Have a Great Day, Neighbour!

Ever had one of those enormously frustrating days where absolutely nothing goes as it should? 

After waiting for nearly six weeks, I attended a very disappointing appointment yesterday. I had been almost looking forward to it in the hope that it would bring a resolution to an ongoing medical issue that I’ve been having, only to be called ‘darling,’ talked at for five minutes and then be told that what I needed should have been done by the person who referred me six weeks ago, which she hasn’t been able to do because of the condition that has warranted the referral in the first place. Continue reading

Advertisements

The Importance of a Good Father

While this story is six months old, I saw this on Facebook this morning and wanted to share it.

A single father took his six year old daughter for a Valentine’s Day dinner, and during the meal was given this note…

image

It reads:

Hi there! Sorry to spy but my husband and I saw you out with your little date and were so impressed with what a great Dad you are. From two adults who grew up without dads, it’s so important to have a male role model at a young age. Keep up the good work Dad! Dinner is on us! 🙂 

The note was left anonymously, and the father was overwhelmed by the gesture…

It’s so true that a positive male role model will help young females form healthy relationships with men in later life, and it’s unfortunate and wrong that many stories about men and fathers focus on the negative.

So, for all the wonderful fathers out there – this one is for you!

 

#1000 Speak: Acts of Compassion and Kindness That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

image

Today is #1000 Speak for Compassion, a blogging event that was designed by Considerings, and Yvonne Spence, and today sees over a thousand bloggers from all over the world coming together to talk about compassion, kindness, support and caring for others.

The world can be a harsh and depressing place, and with the thousands of daily stories of violence and cruelty that are flashed across the media on a daily basis it is easy to forget that there are still good people out there – millions of good people who do beautiful things for others on a daily basis without ever asking for anything in return. In celebration of the event, I thought it would be a nice idea to show you some of these examples of human kindness.

 

image

After thousands of people were left without electricity when Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast, people allowed strangers to charge their phones to allow them to contact their relatives and let them know that they were alright.  Image

 

image

This local dry cleaners will dry clean an outfit for free for an unemployed person going to an interview. Image

 

image

A New York Police Officer gives some boots to a barefoot man. Image

 

image

A soldier rescued a baby rabbit and raised it, dedicating hours of his time to make sure it was healthy.  Image: Joshua M. Bisnar

 

image

A couple with a newborn baby were given this. I’m sure that there are thousands of new parents that understand how wonderful this is.  Image

 

image

A world class marathon runner slows down to help a disabled man drink some water.  Image

 

image

A man stopped running to catch his train so that he could help an elderly lady who was struggling with her bags.  Image

 

image

A police officer handcuffed himself to a young woman who was attempting to commit suicide. He saved her life.  Image

 

image

This young boy won a huge scavenger hunt contest. He donated his winnings to his neighbour that was battling leukaemia.  Image

 

image

This pizza place, Rosa’s Fresh Pizza in Philadelphia, is renowned for it’s $1 slices of pizza. Customers also get the opportunity to ‘pay it forward’ by purchasing a slice of pizza for a homeless person – the initial idea was that a customer wrote a message on a post-it-note and it was stuck onto the wall as proof of purchase. However, the scheme has now become so popular that there are no longer any room left on the walls, and so the owner, Mason Wartman now has to keep track of the purchases using the till. Over 8,500 slices have been given to the homeless in the last nine months alone.  Image:Reuters

Compassion is not just for the old, or the young. Showing kindness does not depend on what colour, or religion, or sexual orientation someone is. We’re all human, we’re all unique, but we’re all equal.

What could you do for someone today?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

A Beautiful Story To Make You Smile: There’s Still Hope For Humanity!

Axani and Gallagher in Bangkok

Axani and Gallagher in Bangkok

I hate watching the news. The world seems to be an increasingly violent and depressing place and each new day brings stories of cruelty, hatred and injustice that leave me feeling helpless and in despair of humanity. However, every so often I will see a story that reminds me that there are still wonderful people out there…

Last year, Canadian Jordan Axani and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Gallagher, booked a three week round-the-world vacation for the Christmas holidays, but then they broke up before the trip took place. However, instead of letting the spare ticket go to waste, Jordan turned to Reddit in an attempt to find another Canadian girl with the same name as his ex who was willing to join him. Asking for nothing in return, his criteria was simple:

1. Be sane, smart and (hopefully) interesting.

2. Have always wanted to travel, but maybe haven’t had the opportunity or cash to see much of the world.

3. Be named Elizabeth Gallagher and have a Canadian passport.

4. Be ready for a rather spontaneous life experience that will, one day, be an epic story that you’ll tell your kids.

5. Pay it forward. I’ve been lucky in life and this is me giving back to the universe. Do something similar today.

The story went viral, Axani received thousands of applications and the lucky recipient was a 23 year old student, Elizabeth Quinn Gallagher, from Nova Scotia. Gallagher, who has a boyfriend (apparently he wasn’t hugely impressed with her plans to spend Christmas with a complete stranger), initially thought the idea was a little crazy, but was quickly put at ease by Axani in a number of conversations over the phone. They met in the airport departure lounge at Toronto on 21st December and visited eight different places – New York, Milan, Venice, Prague, New Dehli, Khao Lak and Hong Kong, before returning on the 8th January. Because Axani stopped planning the trip further when he and his ex broke up, there were no hotel rooms booked, but when Marriott International heard about it, they provided separate rooms at each stop of their journey.

Paris

Paris

New York

New York

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

It seems that they developed a great friendship, joking on their return about Axani’s fear of heights and Gallagher’s frequent ability to get lost, they had a wonderful time and I’m pleased for them both.

However, the beauty of the story doesn’t stop there. Axani was inspired by incredibly touching message that he received from and eight year-old boy who was losing his sight and wanted to see the world before he lost his vision completely, and has now set up an charity organisation with his brother called A Ticket Forward to help people travel but don’t have the money.

What a wonderful story, created by a kind and generous person. Perhaps there is hope for humanity after all!

If you wish to make a donation to A Ticket Forward, simply click this link

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks

 

Karma’s a B*tch, Right?

ImageSomething that wasn’t particularly nice happened to someone I know at the end of last week. They didn’t come to any physical harm – they weren’t hurt in any way – but their life has now been turned upside down because of this event. And you know what? I was secretly really pleased.

I am a bad person.

At one point in my life I really needed their support – I was experiencing an extremely traumatic time and this person had the ability to stop it. They didn’t. To make matters even worse, they added fuel to the fire and took great delight in doing so. Consequently, when I heard about what had happened, my insides did a little happy dance and my first thought was ‘Karma’s a b*tch.’

I am a really bad person.

The concept of Karma originated in ancient India and features in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Sikh religious philosophies. The eastern interpretation generally focuses on the idea of cause and effect, although this is widely argued between the different religions. In the western world, the term has been generally adopted to symbolise the term ‘what goes around comes around,’ in which a person’s actions, good or bad, will result in consequences for that particular person.

ImageThe issue of religion and spirituality is usually something that I try to avoid. Life is cruel, and all too often bad things happen to good people (one of the many reasons why I am quick to dismiss certain elements of religion), but I believe that everyone is entitled to have faith in whatever they choose and should be allowed to do so without fear or judgement or retribution. However, every so often I see examples of karmic retribution, both positive and negative, that do make me question the idea of a higher power:

An acquaintance once told me a story that had happened to her neighbour. She lived in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and was extremely lucky that her house had managed to survive relatively unscathed. A few weeks after the hurricane hit, she returned from a weekend away to find that her house had been ransacked and her possessions stolen, including sentimental things that her children had given to her. She was devastated, but there was very little that could be done amidst the chaos that had ensued in the aftermath of the hurricane, so she did her best to clean up the house and carried on with her life. In her back garden was a pool that had been filled with debris from the disaster and looked like thick black sludge, so a while after the robbery she paid for contracters to come and clean it up as it was becoming a health hazard. At the bottom of the pool was a dead man and a bag that contained her possessions and those of another household. It turns out that the man had deliberately come to New Orleans to take advantage of the looting that had ensued. The police concluded that he had fallen into the pool and drowned because it was dark and he couldn’t see where he was going.

But was this karma? Did the man get what was coming to him in a ‘what goes around’ fashion? Was his death something that he deserved, or was it simply bad luck? If he hadn’t been in the house to rob it in the first place then he wouldn’t have fallen into the pool. What I do know is that I certainly wouldn’t wish anybody dead.

When researching this post I came across this article on spritiualnow.com, that listed the Dalai Lama’s instructions for life. It was so inspiring in the fact that it was simple and makes perfect common sense and I wanted to share it with you all.

Image1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.

3. Follow the three R’s:

–  Respect for self,
–  Respect for others and
–  Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great relationship.

7. When you realise you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

8. Spend some time alone every day.

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

11. Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.

14. Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

15. Be gentle with the earth.

16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

19. If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.

20. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Perhaps the lesson, if indeed there is a lesson to be learned, is that life is what we make it. Regardless of religious beliefs, I like the idea that if you work hard and are a good person, good things will happen.

karma-owned-revenge-2Here’s where you get the chance to contribute:

Have you experienced what you consider to be karma, good or bad? Do you know anyone who has?
What is your opinion of karma? Do you believe in it’s existence?

I’d love to know what you think!

Note: this is not an opportunity to attack different religions – any comments that are offensive, rude, abusive towards myself or others or preach at me will be sent straight to the trash…

Happy Blogging!!

Picture 1: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk
Picture 2: funnyjunk.com
Picture 3: thechive.com
Picture 4: ouchmagazine.com