Be kind

kindnessLife has only three very basic values and one of them is to create and maintain positive relationships (get my book to learn about the other two values). I can go into great detail about the importance of cultivating strong family relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships (lovers). But I wouldn’t be telling anyone anything we don’t already know.

But what about our relationships with neighbors, acquaintances, and even strangers?  “Huh. Uhhhh we don’t have relationships with neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers. That’s kinda what makes them neighbors, acquaintances, and strangers. Duh.” I’m afraid that I strenuously disagree.

We do in fact have a relationship with every single person we pass by in a hallway. It’s small, subtle, too small to even be noticed, but it’s  there nonetheless. In fact, these tiny relationships are the pieces of the relationship we have with all of humanity as a whole. Our relationship with humanity is reflected in how we treat strangers; this is obvious. But what might not be so obvious is that how we treat strangers will determine our relationship with humanity; our feelings toward people in general.

With that being said, BE NICE TO PEOPLE. To everybody. If there are some neighbors/acquaintances/strangers that we don’t particularly care for, or make questionable decisions, just remember that since they’re neighbors/acquaintances/strangers in the first place we don’t know enough about their situation. So we are in no position to judge. So be kind.

Cultivating a positive relationship with humanity is simple. Here are some tips/examples:

  • If we see an elderly woman having trouble lifting her groceries into her car in the parking lot, help her out.
  • Smile at people.
  • A simple “Good morning” goes a long way.
  • Courtesies:
    • Let someone ahead of us in line or in traffic.
    • Give up our seat to a person in need (particularly the pregnant or elderly).
  • Idle chit chat while waiting on line.
  • If you see something, say/do something:
    • A small child left alone.
    • A bag left alone.
    • An abusive relationship in progress.

These are just some examples off the top of my head. But by now my point is clear.

In the eyes of God we are all brothers and sisters. It’s time we started treating each other like it. Furthermore, we never know what may be going on in someones life. A small act of kindness could renew someone that would otherwise be broken.

Hobbies are seldom expensive

Always I hear people say “It’s an expensive hobby”, no matter what their hobby is. It could be something as financially simple as being a Chess Player/Enthusiast.  One would think simply having a couple Chess sets was enough (one for home and one for travel), but NO. It’s only a matter of time before they purchase a genuine marble chess set, a gemstone one, and a whole bunch more that they seldom or never use because they are too precious. And then of course there are the volumes of literature on the game that are “must haves”. Computer games ……. I could go on, but I think the point is clear.
Hobbies/Passions become financially demanding when the act of DOING the hobby is no longer enough to satisfy. Then we are motivated to escalate the hobby to a level where we need more stuff to get the same old thrill we used to get (It’s a type of addiction). After a while it’s not even about the thrill of the experience anymore, just the beautiful artifacts associated with it. When this happens we become collectors instead of experiencers.
More Examples:
When riding a bicycle doesn’t give us the same thrill as it used to, we buy more bikes to keep the passion alive.
When the ROAR of the engine in our 72 Dodge Charger no longer gives us goosebumps, we sell it and build our new vehicle. How long till that one doesn’t satisfy?
“Now after I’ve spent large amounts of time and money to build a large deck behind the house, we’re never motivated to use it. AH, but if that deck had a hot tub, we’d use it! ……. (I think).”
The way to fight this human addictive tendency is to cultivate gratitude. With gratitude every bicycle ride feels like freedom. With gratitude the 100th start of the engine will feel just like the first. With gratitude, we will sprawl out on the deck and look into the sky with a shit eating grin and say “this is my castle”. With gratitude comes the realization that Chess is not about the pieces, it’s about the game.
Hobbies/Passions are as costly as we want them to be.

Spring Cleaning!

It’s that time folks. Time to do your yearly downsizing of stuff.

This doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Handling it in baby steps will make it far less stressful. Just a little bit here and there, maybe only 15-30min a day.

Every day, pick a section of our home to focus on: The linin closet, a couple of the kitchen cabinets (or maybe just A kitchen cabinet), The storage closet, a section of the basement, a section of the attic, the wardrobe.

Focus on the storage areas as it is most likely there that we will find the things you no longer use. Pick a small storage area section a day. Instead of tackling the entire linen closet,  just focus on the first shelf today. Start from the back of these areas, as the things we use the least will be found there. A persons storage habits reveal what items they’re using, and which they are not. The things in the back of these storage spaces are likely the things we can get rid of. Keep this in mind when determining what we will downsize.

Create a section in our home to gather all this excess so we can properly dispose of it all at once. Keep it all in Glad trash bags for convenience. Section them all out according to how you will dispose of each pile: Dump, Good Will, Consignment, eBay, Iron Mountain (sensitive document disposal company), etc.

Once we are finished with all the downsizing, it’s time to move out those piles we’ve created. As far as I am aware, the only time demanding part of this is selling things we wish to sell. It may be less a burden to just trash these things or just give them away (depends on our circumstance).

A reminder as we venture out in society post COVID lockdown

VACCINES ARE HERE! YAAAAAAY

And by mid April everyone over 18 will be rushing to get their shots. This is a wonderful thing. Truly.

But let us not be so excited to re-integrate into society that we go buck wild with our enthusiasm. The temptation to over consume is very real, and the influences to do so will be on high frequency. Marketing will be “full steam”, and in our enthusiastic state we are more vulnerable than ever to such marketing. Business want to make up for losses they have suffered. While I sympathize with that (particularly small businesses), this still doesn’t justify selling/buying things that don’t add value.

Instead, lets let our enthusiasm fuel us to make up on EXPERIENCES we’ve lost, PEOPLE we haven’t seen. THAT is, and always has been, where the value is (COVID or no COVID).