I am not one to watch the news as much as I used to. I always want to be up to date on the world events, politics and be able to carry on an intelligent conversation when required – however I can only take so much. I am one of those people that can’t just watch the devastation unfold on CNN and then go about my normal daily routine. I get sucked in and somehow physically can place myself in someone’s strife and heartache (ie. families of the Malaysian crashes or situations with ISIS), my empathy has no boundaries. Over time I’ve learned my limits so I prefer to take my Time magazine to the gym and read all the world’s atrocities while I get my aggressions out on the stair climber. Sounds selfish but it’s just too overwhelming for me emotionally.
Possibly this is what drives me to continue to work late nights on ISP as my days are filled with my 40 hour a week job and caring for the twinsies. The idea that a small group of people can start with an idea to change how our children and adults view the world and how their contributions can make a difference intrigues me. Especially when groups collectively work together for the greater good of something. And what greater good can we think of than the mindset of our children and how we can mold and shape them not only into responsible adolescents – but kind, caring, empathetic and charitable adults?
Yes, I know we are all overwhelmed with our family agendas, homework, practices, social lives, etcetera – however I pose a challenge. The challenge is to incorporate things you might do anyway in your daily routine but by tweaking it a little gearing it to an act for the greater good. When intentional, we can make many things we do (or should do) on a regular basis in format that benefits others and adds an extra value for all involved. A shift for the better in a stranger’s day, a lesson in kindness mixed with fun for our kids that unbeknownst to them is shaping the person they will become later in life, and satisfaction for us in knowing we’ve done something small that equates to huge changes in others.
photo from pinterest.com
I am one of those really lucky people that married into a great family who actually loves spending time together. We do family “marathons” sometimes of two weeks of non-stop togetherness and believe it or not, enjoy it. Better yet, the kids have a great time with one another and despite their gaps in age all play and do all activities together. As a child that didn’t have any cousins growing up, it’s a beautiful thing to watch.
Always creative, the Moms get together and line up weeks agendas for each of these vacations or in this case stay-cation. We did two great activities that gave back, provided smiles to others, and that the kids really got into.
1. Act of Awesomeness #1: Dogs can be philanthropic too
One of the happy takers at “Dog Beach”
We were spending a lot of time at the beach these two weeks so why not do something different while there and watch the reactions? My favorite dog of all time, Pepper, left some tennis balls for all the other pups at dog beach on a Sunday. We filled a basket with tennis balls and even some kind words (you know, for their owners enjoyment).
We even wrote some encouraging words just for fun
We wrote a simple note and a picture of Pepper Dog so others knew to help themselves and give their dog some extra kindness on that beautiful (yet typical) southern California day.
isn’t she adorable?
Awesome Act of Kindness #2: Artists make place mats for Meals on Wheels
With all the time we spent out and about with the kids we used some downtime for some productivity as well. We told the kids we were sending these to people like their great-Grandma who is limited in her mobility as place mats. They LOVED the idea and took their job really seriously. Growing up my grandfather was confined to a wheelchair due to a drunk driver that hit him on Christmas Eve. This one meant a lot to me as I imagined if someone had brought these to him he would have loved it.
We used Melissa & Doug large coloring pages that we found on Amazon. We also had over-sized plain pages for the older kids that wanted to sketch something of their own.
we ranged in age from 3-12 and all of them spent over an hour working on their masterpieces together.
Cousin C even came back to finish his to perfection the next day.
We hadn’t seen them so quiet and focused all week. Clearly they were having fun munching on their Minion cookies compliments of Auntie Kim for their diligent work.
And the finished product a la Angel (age barely 4)
And to wash off all that art, some bubble madness in the pool didn’t hurt. I’m pretty sure I want to be 4 again.
They had so much fun doing both of these good deeds they didn’t even think of it as work. That is our goal always with ISP. Stay tuned in September for more fun ideas to incorporate.
Got any you would like to share? Please feel free to send them on!