Sunday, January 4, 2009

Happy New Year

I have been pondering about this post for a few days now, well since the New Year - as the title may obviously reveal. Do I reflect on the year past, or ponder the year ahead, or write a novel and do both? Yesterday I decided that I couldn't possibly remain clear headed for long enough to write about both because I have committed to a week of sunrise to sunset fasting for the first week of the new year, and I am finding it extremely difficult to think about anything other than food!

I decided that in lieu of the traditional resolution I would challenge myself to reflect on a daily basis (at least for a limited time) upon the abundance and good fortune of my life, while considering the reality that millions of people in the world go without everyday. Every time a hunger pang gnaws at my stomach, or I feel a bit 'faint' I remind myself that I have the luxury of simply opening the fridge or the cupboard to relieve that hunger. I'm only at day 4 and I cannot (at least so far) imagine an entire month of this, such as is practised for Ramadan! But perhaps by the end of the week I will have learned to embrace the hunger and concentrate on the self reformation, spiritual cleansing and enlightenment that should inspire generosity, kindness and charity! We'll see.....and I'll definitely share the rest of the story, or transformation!

I would like to share with you two stories that appeared in my local paper on December 31 (solving my posting dilemma, at least when the hunger fog cleared enough for me to remember where I stashed the paper!). Both stories were 'Letters to the Editor'. The first story caught my eye because it was titled, Spreading Kindness: a couple and their children were at Tim Hortons (a coffee chain in Canada) and when they went to pay the cashier told them that the woman in front of them had already paid for their order. The best part of the story was that the author wanted to let the secret Santa know that her gift of giving was contagious. The second story was similar but even more dramatic, a woman was at the cash register of a grocery store, having rung through all her groceries when she realized that she had forgotten her wallet at home and had no way to pay. The man behind her in line offered to pay for her bill. He would not allow her to repay him, but suggested she make a donation to the local food bank in his name - which she did. The best part, wait for it......"acts of kindness make the world a better place."

How simple. How true.

Wishing you year that is overflowing with deliberate acts of kindness, both given and received.

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