Saturday, September 13, 2014

Can An Act Of Kindness Make A Difference?

This week was the anniversary of a tragic event in America, the repercussions of which reached far beyond our shores. The children who were not even in school when this happened are now seniors in high school and college freshman. As those of us, who can remember clearly, remember and honor those who died in this and other events that are part of who we Americans are, wonder how can we change the world into a kinder and gentler place.

Can an act of kindness really make a difference? We talk about it, we practice kindness every day, and yet is it making a difference? The short answer is of course it is. The long term answer we have to wait and see. Our mission at SPPRAK® is to change the culture for our children, it is the reason for the SPPRAK® pack and why we want people to share acts of kindness with us on our Facebook page.

 As a nation America has been a welcoming place, but due to the circumstances that has had to change. Unfortunate but true. This makes our mission more important. Acts of kindness can change people, your volunteering to serve your fellow man is not in vain.

 While opening a door for someone, or buying another person coffee may seem like trivial acts in the big scheme of things, they really aren't. Because you don't know the effects that your kind actions have on someone. Like the saying goes, be kind because everyone is fighting some kind of battle themselves. Being kind isn't a Polly Anna activity, it is meant to make other people feel they are important because they are.

 Kindness should reach across all barriers and shouldn't really have to diminish your beliefs, unless of course there are issues with those in the first place. Kindness does not require you to lay down, but to rise up and conqueror the unjust. Mother Teresa certainly did not have monetary gains but she was one of the richest women to have ever lived, simply because of her loving and kind spirit. She has effected millions with this message.

Today is a day to be kind, today is the day to change someone's life, to offer a hand up instead of beating someone down. Think about your words, your life will be richer by making someone else's life richer. Then share your story with us and our followers on SPPRAK® Facebook page

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Littering Sidewalks With Kind Words

Recently SPPRAK spent a Saturday asking people to write a word that meant kindness to them on the sidewalk with chalk. The goal was to litter the sidewalk with kind words. Another goal? To litter our world with kind words.

Every day we can spread "joy" "beauty" "thoughtful" "helping" "love" "respect" into the lives of those we know and those we don't know. Make someone's day-#kindnessmatters.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Attention!! Blog With A Twist!!

We are always writing our opinion of what kindness looks like, how to make others feel better and so on. Easy to say right?  How about a link to a kindness story?

Basically it is about 5 friends who travel the country spreading random acts of kindness. They are young, which explains why living in an RV might not be too much of an issue! The reason this is important to SPPRAK? It is the fact that these are more young people living random acts of kindness. The world is not lost to our children, they are well aware that there are issues. The part that they may have trouble with is the ability to find the solution.

We, as human beings, are capable of both extreme heartlessness and extreme kindness. We each have to choose, and while the world out there does need our prayers, it also needs us. You can make a difference where you are, it is up to you to choose what kind of difference you will make. Will you be a positive force in the world, or will you just watch others be negative forces?

The world needs you, the world needs kindness. #kindness matters 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sharing Kindness at School

Remember the good old days? Sure you do, it is what we talk about constantly, how things have changed, and we seem to focus on what’s wrong not what’s right. But today is our children’s good old days! There have been some changes for the better; today instead of cowering from bullies we refuse to accept that behavior as a right of passage to grow up. 5 year olds can operate an IPad without a second thought, have an app problem? Ask your ‘tween and they will solve it in no time. One problem with today’s world for children and adults alike is the inability to shut off the world. Use to be you could go home and shut your bedroom door and read and dream and escape.

Today that is not nearly so easy for any of us. However, no matter the time we live in, we still want to raise good decent human beings, with compassionate attitudes toward others. The earlier these values are taught (or caught) the better. We all know that a 5 year old is a sponge who wants to learn everything, and will one day be that 15 year old who questions everything. That is a fact no matter the time!

What can we do to help children learn these values? In a way that is non threatening and speaks to the fun side of learning? Shameless plug for our SPPRAK pack program! Colorful kindness notes plastered all over a large banner, what could be more fun? Catching others in the “act” makes for much more compassion than complaining about the youth of today.  Our program is unique in that everyone gets recognized, for simply being kind to another. There may be a citizen of the month, but there will also be a banner full of kindnesses that will continue to grow. We can’t turn back those clocks but we can take advantage of what we know and teach our children about being kind to one another.

Children catch whatever we throw their way, kindness and compassion or hatred, what do you want to be caught? Right now, stop and take a look at our banner program. If you don’t have children of your own, or your children are grown, please do not dismiss this as not including you. There are many schools that would love to have this program that cannot afford the cost. But if you can bless them with one, think of the positive change you can effect. How will you know? Well, SPPRAK follows each school with the program, trust us you will know! 

Get to clicking, watch those videos and share SPPRAK with your friends, because (say it with us) Kindness Matters!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Sharing Kindness

Be the kind of kind friend that you would want to have! What? We all know those people, the ones that remember everyone's birthday, take a few extra minutes in the morning to say hey, let someone else go first. You get the idea. Do you ever look at them and think, wow, I want to be more like that. It's like they read the “how to be kind to others without thinking about it” book. Is there even a book like that? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, how did they learn to be kind and how can you, in turn, follow their example?

One piece of advice: Start small and simple. For instance, today say hi and smile at every one of your coworkers. Including the one that you do not care for. Remember you are practicing kindness, it isn't about YOU, this kindness thing. Lets say you smile at 20 people today. Your face may hurt a little, and some may wonder what you had for breakfast instead of coffee, but those 21 people had a little better day, (we included you!).

You spend a significant amount of time with the people you work with, more sometimes than you spend with those you love. What kind of work environment do you want to have? It doesn't even matter to us where you work, YOU can change the workplace. We know, everyone at your place is _____, we will let you fill in that blank. Guess what else we know? Everyone at your place also likes kindness. They like it when people are kind to them, and they like to have the opportunity to be kind.

So, today is your day! Your opportunity to show a little kindness, to be the change you want to see! Get up, get out and get to SPPRAKin! Oh, and share your kindness tales with us at SPPRAK!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Kindness Matters

Kindness matters. It is what we say, it is what we do. But does it matter? Are people watching? Is anyone paying attention? SPPRAK believes it matters, but do you? Are you buying into this Kindness movement?

 After last Friday, there are 500 additional people running around with SPPRAK green sunglasses. Maybe they leave them in the car, maybe they gave them to their kids, took them to their office, etc. That makes 500 additional people thinking about kindness. If each of those 500 people perform one act of kindness a day, that means 1000 people will be affected, since performing an act of kindness makes a positive difference in those that perform the act as well as those that receive the kindness. So then those 1000 people go on and perform an act of kindness the next day, well there you go 2000 people affected.

Doesn't it reach even further than this though? Think about yourself and the last time you performed that act of kindness. You felt so good, as did the person you were kind to. Put you in a better mood for that whole day didn't it? You were nicer. More than that one person benefited from your act of kindness. And that is how this Kindness movement works, it matters little the size of the kindness, it matters that we do it because it does matter. In a world that is full of bad news and people behaving badly, you can be the change you want to see.

Be kind today, it matters!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Conversation About Helping Others

Today, a conversation about helping others. Not the one that you give money to the cause, understand that we do not want you to stop doing that EVER, as many problems can be solved by money. Some things though, take another kind of help.

Personal, get involved and get dirty help. And sometimes that kind of help comes with another payoff we don't expect: pain. There are people out there and we are sure you are one, since you are reading a kindness blog that have this heart and drive for helping others. Those are the ones that this blog is for. It is for the friend who has given anyone a shoulder to cry on, then taken another step to help even complete strangers. Need food? Here is where you can go. Sick? Here is a clinic that may be able to help.

We don't do this for the glory, we do it for the good. It is our mission. You become invested in that person, many times not even knowing the full story about how they got to where they are. Their success becomes our badge of honor of sorts even if the helpee is the only one who knows what we have done. And then it happens...failure.
The person who had such promise returns to the life, to the unhealthy habits or relationship they fought so hard to escape. And, as when they succeeded, we now wear their failure, what could we have done? After all, things are supposed to go well, people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. That is the thing to remember though, that people are changed and saved from their circumstances every day. By people who are kind enough to help. Sometimes many times. Should we stop trying? NO. Should we take another's setback personally? NO.

There are times that these trying circumstances might be our test. How serious are we about showing kindness to people who are not the easiest to receive it? Or those that we think are not really trying to help themselves as much as WE would like. In most things in life, there is probably a payoff. The payoff to changing is a new and different life. The payoff to not changing is comfort, because even if it is bad, it is their bad. The payoff to being kind is knowing that no one can take that kindness away from that person, that where ever their personal journey may take them, be it gutters or mountains that you were there, you were kind.

What you do does matter. The times that make all this advice of kindness difficult is when it involves people we love, family, friends. We are not objective in these times because we are invested in the outcome. We expect more of them then we do complete strangers and when they fail we feel it so much deeper. There is no advice, no answer for these times.

 However, maybe these few lines from the poem, “Anyway”, by Mother Teresa may help you in your kindness mission:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; Give the world the best you've got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.