Insights on Friendship

Be a friend indeed to someone in need.

Want to be a great friend? Check out this article from Emma Pattee, writing for the NY Times. Then, read the inspiring story after that.

“If you want closer friendships, the first step is to decide you’re going to do something about it. ‘We think about relationships as things that happen to us, but the truth is that we make them happen,’ psychologist Dr. Sue Johnson said. Getting closer to your existing friends requires making the time and being intentional.”

“Before we can attempt closeness, we need to have security. Through his research, Dr. Amir Levine (a psychiatrist and a neuroscientist)  has identified the five foundational elements of secure relationships, which he refers to as CARRP.”

        • Consistency (Do these friends drift in and out of my life on a whim?)

        • Availability (How available are they to spend time together?)

        • Reliability (Can I count on them if I need something?)

        • Responsiveness (Do they reply to my emails and texts? Do I hear from them on a consistent basis?)

        • Predictability (Can I count on them to act in a certain way?)

Click the image to read a lot more from Pattee.

Insights on Friendship
Image by Jan Robert Dünnweller

A Terrific Story of an Act of Kindness

Good deeds sometimes get recognized in a big way. Consider this heartwarming story. As reported by Alexandra Deabler for Fox News:

“A Denny’s waitress is feeling very thankful after a generous couple of diners gifted her a car.

“Adrianna Edwards of Galveston, Texas, used to walk 14 miles a day to get to her job at the diner chain. The entire journey took her more than four hours. ‘You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,’ Edwards said to KTRK of her long trek.”

“Edwards was in the process of saving to buy a car when a kind couple took matters into their own hands. The pair, who reportedly requested to remain anonymous, visited the restaurant last Tuesday morning for breakfast. It was then they learned of Edwards’ long trips to and from work each day.”

“After eating their meal, the couple left. Only to return hours later with the surprise of a lifetime — a 2011 Nissan Sentra they had just purchased, KTRK reports. The couple was happy to help Edwards out, but requested that she pay it forward to others in need, which the woman has said she intends on doing.”

Insights on Friendship
Adrianna Edwards of Galveston, Texas, used to walk 14 miles a day to get to her job at the diner chain before a couple gifted her a 2011 Nissan Sentra. (KTRK / KHOU)

 

Time with Loved Ones

Treasure every moment. Be inspired by “Time in a Bottle.”

As we have shown before, music can be inspiring. And we can reflect on the lyrics.

One of my favorite musical artists of the early 1970s was Jim Croce. His best-selling song (and number one hit) was Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”

But, unfortunately, Croce died at age 30 from a plane crash. He was just entering his prime. And he left a wife and a very young son.

Today, I dedicate another popular Croce song to my wife Linda — “Time in a Bottle.” Here are Croce’s lyrics:

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with youIf I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
I’d save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with youBut there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time withIf I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you

But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with.

 

Croce in 1972, photographed by Ingrid Croce

 

An Inspiring Book of FREE Poetry

Set a goal and go for it. You can do it.

It was my honor to assist David Fox in publishing a free book of poetry.  This is another excellent example of what we can do regardless of our limitations. As Nike says, “Just Do It!”

David is a true inspiration. Despite being born with Cerebral Palsy and having suffered from mental illness in his 20’s, David has written poems for children and adults for over 20 years. His poetry has appeared in Bell’s Letters, Ceremony, Great South Bay Magazine, Humoresque, The Oak, Opossum Holler Tarot, Performance Poet’s Association Literary Review, Poetic Expressions, Poets’ Roundtable, Reflections, SMILE, Tale Spinners (Canada), Visions, Wanton Words, Whispers of Poetry and Write On!! Poetry Magazette. He is still a participant at UCP Long Island.

Click the image to access his book. Note: A free, simple login is required. 🙂

An Inspiring Book of FREE Poetry

 

The Value of Kindness

Being kind benefits YOU.

Kindness not only benefits the  recipient. It also is beneficial  to the provider. Including health-wise.

Consider this podcast from Knowledge@Wharton:

Can kindness, love, and a strong sense of community actually make you healthier and happier? Research says that it does. A 1978 study looking at the link between high cholesterol and heart health in rabbits determined that kindness made the difference between a healthy heart and a heart attack.

Kelli Harding, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, revisits that research and other ground-breaking discoveries in her new book, The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness. She joined the Knowledge@Wharton radio show on Sirius XM to talk about the intangible factors behind good health and how a little kindness can go a long way. 


 

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday

PLEASE give back.

In this blog, giving back is an important topic. For example, see Giving Back to Whom? Volunteering and LOVING It. And Embarking on the Next Stage of Life. Now we look at giving back on Giving Thursday. IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY to give back.

To honest, until recently, I was not familiar with Giving Tuesday. After learning about, I think it’s a great idea. And one that encourages giving back.

According to its Web site:

“Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”

“One of the best ways to get involved is in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in your own community. “

Click the image to visit the site and learn more

Giving Back on Giving Tuesday
 

Influences on Happiness

What really makes us happy?

As we have noted before, happiness is a key goal for all of us. Regardless of our stage in life or physical condition. In fact, happiness can affect our  physical feelings by reducing our angst (anxiety). For example, see Living Better and Being Happier and Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges. Today, we consider influences on happiness.

What Are the Key Influences on Happiness?

Thomas Oppong, founder of AllTopStartups,expresses some interesting insights on this topic for Medium:

“Humans spend billions of dollars every year looking for happiness. Many of us seek happiness in all sorts of places, hoping it might be bought or found. Others expect people close to them to make them happy.”

“Yet, there is  lots of research that proves this is a waste of time (not to mention money). True contentment is closer than you think. We often think it’s our life circumstances — problems, issues, setbacks, tragedies, and misfortunes that make us unhappy. And that if we could change those obstacles, our circumstances would be different, and we will finally be happy. We easily assign the cause of our unhappiness to these external factors.”

“It turns out, it’s not our circumstances that make us happy or unhappy. According to research, we’re happiest when thought and action are aligned, even if they’re only aligned to do the simplest of tasks.”

“Your happiness is not dependent on where you live, what you can afford, a better career or relationship but from your cultivating a healthy and balanced state of mind.”

Click the image to read more.

Influences on Happiness
Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash