There’s an amazing alliance, all around the world, whose intent it is to basically evolve society for the better through DAILY Random Acts Of Kindness. Their website, by the same name, promotes making random acts of kindness “the norm” and offers a lot of great stories and other inspirations about different ways to spread kindness throughout the week – but, please, don’t stop there!
There are many, eminent, positive, health benefits in relation to kindness for both, the givers and the receivers. For example, acts of kindness are recognized for making those involved happy and happiness is well-known to drive up energy, as well as self-esteem; which, in turn, is also good for the heart and, thereby, likely to help us live longer. You can read more about the health benefits of kindness at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/the-science-of-kindness.
‘THE GREATEST WASTE in the world is the difference between what we are, and what we could be!’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 10)
As I’ve recommended in previous posts, WisdomQuotes.com offers many inspirations from which to choose at least one idea a day to implement throughout the whole year! I think we should all make a new resolution to be more kind, on a DAILY basis.
It’s been said many times over that practice makes perfect. Practice also creates habits that will, in turn, hopefully, become our “new norm”. I’ve heard that habits take about a week to form, therefore, I want to recommend, once again, Chrystle Fiedler’s challenge in “Why Being Kind Makes You Healthier” (as seen at… StarTribune.com; July 24, 2019). Chrystle wrote:
‘Try the seven-day kindness challenge. That means, do at least one act of kindness every day for seven days. Ground rules: Do something different each day; push yourself out of your comfort zone at least once and be sure one of your acts of kindness is anonymous — no one should ever find out who did it.’
This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 30)
MAKING PEOPLE HAPPY
Have you ever had your day suddenly turn sunshiny because of a cheerful word? Have you ever wondered if this could be the same world because someone had been unexpectedly kind to you. You can make today [that way] for somebody! It’s only a question of a little imagination, a little time and trouble. Think now, ‘What can I do today, to make someone happy?’
IS A SINGLE HEART REJOICING over what you did or said?
Does the one whose hopes were fading, now with courage, look ahead?
Do you waste the day or lose it? Was it well or sorely spent?
Did you leave a trail of kindness or a scar of discontent?
As you close your eyes in slumber, do you think that God will say,
‘You have earned one more tomorrow, by the work you did today’?
Between the thousands of recipes in her self-published cookbooks and newsletters, Mom always placed many of her own Food-for-Thought editorials, bits of wisdom, and food-for-the-soul inspirations; all written with a great love and passion for helping and informing her readers – whether requested by them or just something she came upon and thought it might be of interest to them. I try to do the same when I write.
‘Happy is the person who has a good supply of the milk of human kindness and knows how to keep it from souring.’ – Gloria Pitzer, This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 17)
Mom was a really big advocate for being kind to and loving others. She would often question why we all couldn’t just get along, as “we’re all God’s children”, she would say. To myself (NEVER out loud), I would often sarcastically whisper, in reply: “Wouldn’t that be sibling rivalry then?”
Mom really tried to be a positive example, lifting up others through her writings – from her food-for-thought columns (throughout the 1960s and 1970s) that were syndicated to multiple magazines and newspapers across the country to her hundreds of self-published newsletters (January 1974 through December 2000) and MANY DOZENS of cookbooks (1973- 2018).
Mom even wrote a few books dedicated strictly to her food-for-thought and inspirational ideas. Throughout, Mom would always emphasize the importance of really caring about each other, being kind and loving. She held a strong faith in Love and all the things it could overcome and yield. Mom would often inter-changed the word “Love” with “God”.
‘…Probably nothing that you couldn’t [or wouldn’t] attempt, now, without a reasonable chance of success. But, by removing the risk you might attempt things that were a bit more daring or slightly more challenging.’ – Gloria Pitzer
MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 14)
As a man grows older he reads more of the ‘Book of Experience’ and less of the pages of ‘Prophecy’. He thinks more of the real worth of folk, and less of their shortcomings. He boasts less and boosts more. He concludes that snobbery is a confession of inferiority, and kindly consideration of others is the hallmark of the only aristocracy worth mentioning.
He hurries less and usually accomplishes more. He comes to realize that age is but a state of mind and that the greatest reward that one can win is the respect, understanding and love of his fellow man. [As Aldous Huxley said:] ‘The most valuable of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do when it has to be done, whether you like it or not.’
‘Success is not in never failing but in never fearing to begin again!’ – Gloria Pitzer
AGAIN, MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 24)
DOING SOMETHING NICE
Don’t expect the world to think you’re wonderful just because you do something ‘good’ – for someone else! Good people do good things all of the time – everyday, and no one pats them on the back for it. You have to do good – not for what others are going to think of you, but what you’re going to think of yourself!
If you get a kick out of doing something good for somebody… do it! But don’t expect any rewards or special recognition for having gone out of your way. Every once in a while you may be complimented for something good that you’ve done, and that’s very nice.
But most of the time, whatever you do is to make yourself feel better about what has to be done, or what should be done! It’s not a matter of conscience, but of compassion. Either you have it, or you don’t!
‘My favorite daily newspaper in Boston has the slogan, ‘to bless all mankind and injure no man’. That is how I would want to write my own publications.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 86)
Besides happy and healthy, kindness is also known to help others feel valued. Thus, showing even the smallest amount of kindness can go a really long way. Like the Greek storyteller, Aesop, once said: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” In other words, a culture of kindness can have a positive ripple effect; inspiring others to pay it forward, in the same fashion.
Being kind and compassionate should happen every day! After all, weren’t we taught to be good and kind since we were toddlers in Kindergarten, or even earlier? Why do we seem to forget that important lesson as we get older?
According to Wikipedia’s interpretation of All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum (the author) “explains how the world would be improved if adults adhered to the same basic rules as children, i.e. sharing, being kind to one another, cleaning up after themselves, and living ‘a balanced life’ of work, play, and learning.”
As I previously wrote about, in November, kindness is truly an essential part of society, bridging the divides of race, religion, gender, and other such things – even politics. This is an excellent week to celebrate kindness, considering all of the political upheaval still going on in our country. It’s still needed more than ever, as divided we fall but united we stand!
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matt. 7:12) is considered the elementary “Golden Rule”, by which we all should live. According to Wikipedia, the name came about “because there is ‘value’ in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.”
As I wrote in one of my blog posts, “TheGolden Rule”, it’s a basic, moral principle for society to adopt and employ, encouraging everyone to treat each other with kindness and respect, for that’s how we should want to be treated, as well! It’s a simple and reasonable guiding principle, by which to live, everyday!
‘I’ve had so many good examples to follow – I’ll try to be one, myself, to somebody else.’ – Gloria Pitzer, as seen in… This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 8)
In so many ways, Mom and Dad, both, set good examples for me to follow. I’m proud to do the same, setting a good example for my children to follow; and I can only hope that that they will continue the tradition, as well, making kindness their daily norm.
The giving of the best of ourselves should be done without expectations of reciprocations of gratitude! It is through acts of kindness and giving from our hearts that we actually receive our own true gift – one that can’t be bought or even price-valued – the gift of LOVE!
Like a smile, a random act of kindness – just because – can be contagious. But, unlike the coronavirus, that’s a good thing. Plant the seed, every day, and watch kindness grow wild!
‘Greatness is measured by kindness – education and intellect, by modesty – ignorance is betrayed by suspicion and prejudices – real worth is measured by consideration and tolerance of others.’ – B.C. Forbes
EVEN MORE FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
This is not a Cook Book! It’s Gloria Pitzer’s Food for Thought (Secret Recipes, St. Clair, MI; Oct. 1986, p. 43)
YOU’VE MADE A FRIEND
A SMILE IS the universal, unspoken language between us. Some people smile more easily than others, but a smile is as good as a hug. I just LOVE people who smile a lot! Even when I’m shopping or [when Paul and I are] walking around the campgrounds on one of our abbreviated ‘get-aways’ with our motorhome, I find myself smiling at people I have never seen before, and they smile back. It’s contagious!
People don’t smile as much as they should! I’ve noticed lately how seldom strangers smile at each other in shopping centers and restaurants and other places where average folks mingle or pass. It occurred to me that there was nothing to lose by smiling and nodding at people as I shopped or glanced across a restaurant to other tables.
A surprising thing happened! Grim looking faces spontaneously responded with smiles and nods, as if they were trying to place me or recall where we might have met before. It was just wonderful!
‘Friends are a treasure and when we count our blessings we count our friends twice! It’s not possible to have a full and happy life without others to share with, to help when help is needed, to be helped when help is offered.’ – Gloria Pitzer, My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, p. 100)
Thus, in honor, here is Mom’s “secret recipe” for Milwaukee Cheese Soup; as seen in her self-published cookbook… The Joy Of NOT Cooking – Any More Than You Have To (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Nov. 1983, p. 71)
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
The “Golden Rule” is a basic, moral principle for society that encourages us to TREAT OTHERS AS WE WANT TO BE TREATED! It is just a commonsense, moral ethic, by which we should all live on a daily basis. Its core is based on the biblical suggestion from the “Book of Matthew”, which says: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” (Matt. 7:12) According to Wikipedia, the name “Golden Rule” came about “because there is value in having this kind of respect and caring attitude for one another.”
FROM MOM’S MEMORIES…
As seen in…
My Cup Runneth Over and I Can’t Find My Mop (Secret RecipesTM, St. Clair, MI; Dec. 1989, pp. 83-84)
MOM’S ANCESTRY STORY
The principal was not sorry he hired me, for the job required filling in for a teacher who would be out about six weeks due to an auto accident in which she was injured. I took over her class and initiated a school newspaper while I was there… That class was a difficult challenge to say the least.
Perhaps, I took still another risk though, when I told the class that whatever their ancestors were, whatever their ethnic or religious persuasion was, they could not use such conditions as excuses for not at least trying to develop their individual talents and skills. It sounded good. The tough kid in the class…[was] amused and decidedly uninterested in anything I could say. He seemed to be in charge and the rest of the students appeared to yield to his lead, so I talked directly to him, but so that the rest of the class could hear.
I told him that calling me a ‘WASP’ was not a description of what I really was. Of course, WASP meant ‘white Anglo-Saxon Protestant’ and it surprised me that he even knew enough to use that term. He finally shut up and found himself listening to me as I then moved around the classroom telling everybody that it was okay to be sore about not getting a fair break, as long as you didn’t take it out on somebody else.
Since I had their attention, finally, I launched right into a story about my own background and how my mother’s parents were originally German, but they were also Jews, and living in Russia at the turn-of-the-century. It was dangerous for any Jew in Russia at that time, so much like the story of ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, my grandparents with two small children and my grandmother then expecting a third child, took a crowded freighter to America. They couldn’t speak a word of English and had nothing with them but what they could carry by hand.
On the way over, unfortunately, they came down with what [was] suspected to be TB. A few years following the birth of their seventh child, TB finally took my grandmother. Having settled in Pittsburgh, my grandfather moved on to Cleveland where he hoped to find relatives who would help him with a job and a place to raise the motherless children. It didn’t work out as he expected, however.
The relatives were not where he had last contacted them. The orphanage was overcrowded that he had been directed to, in order to leave the children and seek treatment for the TB that seem to be getting worse for him. Having been turned away by the orphanage, he was about to leave the children all on a street corner, telling them somebody would come along to help them, but that he had to get his train to the sanatorium that the government was sending him to for help. At that point the nuns were passing by on their usual afternoon walk.
What happened that particular day was rather sketchy in details, since all of the children were then too young to clearly recall it; but apparently, as he left the orphanage and was expressing his despair in tears on the street in front of the school, two nuns were passing by on their way back to the Catholic orphanage down the street. They stopped long enough to ask if they could be of help, and upon hearing the story from the older children who spoke English and Grandpa’s broken English, they concluded that the children needed to be cared for.
They took the children to the Catholic orphanage, assuring my grandfather that they would see to it that they went to Temple every Saturday, even though they would be in the Catholic schools and living in the dormitories with the other children. When there was room for them at the Jewish orphanage, they would then be transferred, and the promise was kept. There, they all remained until each one turned 16 years of age, only to be dismissed into the world, like a prisoner, with nothing more than a change of clothing and bus fair to the city.
The compassion of those Catholic nuns and the care they gave the children of that Jewish immigrant, when Jews were hated as much as they ever were in this country, kept me from ever harboring feelings of prejudice toward other people due to the religious or racial background. But there was more in the lessons I derived from my roots, since every one of those seven brothers and sisters became prosperous and famous in their own right.
One [brother] became an attorney, another a famous artist, and another [became] manager of an apartment complex, while still another became a fine professional carpenter. And [there was my] aunt, who danced as a ballerina with a New York ballet company, as well as an uncle who had his own advertising agency.
My mother met my father when she applied for a job as a typist and secretary at his real estate office. My dad was a devout Christian, so when they were married, she easily embraced his faith and was able to pass on to me the best of three worlds, reflecting the Catholic upbringing with Temple on the Jewish Sabbath and, then, the Christian church, where the precepts were strictly followed in my parents’ home during my own childhood.
The story held the attention of the class just long enough… By the time I had completed the story, I led directly into an assignment of bringing in an account of each students own background and heritage or family roots with much discussion and their various religious practices and ethnic customs. It was a successful experience… Until now, I never wrote about this. Perhaps somebody will benefit from knowing about it, however.
The ‘boy’ Mom spoke of in her memories (above) went on to be a writer and he spoke at Mom’s memorial service, a couple of years ago, about the positive impact she had on him over those teen years and beyond. He credited Mom for influencing him to become a writer and for the quality time she spent with him, voluntarily, to encourage and nurture his love for writing.
Today is also, among other things, Random Acts of Kindness Day and yesterday kicked off Random Acts of Kindness Week, which, this year, is February 16th-22nd. However, while this is an awesome day and week to celebrate acts of kindness, in general, being kind and compassionate should happen every day!
Many others thought this way, as well. One group developed a non-profit organization, which has its own website at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org, where they promote making random acts of kindness “the norm”, offering a lot of stories about kind acts and other inspirations of kindness. Additionally, at WisdomQuotes.com, you’ll find “440 Kindness Quotes That Will Make You A Better Person” – more than enough ideas of which to follow at least one every day for the rest of the year! Practice makes perfect – it also creates habits, which will, hopefully, become natural reflexes.
It’s a shame that the simple act of being kind to someone is forgotten by many after they leave kindergarten. If a kindergartner can understand its importance to society, shouldn’t we all? Like Aesop said: “No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” In other words, a culture of kindness can have a positive ripple effect. However, doing something nice should be a selfless act. That’s what inspires others to pay it forward, in the same fashion. On the other hand, being kind solely for the recognition of it throws a selfish disruption in the whole system.
I want to pass this on, to do for this week’s celebration of Random Acts of Kindness Week. It’s from an article on StarTribune.com called “Why Being Kind Makes You Healthier”, by Chrystle Fiedler (July 24, 2019): “Try the seven-day kindness challenge. That means, do at least one act of kindness every day for seven days. Ground rules: Do something different each day; push yourself out of your comfort zone at least once and be sure one of your acts of kindness is anonymous — no one should ever find out who did it.”
In so many ways, Mom and Dad, both, set good examples for me to follow. I am so grateful that my family heritage, on both sides, that I know, were good and kind people. I’m proud to do the same, setting a good example for my children to follow (as well as for people that know me) and that they will continue it, as well, making kindness the daily norm. Like a smile, a random act of kindness – just because – can be contagious. But, unlike the coronavirus, that’s a good thing. Plant the seed, every day, and watch kindness grow wild!
This year in honor of #52Chances and #MemorableBeginnings, I want to offer you a recipe each week from Mom’s “Original 200” Secret RecipesTM collection – as these are the memorable beginnings of the Recipe DetectiveTM. This is Mom’s copycat recipe for Kentucky-Style biscuits, which was also among her “free recipes” offers.
This recipe is for today, being #NationalCabbageDay! It’s an encore of Mom’s copycat recipe for Kentucky-Style coleslaw…
P.S. Food-for-thought until we meet again, next Monday…
NationalDayCalendar.com says, “Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer… 52 CHANCES to see a beautiful sunrise… share your talents with the world… teach someone a new skill that will better their lives…” For me, it’s 52 CHANCES to tell Mom’s story, again; hopefully, re-inspiring love in the kitchen, in the home and family, throughout the neighborhood and around the world. Seven down, 45 to go!