Daily.
FOR THE FUTURE: So now I am a parent AND a teacher, I am continually trying to bestow these gifts on my children. In this modern day (I know I know, I am only 34!) but it really is a material world. Every month there is a new gadget, a new electronic toy, something more my kids want. I am trying to teach them that there is more to life than material wealth. There are some things you cannot buy that are also the most valuable. Kindness and Gratitude feed the soul.
KINDNESS & GRATITUDE IN OUR HOME: As a family, we donate to charity, organise a Biggest Morning Tea cancer fundraiser and write thank you letters together. My kids love writing letters and often send photos or drawings with a ‘Thinking of You’ note to great-grandparents and family members. I am grateful my children attend a school where they are encouraged to be kind and give thanks for ordinary blessings in their life.
This week our family started sharing “something we are grateful for today” around the dinner table. During the discussion, I asked Mr 7 if he knew what Gratitude is and he answered, “Yeah Mum, it’s Gr -atitude for Great Attitude!” Amen to that!