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Inspiration Thursdays: Give It Away (a Quote Roundup to Help Inspire Simple, Frugal Giving)

Because Thursday’s child has far to go…

I want to ask a question today: Do you know what you have to give?

I ask this because I know life is busy and we don’t often think about what we have to give. But we should. We’ve all faced difficult times in our lives. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t. It is a part of the reality of living. There are peaks and valleys. That is just how life is. This week I have encountered at least five people who are struggling with personal tragedies and hardships. It made me wonder just how many people we cross paths with in a day who are quietly enduring some kind of difficulty or pain. It has inspired me to ask you to consider, for just a minute, what you have to give away. Forget, for today, financial giving. Get back to basics and more creative that that.

I love quotes and rounded some up for you today to inspire you to give simply.

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” -Plato, ancient Greek philosopher

Be gentle and understanding. You don’t know what the woman behind the checkout counter is going through today. Or the customer service person taking your call. Or the man who sits quietly next to you in church every Sunday. Realize people may be facing mountains today and they still have to get through their lives just like the rest of us.

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” -Leo Buscaglia, American author, motivational speaker and professor

Each of us has more power to give joy and hope to others than we realize.

“Wherever there is a human being, there is opportunity for kindness.” -Seneca, Roman philosopher

Don’t let the opportunity to give gentleness and kindness pass you by. You might be the only one today that offers it to that person. It might change their life.

“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Poet

Remember that when you pour out kindness, it is the kind of giving away that fills you up. Don’t hold it back. Don’t worry about the right words. Worry about the right intentions. Kind intentions go a long, long way.

“Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”  -Scott Adams, American Cartoonist

You don’t have to solve the economic troubles of our country, win a Nobel Peace Prize, or give a million dollars. Small acts of kindness are contagious and powerful.

“Don’t look down on anyone unless you are helping them up.” -Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist and Baptist Minister

Don’t judge someone. Kindness isn’t judgemental.

“I cried because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet” Author Unknown.

My grandfather used to recite this quote when I was a child and it stuck with me. It helps me remember that no matter what my challenge is, someone else is struggling harder than I am.

“Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give him yours.” -Zig Zigler, American Author, salesman, and motivational speaker

(This one was sent my way by a reader and I so appreicated it. Thanks Melanie!)

It’s not always the big things that change people’s worlds. Hold the door for someone. Let someone else who has only a small handful of items in their cart go before you in line at the grocery store (or that frazzled mom who’s child is having a meltdown). Tell someone you like their hair or that they’re wearing a nice shirt. Notice something special in someone and tell them. Appreciate them out loud. Be kind to people you encounter today. Purposefully and genuinely kind. Giving doesn’t have to be about money. Give what you’ve got: Give away kindness. Give your time or your talent. Give away your smile.  It’s the most frugal way to give because it won’t cost you a dime. Be inspired to simply give. You’ll be glad you did.

Inspiration Thursdays: How Available is Your Curiosity?

Because Thursday’s child has far to go…

I love the endless, lopsided, untamed curiosity of children. We were grocery shopping this past week when we walked by the coconuts in the produce department. My son pointed at the hairy brown orb and said “Hey Mom, that’s a REAL coconut right? Where do they grow? How do they  taste? How come it’s not white? How come it has poky hair on it? It kinda looks like a bowling ball right? These three spots right here….” This was all said in the form of a run-on sentence indicating his runaway curiosity and there was not a single breath separating his thoughts so that I might answer. So I waited. My answers seemed not to be what he was looking for in his expository exclamations on the mighty coconut. In that moment it was the endless chain of explosion of thought, inspiration and curiosity that mattered. I waited for the eruption of words to end, as it usually did, with the final sentence: Can we get one? Plleeeeeaaaaaasssssseeeeee? I laughed. I usually do (unless we are in a hurry, or the store is crowded or they are missing half of what I need). How could I flatten the curiosity of my little boy? He wasn’t asking me for a new electronic, plastic, brightly colored overly marketed toy. He was asking me to help him fill his endless thirst for knowledge. Because fostering curiosity, knowledge and observation skills are high on our list of priorities in our home there was no way I was going to say no to this one (I do, on occasion, when time or budget constraints determine that we must). I helped him to choose just the right one, picking each up and shaking, listening for what we guessed was just the right sound of sloshing of coconut water inside to indicate a healthy pick. We put it in the shopping cart, amidst the container of milk and bag of sugar, making sure not to squash the bread or eggs. I marveled at how inspired a child could be in the mundane of a grocery store produce department (particularly in the grocery store we were in. Back where I come from produce departments can be dazzling in their color and selection but we are in the desert. Dazzling does not occur in our produce department here.). For a child, discovery and inspiration seem to be everywhere, whether looking up to high cottony clouds or squatting low to inspect a chain of marching ants in the dirt. Their curiosity is available. Unshakeable. Almost unfathomable sometimes. There amongst the lettuces and potatoes, I let my child lead me down the wonder road of inspired curiosity. I made myself available to the joy he could not help but share in his need to understand the humble tropical coconut. We continued on with our produce shopping with me lost in thought, considering that I had no idea how to crack open a coconut and thankful that the internet and Youtube exist. I was still trying to figure out our coconut adventures as we wandered by the selection of nopal cactus and heard again…”Hey Mom………”

Comment Worthy:

Can you find your simple childlike curiosity today to inspire you to something new or different?

The inspired coconut

Curve Balls of Life: An Opportunity to Roll With It

“Sometimes you’re the Louisville Slugger, sometimes you’re the ball”-Mary Chapin Carpenter

Sometimes life lobs curve balls at us. This is a truism for everyone, whether we are baseball fans or not. Sometimes the ball even manages to smack you and, while you get to take your base, there’s a part of you that’s a little sore from it. This morning is not the best morning for a curveball, but a minor one happened to come along. My camera is gone. We’ve turned the house and car and all our bags upside down and it’s just plain old gone. I recall where I last saw it but it’s simply not there. Where did it go? I haven’t the slightest idea. We’d planned to spend today lighting birthday candles, maybe taking a bike ride, doing some low key fun birthday type things. I’m getting to turn 37 today (how cool is that?). But my camera is gone. Dang it. I live in a pretty rural town (think Napoleon Dynamite meets Smoke Signals) where shopping is scarce and technology can only be had at the local Walmart or a half empty Radio Shack. So it looks like a bit of a road trip to the city is in order. I just don’t like not having a camera. You can’t have your birthday without a camera to commemorate. Even a not-so big one like 37.

But here’s the funny thing. I’ve been noticing lately that my camera is starting to get old and wasn’t working so well anymore. I’ve wanted to learn how to take better pictures for a long time anyway. I’ve decided this is a great opportunity to take some lemons and make some lemonade. It’s not what we planned for this day but we’re going to roll with it. That’s part of what life is, sometimes just rolling with it is the thing to do. It might even lead to some fantastic game changing results. Who knows? Sometimes you hit home runs or a good line drive. Sometimes you hit a pop fly that you watch sail up and then down again to plop squarely into the center fielder’s mitt. And sometimes you get lobbed a curveball or just get beaned. It doesn’t mean you don’t still love the game and I do.

So today, I’m rolling with it. Here’s to baseball. Here’s to life tossing me the opportunity to take on the challenge that has been brewing in the back of my mind anyway. And here’s to a great year ahead.

You’ll have to excuse me for now. Because I’m a Rice and Beans girl I need to go quickly review the budget and find out how much I can manage to wiggle out of it. Maybe today will bring me a great new camera. And if I’m really lucky-maybe I’ll run across a great baseball game too.