Monday, November 23, 2015

Ego be Damned: True Altruism

With Thanksgiving on the horizon, I’ve got a heartfelt thanks… and a valuable message to set in the center of tables.

To the message: There are many ways to give. I’m thinking back on a day when a woman noticed the rough time I was having. Without parceling off the incremental details of this day, I’ll never forget this woman who tugged her husband’s arm as they headed to their car. She said something to him before turning around and asking if I needed help. She didn’t have to do that. She could have ignored what was happening and continued on with her day.

Another of my favorite giving reminiscences is the paying it forward at toll booths. One day I rolled up to a toll, when EZ-Pass was on its ancient system, to be surprised when the attendant waved me on by. Of course she first had to explain that the motorist in the vehicle ahead of me paid my fare. After mentioning this to my mother she explained the new fad…how some motorists were paying it forward at toll booths. I liked that altruistic act so much that I tried it myself a few times. I got a kick out of watching from my rearview mirror the vehicle behind having to get schooled by the attendant the same way I had.
There was another time when I took the altruism a step further. One evening I was standing in a grocery checkout line behind a couple who didn’t have enough money to pay for their groceries. As they discussed items to put back, I told the cashier I would pay the amount they were short.

And then there is my favorite story…the day I bumped into a customer I met at work. I was on my way into Macy’s and she headed the other way when she stopped to show me her new bundle of joy. “Aww…she’s so cute,” I cooed, glibly adding, “I wished I could keep her…” The rest of the story is today’s history. At the time however, my husband asked, “how are you going to babysit a baby when you already have a job. Well, I managed to do it… for two years I wouldn’t trade for anything.

One thing I can positively say about altruism. It feels as good to give as it does to receive. I’m especially big on random acts of kindness, whereas I struggle to embrace mindless acts of giving. It is hard to feel good knowing there are people starving 365 days a year around the clock. I don’t have to ask, or wonder what hungry people feel on days when help is closed. Shoe having been on the other foot I know. Me, and those in close proximity to me were grateful, eternally grateful, especially around Thanksgiving to receive, but if ever there is a cause to give my all to fix, this is it.

Now, my nose is not so glued in books that I don’t get why reading is the very last necessity people think about when focused on keeping food on the table and a shelter in place. I do get it. It’s one of the reasons I am so patient about inspiring reading. I know for a fact my head was not in books then, the way it is today. I simply could not spare a few days…or even a few hours…barely a few minutes to think about more than what was going to happen the next day.

But now I’m a finger-licking reading connoisseur. Finding the right book is key, which I’ve been sacrificing many cool points (for 5 plus years) drawing attention to reading. I never would have believed reading works like a light at the end of dark tunnels.

This year I give a heartfelt thanks to the authors whose stories lifted my spirits and made me physically feel better. The titles are listed below. Ten will make my 2015 Favorites List. My hope is readers get as much as I did out of the reading experience, and pass the entire list forward!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Number One Dating Mistake

It took reading Linda Yellin’s memoir to prompt writing this post.

As it happened to be, I found Linda’s book, The Last Blind Datestuffed in one of my bookcases. Apparently I must’ve opened the book, sighed on the opening page, and subsequently snubbed the story thinking it was about to go where I had been in grade school. And I know. I’m already thinking ahead. Be nice. Do unto others as I want done unto me. (My thoughts on the book here).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Cutting-edge Education

Alrighty, FINALLY finished reading Grace Jones’s memoir; and Bob Herbert’s Losing Our Way in close concert [my thoughts here and here]...and was inspired to peel off another layer of skin...thanks Grace... to write this post in acknowledgment of Veteran's Day.

The sections on education in Losing Our Way I couldn’t get my thoughts off the irony in the argument. The clash to maintain a system where every one of its adversaries are by-products of this system (in a basic sense) was striking.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What is Too Much Information?

Living in an age where privacy can only be found if you move beneath a rock, then makes this question very easy to answer.

Just look up the word annoying.

It’s true. If it annoys, it’s too much information for the annoyed.

With that question answered and out of the way, I’m currently reading Grace Jones’ memoir ‘I Will Never Write My Memoirs.’ Hope that wasn’t too much information, which by the way…while I’m on the TMI subject; TMI really is subjective. Be it a book, blog post, an article, or even all those how-to, do-righteous, guess where I am, what I ate, how I feel, or guess what happened to such-and-such feel-good/feel-miserable tweets and FB posts, I can either ignore it, or Will over time and energy it takes to invest in reading it. Thank goodness there is a choice.