Category Archives: kindness

get on the bus.

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what an adventure it would be to travel on the ‘make america kind again’ bus

 

“human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the figure of a free people.

a nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States

walk like a dinosaur.

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The T-Rex Walking Club parades in Ferndale,MI

The T-Rex Walking Club takes a stroll to bring joy during the coronavirus pandemic.  A silly and secret club formed during the pandemic is on a quest to bring smiles to the faces of kids, and a few adults, while under Michigan’s stay home order.

On Friday, when Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended Michigan’s order, there was parade of a pink unicorn, followed by a gentle giraffe, a ferocious bear, a swinging stegosaurus, Scooby-Doo and a shark too, a tall pterodactyl, a trotting triceratops, a black-and-white penguin, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, a friendly T-Rex, another penguin, and a one-eyed Minion.

This motley crew, which calls itself the Ferndale T-Rex Walking Club, takes its unannounced strolls through neighborhoods. There are other characters, too, and a few members have costumes on order. On their next walks, you might see an additional unicorn, more sharks, a polar bear, a gorilla, a Godzilla, an alligator, a hippo, a flamingo, a zebra, and an upside-down clown.

Most members of the club are also members of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.The point of the parade, is to cheer up the community during otherwise gloomy times and get children and adults to smile, said Oscar Renautt, who heads the Elks public relations committee.

The T-Rex club has its own set of rules. You must be invited; have an enclosed, inflatable costume; wear a face mask; and you can never, ever tell anyone where — or when — the group is going to go walking.

The founder, Ms. Ignash, received her pink unicorn costume one Christmas, has had it for years, and she’d occasionally show up somewhere in it for a laugh. Then, she posted the article in Facebook for local residents and they thought it was a good idea. Folks asked her to organize an event, so she did. It was right after the stay-at-home order, and within two hours, close to 200 people were interested. 

Ignash decided that it was a totally crazy idea, and irresponsible to create crowds of people during a pandemic, so she canceled the event, and started over. Instead, she created a private group and invited just a couple of friends to join her. They went on a walk in costume, and then another, and another, adding a few friends — and characters — each time. 

The costumes are so big that they naturally require the walkers to space out about six-feet apart, a social distancing requirement of the governor’s order. They also don’t want to spread the virus so they wear masks.Visibility inside isn’t so good either, and it can get hot inside the costume. So they don’t walk for too long. “But, it’s fun because kids really freak out,” Ignash said. “They see us coming, or they hear other people talking about us coming, and kids freak out. Its fun, just so much fun.”

credits: Frank Witsil- Detroit Free Press, Ferndale Elks Club

“a procession is a participants’ journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.”

 Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

even more.

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at the songbird cafe

extra pennies left

for those who might need them

along with a tiny paper crane

for those who might need this even more.

 

“a master of origami said he tried to express with paper the joy of life,

and the last thought before a man dies.”

-tor udall, a thousand paper birds

growing.

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as we watched 

the big kids perform

‘a christmas carol’

the kinder 

kept whispering

and asking 

‘why is that man so mean?’

‘why is he so crabby?’ 

‘how can he be that mean?’

I told them that later in the play

mr. scrooge’s heart will grow

and he will learn to be nice 

just like what happened to the grinch

 it made my own heart grow

 to think about

their innocence 

their naturally kind and compassionate state of being

how they could not even begin to imagine

why someone would choose to be mean.

‘i think being nice is more important than being clever.’

-ricky gervais

 

falling.

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it was a quiet, simple act

a couple walking in my direction

 stopped

 the man bent down

to tie his companion’s shoe

and in this tiny moment

revealed his heart. 

 

“let me tie your shoes. i don’t want you tripping and falling for someone else.”

-author unknown

a little kindness.

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in our after-school art club

the children painted kindness stones

and hid them in the garden

for other children to find


knowing it would make them smile

when they discovered these secret stones

 hoping they would do the same for others

passing on their surprise and joy

upon finding a bit of kindness

left just to make them happy

and then hiding them again

for others to discover.

 

“a little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of money.”

-john ruskin

sad raccoon.

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 on my neighborhood nextdoor site – written by a kind neighbor:

“we found a raccoon in our driveway that looks sad and is not moving.

is there anything we can do about it?”

 

“let us fill our hearts with our own compassion –

towards ourselves and towards all living beings.”

-thich nhat hanh

make a difference.

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neighborhood resource fair serving detroit and hamtramck residents.

 

*GLOBAL DETROIT is a nonprofit regional economic development initiative that believes immigrants and refugees are critical to job creation, regional growth, and prosperity. Global Detroit is revitalizing Metro Detroit’s economy by mobilizing its immigrant potential. We are an innovator and expert in connecting international talent with regional businesses’ unmet talent needs, catalyzing the growth and development of immigrant entrepreneurs, revitalizing neighborhoods, and building a globally-competitive and inclusive region.

In addition to our local efforts, Global Detroit has spearheaded the creation of the Welcoming Economies Global Network (WE Global), a ten-state regional collaborative
of 20 peer local immigrant economic development initiatives across the Rust Belt. WE Global Network is a project of Welcoming America, run in partnership with Global Detroit.

 

“make a difference about something other than yourselves.”

-toni morrison

 

thank you Toni Morrison, for your many inspirational words.

 

 

credits: *global detroit (image and story), WE global