What a wonderful lady you must be to send a handmade afghan to people that you don't know. We love handmade things and will always cherish this afghan.
We send our love and blessings to you.
Bob & Alice Johnson"
Isn't that a nice note? I thought so too, but it made me think about a couple of different things. First of all, am I some kind of freak? Is it really odd that I would make something for someone I don't know? I'm not going to stop doing it, but maybe people just don't do this kind of thing anymore?
Getting a note like this makes me wish that everyone was just a little bit nicer to each other again. Remember back after the September 11th terrorist attacks how much nicer people were? While I certainly don't wish something like the terrorist attacks would happen again, I DO wish that people would start behaving like they did back then--being courteous, patient, and more appreciative of each other.
Here's another thing that happened this morning that I want to tell you about. We had to run into Rochester for a couple errands. We live along a busy 4-lane highway and there's sometimes quite a bit of traffic, sometimes people will pull over into the left lane and let us on, but this morning after we pulled onto the highway, I was watching in the rearview mirror as a car came speeding up behind us. He got closer and closer and I realized he was about to hit us, but just in the nick of time, the driver apparently realized how close he was and quickly jerked his car to the right shoulder to pass us. Holy crap! I was shaking when I realized how close we had come to getting rear-ended. That almost ruined my morning until we got to Wal-Mart and I saw a car drive into the parking lot that was covered with yellow smiley faces (inside and out). Her license plate was even SMILEE1. She came into the store right after us and I stopped her to tell her I loved her car. You should have seen the smile on her face--she's spreading the "smiley joy" wherever she goes and even stuck a smiley sticker on my coat. A simple act of kindness, but it changed my entire outlook on the day.
So, dear blogging friends, I challenge you to perform random acts of kindness--one a month, once a week, or whenever the opportunity presents itself. I think we all have the power to make a positive difference, no matter how small, every day of our lives. As citizens of the United States of America, I think (hope) we're all looking to the administration of President Obama as a new and positive step forward in the path America is embarking on. But President Obama isn't going to be able to do it all by himself, so let's use these words from his inaugural address as a guide (or challenge) to help make our country strong and caring again--one random act of kindness at a time!
"For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny."
President Barack H. Obama
January 20, 2009