Random Acts of Kindness

Smile Cards

smile cards

These are from a wonderful site called KindSpring. If you are ever in the need of a little encouragement, hop over there and read some of the stories of folks performing random acts of kindness.

If you REALLY need a lift, download and print out these “smile” cards and leave them behind after doing your own random act of kindness!

And if you do that after reading this post, we’d invite you to comment and tell us about it!



Love the Broken Ones

Today’s kindspiration comes in the form of a song.

It’s called “Broken Ones” by Jacquie Lee.

Sometimes it can be difficult to focus on being kind and sending love out into the universe when we ourselves are hurting. Our pain is a part of us, after all.

But if there’s one lesson my mother has heavily enforced for as long as I can remember, it’s that someone is always feeling more alone and more broken than you are. And not in a way that “your pain doesn’t matter because it’s not as bad,” oh no, this lesson comes with the challenge to find that person who’s feeling worse than you are, and shower them with love.

As a 98% introvert (I’ve taken the tests, I know for sure), I tend to enjoy blending into the background and observing more than participating, although it depends. But this gives me a golden opportunity to be able to really clearly find the person feeling the most left out. It’s like a reflex now to find them, go up to them, and be there. Sometimes I strike up a conversation and we become fast friends, and other times we merely introvert as a team and silently sit together.

We all deal with pain in different ways. Whether we blast sad songs on repeat, drown our sorrows in Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food (no? Just me? Fine…), or just simply shut everyone else out and draw ourselves inward, it’s something we all go through.

So the challenge for today’s kindspiration is to listen to the song, read the lyrics, and take them to heart. And then, start finding the broken ones in your life. Channel your own pain into kindness and love that you can shower on them.

In my experience, there’s no better remedy for my own sadness than giving love to someone else.

Bask in the power of kindness.

Let it inspire you today.



“On kindness”

One of my favorite websites that I can easily get lost in is zenpencils.com

If you haven’t heard of the site that houses beautifully illustrated versions of “quotes from inspirational folks,” you’ve probably at least seen one or two of the comics somewhere in your web-browsing.

All of the comics are a joy to read, and plenty of them bring more than just one tear to your eye (i.e., I usually dissolve into a sobbing mess if I spend too much time there). But it’s a good cry. It’s the kind of cry you get when that part of your brain that finds faith in humanity gets triggered.

Cartoonist Gavin Aung Than talks a little about how he started the site in the “About” section, and there’s even a cool 6-minute video all about him and his Zen Pencils story.

But while I of course recommend digging in and reading all the comics from the site that you can and doing all of that joyous background research, that’s mostly the dramaturg in me speaking, and I know that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

I bring up Zen Pencils today because of comic #118: a Roger Ebert quote entitled “On kindness,” and it is the subject of today’s “kindspiration.” What is your kindness inspiration challenge?

Below the comic is a tidbit from the cartoonist himself where he talks a little about Ebert and his life, and again, it’s fascinating and I recommend it no doubt, but if nothing else, follow the link below, read the comic, and let the message speak for itself.

Bask in the power of kindness.

Let it inspire you today.



Child Sponsorship!

Well, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include a blurb about child sponsorship. I joke that this is my drug of choice. We sponsor quite a few kiddos, through different organizations. I *highly* recommend this as a way to feel that you are making a very real difference in the lives of children.

Seriously: my impression of myself as a human being changed the second I signed on the line to sponsor my first child. If you catch yourself despairing about the state of the world, the latest headlines, or wonder whether you are making any sort of difference in the world, try this out. It is a relatively small amount per month, and makes a HUGE difference in the life of one child (and actually, through them, their family, community, and future children–many sponsored kids go on to sponsor when they are adults.).

Here are the organizations we sponsor through:

Compassion International: We sponsor many kids through this Christian organization, headquartered in Colorado Springs. Compassion takes very good care of their sponsors, with a blog, several Facebook groups, and a support portal that allows your to ask (and answer) questions. Compassion also recognizes that the relationship formed between the sponsor and the child is as important as (maybe more important than) the funds sent, so they make letter writing extremely easy, with an online letter writing tool, and the option to have all of your correspondence sent electronically. Physical letters are sent to the headquarters in Colorado, so it’s just “regular” postage. Love ’em! Cost: $38/mo.

World Vision: Another Christian organization, World Vision is often at “Ground Zero” when disasters strike just about anywhere in the world. They also make letter writing easy (and fun!) by periodically sending little premade cards. Mail is sent to the country office where the child lives. Cost: $39/mo.

His Hands for Kenya: This is a little grassroots organization that has come alongside a school in Nairobi, Kenya. Our growth over the years has been phenomenal! The Director, Fanuel, is clearly an angel on earth. A unique feature of this organization is the ability to buy gifts for your kiddos from the online store, which enables the items to be purchased locally and therefore to support the local economy–and you get a photo of the child with your purchase! Cost: $12.50/mo primary student; $20/mo secondary student

Children Incorporated: When I started sponsoring, I was all about Africa and South America, and I often heard pushback like “there are poor kids in America; why should we be sending money to other countries?” Well, good news, Americans, Children Incorporated has US sponsorships–inner city, rural, and Native American! An advantage to US sponsorships is that you can easily send actual gifts to your kiddos. Letter writing can be sporadic: I have two little girls in Kentucky; one writes fairly often (the sweetest letters ever!), and one hardly ever writes. But CI does have a blog that lets you know what’s going on with the organization in the region you are working with, so that helps with feeling connected. Cost: $28/mo

Women for Women: This is a unique organization. You are paired with a “sister” in a war-torn country. Your sponsorship provides her with a year-long program of classes and a small savings account that she receives on graduation. Many of the women pool together and start businesses with their savings from the program. Currently my sister is Rachael in Nigeria. She is my eighth! Letter writing is possible, but I’ve only gotten letters from one of the women I sponsored, and those came after she’d graduated! Still, it’s a good organization, and definitely making a difference for women in these parts of the world. Cost: $35/mo

If an ongoing sponsorship isn’t your thing, all of these organizations happily accept donations as well!




Welcome to our blog! We’ve been talking about this for some time. We have many conversations about The State of the World, and how everything could be improved by some more kindness.

It’s tempting to look at the human race and throw in the towel–we are an awful species. But we are also amazingly wonderful. We hope with this blog to nudge people to see that side, and to take even small actions to be part of it.