Pay it Forward

“We think too much and feel too little.  More than machinery, we need humanity, more than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.” – Charlie Chaplin

A few days before Christmas, I talked to a close friend, Kamie, and she suggested an action to take that I thought was a great one. She said her favorite number is 4. What she has started doing when she shops is to leave 4 pennies for the next person in line behind her.  So far, she has seen a few people she has helped with those few extra pennies. To me this is a beautiful small act that spreads goodwill.

4 pennies

4 pennies

My number is 8.  Beginning the next time I’m shopping, I’m taking my 8 extra pennies and leaving them for the next person in line.

The day after Christmas, my daughter wanted a cup of coffee from a local drive through coffee business. She pulled up to pay for the coffee, and it had already been paid by the previous driver.

cup of coffee

cup of coffee

The lid of this cup for this company has a unique message that I totally agree with and fits in with this blog:

coffee cup lid

coffee cup lid

The person who paid for my daughter’s coffee, may believe this too. This person definitely lives this in action. Yes. I, too, believe we will get through this (life) together.

There is no wealth but life.”  –  John Ruskin

I have been practicing leaving pennies for others. At first I tried to leave 8 pennies in one of the take a penny leave a penny jars in a store. No one was behind me in the line.  The next time a nice man let me go ahead of him in line. I left him a nickle and made sure he knew it was for him.  I did it another time for a woman.  That time it was about 4 pennies. I made sure she knew, too. She smiled broadly for so little.  I realized the amount does not have to be the same. It was about connecting with the person behind me in the line. That is not even necessary, either, as in the case of the free coffee for my daughter.  It is about random acts of kindness and passing it along. Kindness is a good infection and small acts remind us of the best of who we human beings are and can be.

As a former teacher, the schools and teachers are laden with huge jobs.  Online a found a foundation that encourages random acts of kindness in schools. It gives teachers ideas of how to encourage random acts of kindness. Check this out.

This coming year my purse may be heavier carrying around pennies, and my heart will be lighter! Being happy is easy. It is in the next time we serve another person, even in a small way. Paying it forward is paying it back right into my own heart! Happy New Year!  2016 is going to be AWESOME!






“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”  -H. Jackson Brown Jr.



a Christmas present

This is the season to be giving.  Often we think about and buy Christmas presents for  friends, family, and coworkers.   We might also give food to the hungry, and financially support groups we care about if we can.  The giving I’m talking about is the REST of the YEAR.

clothes in bag

bag of free shoes and other clothing

I mean giving things to others when you don’t use them anymore. Some of us donate to resale shops and nonprofits.  Where I live people do that, and they also just leave free stuff for others to pick up and take.

free tv

free TV set

This person gave away her/his TV set free for whomever wanted it. I like this pass it along thinking and giving. The person even included a manual with the TV set.  I am always glad when I can pass along what I no longer need to a nonprofit resale store that gives people jobs.  I shop there myself. Old school stuff is sometimes better made with better quality fabric and materials than the new purchases of 2015.

One of the greatest stories about giving this year was a story about a little girl from Schenectady, NY.  It is the story of Sa’fyre Terry an 8 year old girl. When I looked online there was a YouTube video that preceded this story which I first heard on the radio last week.

The outpouring of giving to Sa’fyre Terry, who had been through so much, shows us the best of who we are.  When our hearts are open,  we are the most loving we can be. I wish this giving spirit to be a part of your holidays which ever one you celebrate!

Happy Holidays!











When Our Community Works Together

open hand

open hand of cooperating

“We cannot accomplish all that we need to do without working together.”  – Bill Richardson

This morning I heard a TED talk about people cooperating and the development of the human brain.  In the past I have had experiences of working with a group on a specific goal.  I saw it come to fruition because we were able to work together.  Yes, everyone had their personalities and differences, but still we parked our egos at the door most of the time as we moved toward our goal.

This is the podcast of what I heard from December 11, 2015.

We have a choice to be a bully and aggressive, or be mature and be open to working with others. I always preferred getting along, but not at the cost of losing my voice.

tree of life

tree of life

In a way we humans are like this tree. We are here together on the earth; we have our branches, but we all work together to stay alive as one human tree of life.  We humans change like this tree does as the seasons change and as we mature. If we stay stunted (mentally) as humans, we do not thrive. We can make an impact short term, but in the long run we fizzle out.

From sports where cooperation and working together is essential:

“5 guys on a court working together can achieve more than 5 individuals who come and go as individuals.” –  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

The myth of “RUGGED INDIVIDUALISM”, is just that, a myth. A false belief  that one can do everything alone and does not require others. This belief does not serve the human family. We don’t have any supermen or superwomen to fix everything for us. We have ourselves.

It seems there are some wealthy individuals, who would like this myth to live on- so that they can accumulate more money (and power)! Money alone can not fix: global warming, change the weather, or bring rain, as the state of California is very aware. Money alone can not fix how people of color are treated in this country. Money alone can not grow the food we need that is healthy for us, i.e. without GMOs and pesticides. Money alone does not care. Working together with people who care to deal with our problems along with money can help the whole planet and ourselves.

It is my actions and how I care that make a difference in my life. That is true of every person. It takes all of us because each of us has a gift to bring to the human family, to make a better world, to make our human family tree one that thrives.






Love Our Planet and Ourselves.

heart from necklace

The open, loving heart

Sometimes you hear something that is so profound, you have to share it. Tonight I heard an Alternative Radio talk of Naomi Klein that summed up so much of what is not working and how to find another way together. The politicians are not going to figure it out. We will, together. Listen to this cool piece of intelligent, loving, incredible thinking.

We can change what is happening to our planet and most of us here, by loving our planet in action!

love our forests

Love our forests

Also another dear friend shared a video of who we could be, if we choose. Unfortunately, I cannot find the video, but the words that accompanied the video come from Brian Piergrossi. Read what he has to say about the possibility we can be in an empowering poem.

Love is the new religion of the world. Here he and I mean Agape love, as we can love our earth, so can we love ourselves and each other.


Love our rivers


love our flowers

cat rolling

love our animals


Love and respect each other

We humans can be  very unpredictable. Although with nature, global warming is making our weather unpredictable. It is understandable that everyone wants to feel safe. Fear is appropriate when there is actual danger. Being awake to danger is important.  Living in vigilance and fear that whole entire groups of people are to be feared is distressing behavior.

With an open heart, I have found that I can work together with others.  This is how we can help our own planet and ourselves- TOGETHER.

By listening to what Naomi Klein spoke of, and the possibility we can be to each other that Brian Piergrossi writes and speaks about, then we humans can be unstoppable in a good way. Ms. Klein and Brian are speaking of working together- not as separate little groups, not working against each other. Try to include the children in your life in this new possibility of how we can be towards each other and the planet.

We ended slavery. We had a Civil Rights Movement. This time is ours.  Our planet needs us, and we need each other. Let’s give life to light, peace, and kindness.











Graffiti Artists Part 2

Since this is the time of year that is about being thankful, loving, and kind, I wanted to show you some of the graffiti where I live.

graffiti 1 Part 2

graffiti 1 Part 2

Now, if we could only do this!  It is hard to walk in some else’s shoes, and fear can stop us.  More recently, I got to witness now fear was stopping me for doing the right thing for myself. It was not about the other person, it was about me! I needed to trust myself.

graffiti 2 hearts

Graffiti 2 Hearts on the path

Last summer on another walk I saw these hearts, they extended past what I could capture on my camera.  I LOVE the message. Skip the Yellow Brick Road, take the path of hearts.  The more I seem to feel what is happening in my heart, instead of my head, the more I feel all together. It could be joy or sadness.  It is great not to be numb! Great to be fully human!

graffiti 3 Part 2

Graffiti 3 Teach Love

This graffiti touched my heart as a teacher. Can you imagine what kind of world we would live in if we were able to teach LOVE.  Love is a choice. Since I took this photo back in May, this graffiti has been painted over. Some graffiti with loving messages, I feel we should let stand. However, I do NOT work for the city where I live.

graffiti 4 part 2

Graffiti 4 SMILE

We may have the same graffiti artist to thank for this sign as well as the hearts that on the graffiti 2 “hearts on the path”.  This is in a different area. Smiling I consider an act of kindness to self and others. Years ago I had a teacher who told me that when you smile you trigger two points in your forehead that increase your immune system.

Here are some other things that smiling does:

It is no wonder that I always feel better when I smile.

graffiti 5 Part 2

Graffiti 5 Heart

This heart was not far from the “hearts on the path” graffiti 2.  I leave you with this heart to try to remind myself and you who we could be during this season of stress, irritation, and LOVE.  Here’s hoping the LOVE overrides the stress and irritation. We have a choice about this, too! Smile!