Category Archives: Helping Hand

Kindness Matters

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:FEMA_-_13355_-_Photograph_by_Kevin_Galvin_taken_on_01-01-2004_in_Massachusetts.jpg

 

We’re half way through the work week and it may have been a brutal one so far. Or up to now, the work week might be mind-numbingly, soul-crushingly boring! Whatever the case, we may need something to lift our spirits so we can power through the rest of the week. Here are two short articles that prove kindess matters. Even the smallest gestures that we don’t even think twice about can make all the difference to someone else.

You may have seen this article on the Internet about the man in his 80’s who bought a VCR on eBay, which enabled him to take a stroll down memory lane. His thank you note to the seller went viral. Click here to view it.

This article from the Internet gathers some of the responses when a Twitter user issued a call for stories of strangers’ random acts of kindness that had a big impact on them. Click here to view it.

I hope these lifted your spirits. These give us hope because they show that most people have generous hearts and that they want to be helpful and do good.

Yay for people reaching out a helping hand!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Happy Father’s Day 2018

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Swinging_good_time.JPG

 

Here’s to fathers the world over who share themselves with their children: teaching us about intellectual pursuits and the value of education; the joy of physical activity, goofing around, and sportsmanship; the honor of putting our best foot forward and—regardless of the outcome—the satisfaction of knowing we did our best.

Thank you fathers for holding our hand when we needed it and for pushing us out of our comfort zones when we needed that—and thanks for knowing the difference!

Thank you fathers for showing us that real men step up to the plate and do what needs doing, whether they want to or not or whether it’s cool or not. Thanks for showing us that real men are gentle, compassionate, kind, and forgiving, and that they also know when to be tough, strong, and fierce.

Thanks fathers for showing us how to live with honor and integrity and that those virtues really are the best guides in life.

Happy Father’s Day!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Golden Wisdom from Mom: 6 Inspiring Quotes for a Happy Mother’s Day All Week Long!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L%C3%A9on_Perrault,_1894_-_Mother_with_Child.jpg

 

 

In honor of all of the mothers in our lives–our biological mother as well as people who have mentored us, encouraged us, protected us, and picked us up and brushed us off (women and men who have done this for us)–Happy Mother’s Day!

Here are six quotes from my Mom to help us celebrate the generously loving and kind people in our lives who have mothered us:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. 

 

How would you like it if someone did/said that to you? Then don’t do/say it to anyone else.

 

This too shall pass.

 

Not to worry, Sweet Doll.

 

All is well.

 

You’re my treasure; I love you!

 

What is your favorite quote from a Mom in your life? Please share it with us. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Books: The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:L%C3%A9on_Perrault,_1894_-_Mother_with_Child.jpg

 

A special place in my heart is reserved for The Power of Positive Thinking by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale. My mother sent this book to me when I after I graduated college and was off on my own.

I had moved to a small town in a part of the US that was very different from the region where I grew up. I had a very hard time meeting people and finding my place in my new world.   Needless to say, this was a difficult experience for me–I didn’t know what to do to help my situation.

As always, though, Mom came through!

One day a package arrived in the mail and it was this book along with a beautiful letter from my mom.   Of course she knew of my struggles and, as she was reading the book herself, she realized it could be helpful to me. Her letter was filled with wisdom from her own life and the special encouragement that only a mother can give.

The book didn’t immediately solve all my problems, but it helped me take the next step in my life and gradually my situation improved. Most importantly, though, this book is a poignant reminder of my mother’s loving and wise guidance and encouragement.

How about you? What books have a special place in your heart?   Feel free to share. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Kindness by Edgar A. Guest

https://pixabay.com/en/clasped-hands-comfort-hands-people-541849/

 

 

Kindness

by Edgar A. Guest

 

One never knows

How far a word of kindness goes;

One never sees

How far a smile of friendship flees.

Down, through the years,

The deed forgotten reappears.

 

One kindly word

The souls of many here has stirred.

Man goes his way

And tells with every passing day,

Until life’s end:”

Once unto me he played the friend.”

 

We cannot say

What lips are praising us to-day.

We cannot tell

Whose prayers ask God to guard us well.

But kindness lives

Beyond the memory of him who gives.

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

This Week: A Prayer by Edgar A. Guest

 

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lake_Piano.jpg

 

 

We can get caught up in the rush and hubbub of the week and we may forget about what’s important in Life.   Here’s a poem that reminds us:

A Prayer by Edgar A. Guest 

God grant me these:   the strength to do

Some needed service here;

The wisdom to be brave and true;

The gift of vision clear,

That in each task that comes to me

Some purpose I may plainly see.

 

God teach me to believe that I

Am stationed at a post,

Although the humblest ‘neath the sky,

When I am needed most.

And, that, at last, if I do well

My humble services will tell.

 

God grant me faith to stand on guard,

Uncheered, unspoken, alone,

And see behind such duty hard

My service to the throne.

Whate’er my task, be this my creed:

I am on earth to fill a need.

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Why Do It? Don’t Wait, Do it Now!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Giving_a_gift.jpg

 

We don’t have to wait for a deep passion or for a good reason or for all of our ducks to be in a row before we craft our soul-prospering life. Below is a poem that underscores the importance of starting now to do what we can to start living our soul-prospering life–or a little bit of it.

 

Lost Opportunities

 

“When I am rich,” he used to say,

“A thousand joys I’ll give away;

I’ll walk among the poor I find

And unto one and all be kind.

I’ll place a wreath of roses red

Upon the bier of all my dead;

I’ll help the struggling youth to climb;

In doing good I’ll spend my time;

To all in need I’ll friendly be

The day that fortune smiles on me.”

 

He never guessed that being kind

Depends upon the heart and mind

And not upon the purse at all;

That poor men’s gifts, however small,

Make light some weary traveler’s load

And smooth for him his troubled road.

He never knew or understood

The fellowship of doing good.

Because he had not much to spare

He thought it vain to give his share.

 

Yet many passed him, day by day,

He might have helped along the way.

He fancied kindness something which

Belongs entirely to the rich.

And so he lived and toiled for gold,

Unsympathetic, harsh and cold,

Intending all the time to share

The burdens that his brothers bear

When he possessed great wealth, and he

Could well afford a friend to be.

 

His fortune came, but, oh, too late;

The poor about him could not wait.

They never guessed and never knew

The things that he had meant to do.

Few knew how much he’d planned to give

If God had only let him live.

And when at last his form was cold,

All that he’d left on earth was gold.

A kindly name is something which

A man must earn before he’s rich.

~Edgar A Guest

 

Let me know what you think of the poem. Thanks!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Why Do It: An Inspirational Poem

https://pixabay.com/en/person-hiker-peak-summit-top-983889/

 

This reminds me of The Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr (1892–1971). I like the difference here, though, where the author is asking to partner with The Universe–or God. This seems to me to be a great way to achieve your destiny and live a soul-prospering life!

 

A Plea

 

God grant me these: the strength to do

Some needed service here;

The wisdom to be brave and true;

The gift of vision clear,

That in each task that comes to me

Some purpose I may plainly see.

 

God teach me to believe that I

Am stationed at a post,

Although the humblest ‘neath the sky,

Where I am needed most.

And that, at last, if I do well

My humble services will tell.

 

God grant me faith to stand on guard,

Uncheered, unspoke, alone,

And see behind such duty hard

My service to the throne.

Whate’er my task, be this my creed:

I am on earth to fill a need.

~Edgar A. Guest

 

 

Let me know what you thought of the poem.

You’re Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

What Do I Want? 10 Things About Dad

Copyright Artisans Workshop Designs

 

We’ve been discussing several techniques designed to help us craft our soul-prospering life. One of the tools is to observe people, not only for the cautionary tale that a life poorly led gives you, but also study the people you admire. Take note of the habits, disciplines, and thought patterns they have. Follow their lead!

Today would have been Dad’s 91st birthday and, even though he’s been gone for several years, he’s still leading the way. Here are ten of his character traits that I strive to emulate every day:

~He was always there to pick us and dust us off and never said: “I told you so” or “That was a dumb thing you did”;

~He was good at knowing when to offer a piece of advice and when to keep his mouth shut;

~He was always there for his family but yet he gave us plenty of elbow room to live our lives the way we chose;

~He never turned his back on a friend or loved one no matter how badly they behaved;

~He went to work every day and did his level best to provide a good life for his family;

~He fought against his inevitable decline and pushed himself to get up out of bed or off the couch and get out into the world;

~He was interested in the world around him and was an excellent example of a lifelong learner;

~He was kind to all people no matter their race, belief system, gender, their choice of partner, etc.;

~He took time to notice and be moved by the simple beauties of Mother Nature whether it was the delight in spying a cardinal on a tree branch in the dead of winter or if it was being deeply touched by a breathtaking landscape;

~He never passed by an ice cream store without stopping in, especially if he had kids in the car!

 

I hope this abridged list encourages you to step up your game, too!

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Birthday!

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren

Thanksgiving: Stop Comparing Yourself!

https://pixabay.com/en/bubbles-colors-life-852534/

 

When we find ourselves thinking that we’ve nothing to be thankful for–or very little to be thankful for–it’s probably because we’re comparing ourselves either to others or to some standard of perfection we’ve concocted that, in reality, is unattainable.

I came across this poem that I think sums it up nicely:

 

Hard Luck

 

         Ain’t no use as I can see

         In sittin’ underneath a tree

         An’ growlin’ that your luck is bad,

         An’ that your life is extry sad;

         Your life ain’t sadder than your neighbor’s

         Nor any harder are your labors;

         It rains on him the same as you,

         An’ he has work he hates to do;

         An’ he gits tired an’ he gits cross,

         An’ he has trouble with the boss;

         You take his whole life, through an’ through,

         Why, he’s no better off than you.

 

 

         If whinin’ brushed the clouds away

         I wouldn’t have a word to say;

         If it made good friends out o’ foes

         I’d whine a bit, too, I suppose;

         But when I look around an’ see

         A lot o’ men resemblin’ me,

         An’ see ’em sad, an’ see ’em gay

         With work t’ do most every day,

         Some full o’ fun, some bent with care,

         Some havin’ troubles hard to bear,

         I reckon, as I count my woes,

           They’re ’bout what everybody knows.

 

 

         The day I find a man who’ll say

         He’s never known a rainy day,

           Who’ll raise his right hand up an’ swear

         In forty years he’s had no care,

         Has never had a single blow,

         An’ never known one touch o’ woe,

         Has never seen a loved one die,

         Has never wept or heaved a sigh,

         Has never had a plan go wrong,

         But allus laughed his way along;

         Then I’ll sit down an’ start to whine

         That all the hard luck here is mine.

 

 

Your Friend and Pep Pal,

Lauren