In Kim's story, she told us that she encountered a man in the grocery store who, it was easy to see, was down on his luck; even having trouble paying a little over twenty dollars for groceries and not wanting to break another twenty. Kim ended up paying for his groceries so he could keep his forty dollars. She asked him if she could and I can only imagine is such a way that it was as if he would be doing her a favor. And that is how she told it. He helped her; not the other way around. Her mood changed in an instant to one of gratitude.
I agree that acts of kindness and generosity are a great ways to pull yourself out of a bad mood. In addition, when you have a realization or experience that allows you to gain some perspective, that is a powerful moment.
Kim challenged us to turn toward gratitude and do something kind this week. I may be grumpy occasionally, but I am fully aware of how fortunate I am and I do try to do good through regular charitable contributions . . . but because these are automatic charges to my credit card each month that have been going on for years, sometimes it does not feel like enough. This week when I was trying to think of something I could do in addition, the perfect opportunity presented itself. My brother is committing to complete 13 (point 1) half marathons in 2012 to raise money to fight cancer. Here is the link to my brother's page:
My dad (who is 63) has cancer. He should be okay, but it has been a tough road for him so far--many surgeries, radiation therapies, debilitating chemo and the overall uncertainty and worry . . . it takes its toll . . . but he is determined to fight and, so far, despite setbacks, he is winning.
I have known many others who have had cancer and are either survivors or have succumbed to the disease. In honor of my father and all others who have ever dealt with this terrible disease, I have contributed some money to support my brother in his commitment. In addition, I have committed to myself that I will complete one half marathon this year. I have been a runner for a long time, but it is has been five years since I've done a half marathon, so this is my year to do it again . . . to stand by my brother; to stand by my dad.