January 25, 2015

Don't leave it to chance - plan to be kind

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There's a big movement that's been going around for several years now called pay it forward. The idea is that you pay for the person's coffee who is standing in line behind you at Starbuck's, or other places and ideas, among other different random acts of kindness.

The thought is that random acts of kindness lift your spirits at the same time as it lifts the mood of the person who receives your gift. Both are definitely smile-worthy pursuits.

I propose that we can do better than be spontaneous gifters of good feelings and I propose that we can do so through the planned activities in an Optimist Club.

Most Optimist Clubs will perform projects or activities throughout the year with an emphasis on programs that involve or benefit youth. What if we encouraged them to do good things more often and involve more people? Instead of only providing a benefit to children, what if they were to provide community-based programs for adults too? What if their first thought was to perform planned acts of kindness?

A planned act of kindness is a scalable activity; it can be as big or as small as someone wants to make it. Perhaps a club might stand on the corner of a busy street and offer free hugs to everyone who passes or perhaps it might take a group of teenagers to Six Flags. The only difference is that rather than being random, the Optimist Club plans to do kind activities in advance.

Don't you want to be a part of such goodness? Then join an Optimist Club and serve others with kindness. Click here to find an Optimist Club near you or send me a message and I will help you get a new Optimist Club started in your community. Share optimism!

January 19, 2015

Do the right thing. Always.

Experience Optimism MLK
Two weeks ago, I attended the movie "Selma."

The movie depicted Martin Luther King's leadership of the civil rights movement in the United States in 1965; specifically, it detailed the events leading up to the march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge as black Americans made their way to Montgomery to register to vote.

Beaten and tear-gassed on the first attempt, Martin Luther King knelt and prayed and then turned his followers around on the second attempt. Although they could have continued to march, he feared the violence that would ensue and determined to wait for the adjudication of a court order to limit or enhance the nonviolent actions of the civil rights marches. This was a wise, respectful, and much criticized decision. 

Such was the plight of the negro in the south in the 1950s and 1960s. As I watched the movie, I cried at the indignity that was placed upon fellow human beings and the grace with which it was accepted. Their grace was a survival mechanism, I'm sure. Look away, walk away, and live to fight another battle, another day. 

It saddens me that the battle continues today; not for all, but for some. Recent shootings of young black males in cities like Ferguson, MO and Cleveland, OH and the choke hold death of Eric Garner in New York, NY highlight the fact that black males must raise their hands in submission rather than question why they are being approached by a law enforcement officer. 

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. Government offices are closed and it has been declared a national day of service. I wonder if it should instead be named a day of integrity; a day dedicated to doing the right things, and being just towards all.

Martin Luther King said, "The time is always right to do right." I think that time is now. 

January 17, 2015

Talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet

We are couple weeks into the new year. Have you kept your resolutions?

In addition to resolving to lose weight and save money, among other things, at the beginning of a  new year many also resolve to have a more positive outlook on life. That happens when you talk about good things.

  • Instead of gossiping, talk about happiness.
  • Instead of sickness, talk about well-being.
  • Instead of debt, talk about wealth. 
Be grateful for all that you have in your life and your positive outlook will shine through. 

However, sometimes we need a little help to keep the positive outlook shining brightly. You know what will help? Join an Optimist Club. 

When you come together with others in an Optimist Club, you promise yourself, in front of witnesses and friends, to look on the sunny side every day. And just like the second line from the Optimist Creed, soon you will be talking about health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet. 

When you join an Optimist Club you find optimism and when you share optimism with others, your positive outlook becomes a way of life. 

Click here to find an Optimist Club near you and join. If there is not one near, please let me know and I will help you start a new Optimist in your community. 
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