23 February 2014

Kindness: Part 4

Proving that I am not the only person in the world who occasionally encounters a kind stranger, today's post comes from another redhead from Colorado and former roommate of mine.  Technically I don't think we ever had the same address, but some people just count as roommates no matter where they live.

From Sarah:
Today I am grateful for Ted Talks and kind hearted souls. Yesterday I made an attempt to get from my severely delayed flight to a connecting flight within 30 minutes- crossing through customs at immigration. I asked a handful of fellow travelers if they wouldn't mind me cutting in line, and when one kind soul (Max) responded with a look of empathy I burst into tears. He was incredibly encouraging and then processed to sprint with me helping me to navigate through JFK to terminal 2. In a moment of rest he mentioned he had been traveling for 48 hours and was stranded in Portugal because a passenger had a heart attack. He watched an inflight Ted Talk (incidentally I did too) which shows the brain's response to stress is to reach out to others. So in his exhaustion he decided to help me. I arrived at the gate three minutes after the door to the plane closed, but I'll never forget Max, more stressed than me seeing an opportunity to help another human soul.

16 February 2014

Kindness: Part 3

Most of the time I enjoy grocery shopping with my kids.  I don't enjoy grocery shopping with tired and cranky children.  But if I plan well, time things right, and don't try to hurry, we can generally have a good time at the store together.  We have a good time smelling all the flowers and looking at the neatly piled heads of lettuce and picking the largest bunch of bananas we can find.  We always buy bananas.  I don't like bananas at all.  I am decidedly outvoted.  I haven't eaten a banana in years, but I have purchased dozens weekly since my oldest first started eating solid food.

When we just need eggs and milk (and bananas) we shop at Aldi.  It's kind of a fun little store.  And it makes me smile that when we get to the parking lot my little redhead knows exactly where we are.  "Mama, we are going to buy milk and eggs!"  One of my favorite things about shopping at Aldi is that the shopping carts have two seats in the front.  It is so convenient to have my kids sitting next to each other sharing a package of fruit snacks.  Actually, the shopping carts are pretty much the entire reason that I shop there.  If they had a bigger selection I wouldn't ever shop anywhere else.  If any other grocery store in my area ever decides to offer double seated carts I will become a loyal costumer.

Aldi has one of those fancy cart contraptions near the entrance to the store where you pay a quarter to get a cart.  When you return the cart you get a quarter back.  The last time we shopped at Aldi we parked kind of far away.  A gentleman parked sort of near me had just returned his cart.  He came back to his car and saw me with a child in each arm.  Instead of getting in his car and driving off, he went back to the front of the store and got a cart for me.  He met me in the parking lot and patiently held the cart to make sure it wouldn't roll down the hill while I loaded both kids.  He gave them each a high five and wished us a good day.

09 February 2014

Social Media

I like it when people post articles on facebook.  It gives me something interesting to look at that only takes about five minutes to read.  And five minutes is currently the average increment between crises at my house, so the timing is perfect.  Social media has certainly given more people a platform to voice opinions.  Stay at home moms that used to only talk to other moms at the park can now pontificate to a much wider audience.  And while they can reach more people, I'm not sure they are able to produce more results.  Based on the very limited sample that is my own personal experience, I conclude that no one has ever been persuaded by anything they read on facebook.  In the last week I have responded to posted articles in the following ways.

Article warning that eating sugar causes impending death:  I was thoroughly unconvinced.  Instead of persuading me to avoid sugar, this article made me crave dessert.  I made chocolate cupcakes and oatmeal cookies.  I thoroughly enjoyed consuming both.  

Article asking people to boycott watching the Olympics due to Russia's poor treatment of stray dogs: I had completely forgotten that the Olympics were starting this week.  I was glad for the reminder, and checked to make sure I would be recording the opening ceremony.  Side note- I am not a fan of animal cruelty.  Of all the problems in Russia worthy of activist attention, I was surprised that treatment of stray dogs is what ended up in my news feed.

Yet another article declaring that vaccinating children is sentencing them to autism:  I remembered that my little boy had a birthday last week.  I made an appointment for his next round of immunizations.  

An article about how only worthless, heartless parents would ever allow their kids to consume the atrocity that is fast food.  Clearly foisting chicken nuggets upon innocent children is akin to force feeding them arsenic:  My kids ate at Chic-fil-a because cold weather has kept them inside all week, and Chic-fil-a has a slide.   Also, the kids love the little applesauce pouches they get, and I like that someone who is not me sweeps the mess on the floor.  I think it's a win for everyone.