Today, I’d like to share with you a lovely blog post by our friend, Margretta. She is a teacher and she has a lovely food blog called miseenplace.us. I was feeling really sad today when I read her latest article “27 Random Acts of Kindness“. Her words immediately lifted my spirits and provided me with exactly what I needed: a way to try to make things better. I hope it will inspire you, too.
This is a food blog, so I ask your forgiveness in advance because this post has nothing to do with food. But I’m a kindergarten teacher and today’s tragedy in Connecticut hit very close to home. My heart breaks for the parents and families involved in this random act of violence. Which is what brings me to write this post. I was walking my dog and thinking about the children in my class and how horrific it would be to have anything happen to them and how horrific and senseless what happened to those children today was, not just the children who were shot, but those who survived and will have to live with the memories. All that tragedy. And as the phrase “random act of violence” bounced painfully around in my head, that other phrase we used to hear more often came to mind: random acts of kindness. It came to me that in answer to this, perhaps I could do a very small thing and try to perform more random acts of kindness. 27 to be exact. One for each victim and the shooter. It also occurred to me that if more people made this pledge, perhaps that would be a good thing too. I don’t believe that my acts, or yours if you agree to take on this pledge, will lessen the pain of those parents who lost their child today, but if lots and lots of us take it upon ourselves to put 27 random acts of kindness out there into the world, maybe, just maybe some other act of random violence will be a little less likely to happen or at the very least, the pain of this day will have a little something added on the other side to balance it out.
So, take the pledge. Please comment and let me know that you do and then pass it on to your friends. Spread the random kindness and share your stories if you like. I plan on writing again and sharing some of my 27, but here’s my first one:
My first act was small, but I’m counting it to help give a picture of what I mean. Just after I’d made my pledge to myself about these acts of kindness, I was hurrying home to make dinner. My dog and I encountered another dog and her owner. We stopped for the usual sniffs and I was getting ready to walk on when the owner told me her dog was recovering from surgery. Now, my stomach was rumbling and it was cold, so what I wanted to do was wish her dog a speedy recovery and go home to a warm house and dinner, but I reminded myself of my pledge and asked her what the surgery had been. She proceeded to tell me the story of the discovery of her dog’s cancer, surgery and recovery. I was glad I listened and she seemed glad of a chance to tell the story. We left each other smiling.
And that is #1 on my list. Small, but a beginning offered to me by the universe to see if I really meant it. I do believe that truly listening to someone is an act of kindness and I took an action that I normally wouldn’t necessarily have taken in listening to her instead of trotting on my way. What will your first act be?
Well, my first act was to buy coffee for the woman in line behind me at the Starbuck’s Drive Thru today and I can’t tell you how happy it made me to see her smiling and waving once she became aware of what I’d done. I’m looking forward to the next 26 acts. Will you join me?
I think I’ll make these Palmiers for my lonely, elderly neighbor ladies tomorrow.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp. kosher salt
- 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Stir together the sugar, cinnamon and salt and sprinkle ½ cup on a cutting board or clean countertop.
- Unfold the puff pastry and sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar mixture.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 13" square (pressing the sugar mixture in as you go).
- Now fold it up: start by folding each side in halfway to the middle. Fold, again, so both folds meet at the center line. Now, fold one side on top of the other so you have a total of six layers.
- Slice the dough into ⅜" slices and lay cut-side up on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Either bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes per side, or place the sheet in the freezer until they are solid enough to place in a bag and freeze for later.