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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

Do you ever do random acts of kindness for others? Do you do it for the building of good karma, to pay it forward because it has been done for you, or without a thought cause it is second nature? Have you experienced these acts from others in your life ? Do you even realize them when you do and do you have an easy time accepting them ?

I am a giver. Always have been . I learned from my Grandpa, on my Dad's side, and his brother , my Great Uncle Harold, (my best friend when I was growing up) that if you give the shirt off your back to someone , someone else, at some point will put another shirt around your shoulders. So I have lived with that in my head and heart since childhood. Now I can also be a bit on the selfish side, so will admit that at times plays into it, so I do kind acts with the idea that Karma builds , like a bank account and it will come back around. Hey I am human. But most times, I do the acts of kindness cause I get joy from them , they make me smile, fill up my heart and make me glow from the inside out.

But as I said I am giver. I give to the Salvation Army Santa each year, donate to food drives, coat drives, Angels on trees. Even if I am broke, but have an extra dollar, I will often spend it on another. I often try to turn down random acts of kindness. I almost sabotage the efforts of the other person. SHOCKING I know, especially since I have the whole "Write to Ellen" thing over there to the right . Maybe I have no issues with that because even though I see her make others dreams come true weekly on her show , I do not truly believe it will happen to me, good karma or not. So this past month has been a struggle to accept random acts of kindness. There are worse struggles to have I know ! But what a wonderful one to have...unlike other struggles.

If you have been reading along, we are going through tough times. My hubbies job is not bringing in what we need, we went through fraud and had our bank account wiped out. My fibro is acting up, my teeth hurt so much that now even eating toast is a chore and I am about to start living on liquids. This will be the first year we give up buying and cooking Thanksgiving Supper, letting our daughter do it as we simply can not afford the extra groceries. Christmas, well it will be just a few phone calls to loved ones. A few cards as I already have stamps and left over cards from last year. Needless to say day to day life on so many levels is a chore to get through. BUT it did give me motivation to write about it. Share my story. Let other's know they are not alone in their struggles and that despite it all, through all the tears, prayers and wincing from the physical and emotional pains , not to mention the financial pains, you can learn how to use it to gain strength, gather courage and keep moving forward the best that you can. It might not make you stronger..but then is all a matter of opinion. At the very least it can humble you and that is not a bad thing.

When I posted to Facebook, then blogged about it, I was just looking for some post support, prayers, nothing more. What I received blew me away. A friend from FB wrote me and said God moved her to send us what we had lost from our account. I was not allowed to turn it down. There would be no pay backs, just need to pay it forward. I wanted to tell her it was o.k, we would make it , but I did not , I knew it was not to be. So I accepted it. Because of her, even if our bills are late and we had to live on a lot less food this month, we will make rent. One more month . But that is such a blessing right now.

The next random act came from our oldest daughter. She has always struggled to make the ends meet. We have always bailed her out here and there, cause that is what parents do. We bought her a car when she was moving to Texas for work... we paid a bill here and there ..sent a bit of food money when we could. Treated for a meal out. A couple days after our accounts were drained, our youngest showed up with a card in hand, I love cards, that alone is a wonderful act of kindness to me. But when I opened it, there was a 100.00 from our oldest and her boyfriend and it said " no give backs" . She wanted me to keep it , use it for coffee or my nails, just one or two more times, a hair cut...something to make me feel cheered up....something for me. For all the times when I did the same for her. To show appreciation even when I thought from time to time there was none.

My FB friends, that I have never met in person banded together and been sending uplifting messages, emails and posting to me to lift me up when I am at my lowest. Showing love . Saying prayers. Showing kindness. During this effort,  one friend invited me to join her FB group of fellow bloggers to find even more support. I did so. Even though I am still not sure I fit ,as I blog for enjoyment and not as a business. My blogs are too long, they are random and often break all the rules. But they welcomed me all the same. Because of this one of them read my blog, saw we lived within 25 minutes of each other. She reached out. She read my blogs some more, they touched her and because of this she reached out to a friend of hers and together they are giving me a free one hour massage. To someone with fibro and all the stress I am under and the pain I feel, this is a God send. I had a hard time accepting...but I could hear how much it meant to them, so I accepted. This random act could bring me some short term relief. I am so very grateful.

I called a dear friend, just to hear their voice. Suddenly I was told they would also be sending just a bit of cash, they did not have much to spare, but it would pay a utility bill. He knows I normally would argue against accepting it , but told me I had no choice. No pay backs. We have paid our water and trash for another month.

I received an email from the Susan G. Komen for the cure , the Sacramento branch. I often have donated in the past, sponsored people who walk for the cure. But this time I wrote back. I asked about free mammograms. As the uninsured, broke, but not broke enough, we often fall through the cracks. We do not qualify, not even for money from the little red bucket as we found out this week. Clinics have a sliding scale and we can not even afford that, but on paper we look as if we can. Your salary is looked at before bills, not after. But I wrote and asked anyway . Like my mission to seek pro-bono dental care, that could possibly save my life and not just give me new teeth., I wanted to seek the free mammos as I know they are important. I was rewarded. In a few weeks maybe even a couple of months, as there are so many of us women out there that are under assured or uninsured, I will be contacted by a clinic near me to make my appointment. SGK has created an Every Woman Counts program. Through this women like me can receive the act of kindness in regards to our breast health! Silvia , who is the one that wrote me back, applauded me for my efforts to not be forgotten to see that I count. That my health counts...even if the government at the moment over looks those of us in the gray zone.

I have seen so many more random acts of kindness and am trying to learn to accept them as they come...each one is a blessing ! I need to learn to count my blessings a bit more carefully!  If you are like me and are more of a giver than a receiver, maybe it might help IF you think upon accepting these random acts of kindness when they come your way as an actual random act of kindness you are actually giving that person ....after all if they are givers,  it gives them joy to show you kindness, and therefore you are showing some kindness in accepting. And if that is reaching just a bit far *GRIN* then just remember that if you receive a RAOK it gives you a wonderful chance at paying it forward. I know that is what I am going to do ! And so the circle continues! I think I have a few nickles around to toss in that red bucket.


  1. Okay Ruby you made me cry again. I'm so glad that inviting you into my little blogging group led to other things and yes, you do belong there. It's my group and I don't want only business bloggers in there. Some chats may be more about blogging for business but I also want to chat about what we learn about life through blogging and this is a prime example. I'm a giver too (not so much money wise but in kind) and believe in karma so I'm really glad you are learning to accept others' gifts also. I'm glad I know you. Just off to get another tissue.....

  2. Sounds like your support group is wonderful. I have been accused before of not being very accepting when people try to give to me. It was explained to me by a good friend that when i do this that I rob people of the pleasure of giving. It takes a lot for a giver to learn to receive, but I like you have learned to accept graciously as well as give. Hope that all works out well for you:)

  3. Ruby, this post made me cry. I am so happy that people have come forward to help out. This post also helped me open my eyes- you see we've always been "givers" and until the economy, had never been in a situation where we would be on the other end. That is until now, I too have a very hard time receiving from anyone. I'll be sure to allow them the same pleasure I got by giving.

  4. Ruby - these hard times, they will pass. I am really very sorry you have to endure - but know that even though others may not feel the financial pinch, or physical pain you are experiencing, just remember - everyone is battling some sort of war inside themselves. Hang in there!

  5. Ruby, I know Heidi and Jill and thought it was such a wonderful to do to give you the massage. if you haven't met Jill yet, you will find that she's just what you need.

    Actually, these hard times make me angry. They don't have to be this hard for everyone. We are the victims of a few hundred people making terrible decisions for us! It will pass, that I am sure of.


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