Archive for January, 2009

Lynette Whitten, a client and dental practice staff extraordinaire, shared the name and concept of a club she joined this year that got me thinking. It’s the 365 Club. The purpose is to provide one kind act each and every day . . . 365 random acts of kindness a year!

When you are blessed, bless others.

This requires us to be more present, to increase the attention we invest in others and for some, to take the risk to offer kindness – even to complete strangers. Once I started to increase my attention, I saw kindness crying out to be had in so many places. None of us has to look very far or search very deep to offer a kind heart or hand. In fact, once you start, it’ll be hard to stop at only one a day!

For centuries, many have tried to teach us the power of kindness. Just a few:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. – Plato

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness.

– Seneca

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people. – Abraham Joshua Heschel

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. – Dalai Lama

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you. – John Wooden

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. – Christ

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Yesterday, as a nation, we turned a page of a potentially new chapter in our history as a united people of a very young country. As our president took “the most sacred oath” he stated that we have a “fierce sense of urgency” to write that next chapter. He spoke of the “price and promise of our citizenry” and the “responsibility” each one of has in the authorship our collective tomorrows. To nations he said, “Your people will judge you by what you build, not by what you destroy”. It seems the same can be said for each one of us.

What are you building today? And, what is the foundation of your building?

Martin Luther King Jr. was remembered repeatedly yesterday as a catalyst with a legacy of one of the giants upon whose shoulders we stand. He was remembered as reminding us that, “Not everyone can become famous, but everyone can be great, because great is based on service.” I was about 12 years old when I first heard Martin Luther King Jr. speak. His words, as I remember them today, “If a man is a street sweeper, let him sweep the streets as Michelangelo painted, as Shakespeare wrote and as Beethoven composed. Let him sweep the streets so brilliantly that all of heaven and earth pauses for a moment to say “here lived a great street sweeper.’”

I’m glad those words swirled in my head yesterday, because I can’t say that any part of heaven or earth would pause for a moment to acknowledge my current use of talents; however, I’ve been called to do more, to be more, to contribute more. Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you for reminding me that, “The time has come to renew our enduring spirit.”

I’m lifting my pen and increasing my responsibility for my next chapter, which contributes to the collective. I pray I have company.

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Have you noticed that when all is said and done, more is said than done?

Well done is better than well spoken. – Benjamin Franklin

Talking about being a better parent isn’t being a better parent. Talking about which foods are healthy and which aren’t doesn’t yield the same results as actually eating the right foods does. Talking about good customer service is not providing exceptional service. A lot of conversation about wise investments doesn’t increase our wealth.

Knowing what to do is meaningless without action. In the end, it’s action that achieves results. May we all live a significant life more than we talk about having one. What have you been talking about for a while that deserves action today?

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Okay, so we’ve experienced one week of a new year. How are you doing on your commitments to yourself? Are you passionate and exhilarated about your new habits and deliberate with your progress? Or, is this year a lot like what “unknown” wrote:

Many people look forward to a new year for a new start on old habits.
– unknown

If this isn’t the time to brush off the old and try on the new, when is? The pages of this year’s life are still blank. Open your book. The book is called Opportunity. Its pages await your care and attention. As the artist of your life, hold your canvas with sacred hands and color your world with dimension, depth and specific intent.

Why not take control of your life; gently dial up responsibility and create a life worth living! One day at a time . . . one choice after another. Start with one or two small, manageable habits. When we focus on many, we dilute our energy and accomplish little. Start by applying a laser beam focus on a few critical, small habits to make a big difference. Only one week has past – it’s never too late to become who you could have been!
Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.

– Oprah Winfrey

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