Tag 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

reweaving.

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in recent days

i have seen and read about

 many gestures of hospitality

 one reaching out to another

 with each act

i find a renewed sense of hope.

“hospitality is always an act that benefits the host even more than the guest. the concept of hospitality arose in ancient times when the reciprocity was easier to see: in nomadic cultures, the food and shelter one gave to a stranger yesterday is the food and shelter one hopes to receive from a stranger tomorrow. by offering hospitality, one participates in the endless reweaving of a social fabric on which all can depend – thus the gift of sustenance for the guest becomes a gift of hope for the host.”

-parker j. palmer

 

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

small.

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she was in the checkout line just in front of me

something about her looked tired

like her shoes

world weary

her cart filled with simple things

beans, bread, eggs, milk, cans, pasta

and what looked to be a special treat

one small bright orange

maybe for someone little waiting at home

 when it was her turn

she paid

with what was left on her food card

 then tried a credit card

and still

didn’t have quite enough

 she looked back at me

with apologetic eyes

sorry for the trouble

 she fumbled in her purse

looked to see

what she could put back

not sure what to do

I heard the clerk tell her

that she needed

one dollar and seventy cents more

 my heart went out to her

not knowing her life

I said that I had that money

 I was happy to give it to the clerk

 she looked at me with shy eyes

nodded thank you

 carried her bags out

and I thought about

how that one small orange

would make such a difference

for someone special

  maybe

my small act

had made a difference

in her life too

 made it

a bit easier

just for a moment

and at that moment

I knew

there was absolutely

no finer way in the world

for me to have spent

just one dollar and seventy cents.

‘remember that the biggest thing you could do today is a small act of kindness.’

-cory booker

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