Half-way around the world
I’m an only child. Today, after I graduate from high school, my billionaire parents and I are boarding a private jet. We will travel around the world for 62 days, stopping in all the places I chose as my graduation present. I’m a bit concerned about that much family time, but when they asked what I wanted, I couldn’t think of a single thing.
It feels like we’ve already travelled half-way around the world on this one flight. I find the lightning piercing through fluffy clouds amazing, although I don’t enjoy the sudden drop in pressure. Suddenly, we are on a downward spiral without time to even think of what might happen next.
I’m no longer an only child. I’m an orphan. Why did I have to survive that awful wreck and lose both of my parents? Uncle Joe came quickly to be with me, but I never cared for my dad’s brother. Of course, he didn’t understand when I said, “I will never go home again.”
Now I have a billion dollars in my name. Nowhere I really want to go, and nowhere I want to be. I remember hearing about some very expensive trips going to the moon. I can definitely afford that. Wonder what they will do when I get there and refuse to go home?
A little pencil
The words of Mother Teresa speak volumes about the amazing grace I see here each day.
"I don't claim anything of the work. It's hard work. I'm like a little pencil in His hand. That's all. He does the thinking. He does the writing. The pencil has nothing to do with it. The pencil has only to be allowed to be used."
Thanks to those who may never have been thanked
To the person who smiled at my mother when I wasn’t around
To the child sharing the favorite part of his lunch with a shy girl
To neighbors who pick up trash in the road
To my son who reminded me that we could never replace his sister
To puppies waiting at the door for you to come home
To people who anonymously scatter kindness wherever they go
To the millions of folks who may never have been thanked
Report to the main office
When I walked into school today for my first day on the job, I never imagined the feeling I would have when I headed home this afternoon. After learning where the janitorial supplies were kept, I swept the floors and cleaned the bathrooms just like I did on my previous job.
Around lunchtime, I hear on the loudspeaker that every teacher and staff member is to report to the main office before leaving school today. I briefly question if that would include me since I had only been there for ten hours, but I want to be sure I am following all orders.
I can't ever remember receiving a gift when it was not my birthday or Christmas. The office assistant said that a volunteer brought in thank you gift bags for every member of the staff and that included me. As I placed the "You are appreciated" note on my refrigerator and savored a couple of high-end chocolates later that night, I knew I had the best job in the world.
While buying coffee for the car behind me, I wonder if I made them smile.
People will remember
I like the advice from Maya Angelou:
“At the end of the day people won't remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”
One million $
I am utterly amazed at the request you submitted for one million dollars. How could any sane person refuse to respond after seeing the faces of those six sad reindeer? It’s obvious their need is great to be wrapped in golden gowns after having been turned down to ride across the sky on the most important night of the year.
If only I had one million dollars, I would send you a bag of carrots and look for a secluded beach near the north pole.
It was the best of times and the worst of times. Sitting in the Rio de Janeiro airport in Brazil at midnight with my newly-adopted, seven-month old daughter and five-year-old son. Just wanting to be home at Christmas time. All three of us in tears. This was an unexpected stop on our lengthy journey. With three carry-on bags and totally exhausted children, I couldn’t fathom how we could rise from those plastic chairs to get on our next flight.
That’s when you appeared. You were disguised as a very elderly man wearing what appeared to be a janitor’s uniform. In broken English and a nod of your head, you convinced me you were there to help. When you picked up our bags along with my son, you pointed toward where our plane was boarding. A sympathetic flight attendant allowed you to accompany us to our seats.
I never knew what role guardian angels played, but I'll never forget as you walked away, I could only shout one word -- gracias!
Scatter some kindness
Get a good friend to create a plan with you to spend a day the week before your birthday to scatter some kindness.
Pick up a few inexpensive goodies at a grocery store. Maybe some fruit snacks or cookies. Drop them off at your local food shelf or a shelter. Then go somewhere for a cup of coffee or hot chocolate, and buy one for an unsuspecting person. If you happen to see a homeless person along the way, give them a dollar from each of you.
There's probably a nonprofit organization in your area that could use a couple hours of help from willing teens. Might be raking leaves, serving dinner, or just talking to an elderly person who has no visitors.
When it's your birthday, you can look back at what you did and enjoy the good feeling. It will also be like giving a gift to your friend who gets to experience this day with you.
Many years down the road when someone asks what you did for your 18th birthday, this just might be what you remember.
You led me to this site.
Where people truly care about strangers.
Without hesitation, they bare their hearts and souls.
Blessings are given to all.