So here we are again! The sun is shining today and it’s a good day. I wonder what the people in the supermarket thought yesterday as I sang and (sort of) danced around the vegetable section to “Happy”as it was played over the loudspeakers? It’s such a cheery (and ever-so-slightly annoying) song that I can’t help but join in!
My blogging friend Mags is encouraging me to send a video to 40 Acts about what I’ve been doing…It’s rather hard to make a video about a blog, blogs beoing a bit static! I tried to encourage Bib the cat to join in, but she was having none of it. Especially as I had roused her from her slumbers in her “safe place” away from Jasper, international cat of terror.
I will see if Jasper (I.C.O.T.) will join in with the fun later – he’s a good bet, as I made the mistake of showing him a screen with fish on it, and now he thinks that every screen is just for him with things to chase. Mr FD thought it charming, until Jasper insisted on trying to catch the ball on screen during the England match!
ACT 23: BOOST
Most people don’t have a clue about their value. It’s true across the spectrum: culture tells men and women they’re only valuable if they look a certain way, upbringings leave people insecure, job prospects have many feeling down about their worth. These people are in your circles, too. How much longer can they go on not knowing their worth? It’s time to give them a boost.
Talk about them behind their back. This one can be done really simply and still have a huge impact. Tweet at them telling them something they’ve done that meant something to you, spotlight them in an Instagram post, or casually mention in conversation at work how brilliant another member of staff is. Easy but profound.
Put a word in. Maybe they’d be perfect for an upcoming position at work or in church. Maybe they’ve achieved something recently that deserves to be publicly talked up. If you can think of even the smallest reason why bragging about this person could lead to greater things, then don’t hold back.
It’s easy to spot ten ways your best mate is brilliant, but what about people you find difficult? What’s great about them? It’s easy to dig out the worst, but search for the gold. We guarantee you can find something. Take time to really consider them, and then be as brave and bold as possible, and let them (and those around them) know.
And the full meditation is over here
With work all day I didn’t have a lot of time (or imagination!) for this. But I did have time to send an email to a friend. I don’t know him that well, as it’s usually when Friend Cathy is here that we see Richard, as the two of them get on very well together, but he is an extraordinarily generous person, giving time, money, possessions away to those less fortunate than himself (or just to others), both here and in Africa. He has gone through tough times, but he is still open hearted.
He replied: that is so kind and I’m very touched. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have been guided by good people. Out of my early religious experiences, I brought a principle that I’ve tried to stick with, based on the parable of the Good Samaritan – ‘we can’t keep crossing over’.
You won’t feel embarrassed next time we meet. I’ll refuse to carry your heavy bag or fail to open a door for you, and you’ll have cause to regret your kind words!
I know that the lovely things people write on my blog (Mags, especially, I’m looking at you!) touch me, and boost my well being, however undeserved they feel, so I hope this has done the same for Richard.
ACT 24: DATE
Lots of us – especially as we grow into adulthood – struggle making acquaintances into friendships. Building relationships takes time and effort. Today, put aside your busyness and agendas, and make the effort to cultivate an acquaintance.
Bring something nice in for whoever you’re with today – whether that’s in the office, gym, college, or school run. If you’re not going out, make a plan so that you’re ready for the next time you do.
Invite a slight acquaintance for coffee/to watch the match at your local/for a walk – whatever works for them. Don’t leave it vague – make a date!
Make a date with the neighbours. Make it worth their time coming over. Don’t scrimp on effort – give your best.
And the meditatrion? It’s here
Hmm. Not sure…
The only real “acquaintances” I have here are people like students, and the office staff I meet. Other people are friends…I have already overloaded most casual acquaintances with chocolate, so I think they’d think I was mad to bring something else in.
So I think the best way I can fulfil this challenge is to hold it off until next Friday, when I will go into the language school where I work and take in some biscuits or other goodies. When I’m teaching there, I often fancy a biscuit with my coffee, and there aren’t any, so I’ll buy a supply to go in the cupboard.
And there is one person who I have been meaning to meet up with, who has a weekend house near here – I will contact her and make a date when I can visit her (or she can visit me!) It’s nothing much, and it’s hardly a challenge, but it’s a start!
Jasper (ICOT) – here seen savaging his toy Nellyfant – also wouldn’t play ball over the video, and sank his teeth into my arm to show his displeasure at being involved. The fact my mobile phone casts a pink glow over everything that I’m filming also makes me think that this is a bit of a non-starter.