Tuesday, April 22, 2008


No act of kindness,
no matter how small,
is ever wasted.


The best idea of 10 I've saved for the last because it deserves a page of its own. This one could literally change the world almost overnight, but might prove too controversial to implement with any real speed.

Gift-giving is a time-honored act from one person to another. These days, gift-giving days such as birthdays, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, etc. are exploited by the purveyors of goods to such an extant that one giving-day runs into the next, year in and year out.
News outlets provide blow-by-blow accounts of the bottom-lines of Wal-Mart, Macy's and Target at Christmas, spelling doom when enough "stuff" isn't purchased. One is made to feel she are not truly American if she does not contribute to capitalism in this way.

But something just doesn't feel right, does it?

What doesn't feel right may be the equating of love to a gift when we know that our love for another transcends a material object of little real value. In a sense, we've been brainwashed to believe this equation reflects reality. Deep in our hearts we recognize that's not the case.

OK, so gift-giving in this way bankrupts the heart, now what? How about ceasing traditional gifting and instead giving to someone or something in need? It's a pretty simple idea really. If truth be told, billions are spent each year on presents we neither need nor truly want--although we certainly appreciate the thought. Those same billions multiplied over years and years could transform the world and share the wealth of our families, communities and nations with those less fortunate.

The Internet has made this kind of giving particularly easy--and fun. Multiple Websites abound with giving opportunities. Sometimes, the recipients even share stories of what the gift has meant to them in a way that touches the heart and reinforces the threads of unity that binds all mankind.

The age-old traditional of gifting carries this one further. What is gifting? One version goes like this: when a kindness has been done to you, return a kindness not to that person but to someone else instead. In this way, acts of charity are spread exponentially like a woven tapestry of good will. Note the fact that gifting is often based on actions, thus money plays only a small role, if any.

Either of these new ideas in giving would substantially alter the external world, but maybe even more importantly, it would begin to alter the giver. How? Over time, the concept of "brotherhood among men" solidifies as a reality as the heart grows to encompass all beings. If carried out in concert as a group, this new way of sharing muscle and wealth could have a positive explosive effect to the seemingly intransigent world problems of hunger, poverty and disease.

I'm left with the thought that acts of kindness are contagious. But this kind of contagion would be positively transformative. Let's start this movement today. Will you join me? The Earth and all its inhabitants, both visible and invisible, would say "Thank You!"

Of Note: I have no idea who took this famous picture of the Earth, but THANK YOU whoever you are! Marie sent it so thanks to her as well.

Today's Weather Report: A thunderstorm, complete with lightening, descended last night around 11 pm. Thus, the snow has been eradicated like a weed in the wake of Round-up. But, cloudy it remains, just to remind us that more rain might be on the way. Bring it on! Our lake is still several feet down--or so it appears still under the ice.

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