Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Good Stuff: 1/27/13 – 2/2/13

Can't wait to see the girl!

Like many of you, I participate in a local book club.  Some of my fellow members also attend church together – St. Mary’s or St. Peter’s Catholic Church here in Joplin. As we move closer to Ash Wednesday, many of us have taken to discussing our upcoming Lenten promises and what we might do to make this year’s Easter season spiritually meaningful to us. I offered my idea of attending as many traditional Lenten rituals as possible during the season: Stations of the Cross (a very powerful and somber experience), Reconciliation (a time to reflect inward and assess our personal strengths and weaknesses), Holy Thursday (a time to reflect on the importance of embracing an attitude of service toward others), and Good Friday (a time to reflect and remember the foundation of our Christian beliefs). Additionally, I plan to add some extra community service projects - I just haven’t decided which ones yet. Fortunately, our culture is moving in a direction that not only embraces community service but also encourages it as a way to demonstrate the importance of individuals’ involvement with the world around them. This week, while I am in Chicago visiting my daughter (and freezing my tail off), I bring you some news and events that highlight the power of the human spirit and how some of us are listening to each other and working toward making the world a friendlier place for everyone. I hope you, too, will find inspiration from these stories and, as always, find ways to go out and make your corner of the world a little better, too. 

It is not often that people with deeply held and completely opposing viewpoints actually risk sitting down and listen to one another. We see this failure to listen and learn in our government, in our communities and in our own families.

This sentence appears in an article written by LGBT activist, Shane Windmeyer as he describes the growth of his relationship with Dan Cathy, COO of Chick-fil-A in an article for HuffPost. While I understand the wariness and doubt expressed by many who commented on this piece, I also think that Windmeyer’s and Cathy’s willingness to sit down, have a respectful conversation, and actually listen to each other provide hope that others in leadership positions might be able to do the same. Also, I think it is important to point out that, while Chick-fil-A continues to provide grants to programs that focus on “youth, education, marriage enrichment, and local communities”, the company has, according to Windmeyer, discontinued its funding of controversial, anti-LGBT organizations. The point of this article is how two people with opposing views were willing to come together in an effort to develop some level of respect toward each other and, in the case of Chick-fil-A, understand why their actions were deemed hurtful to a portion of the population. Think about how much better – and healthier – our world would be if more leaders were willing to risk criticism from their followers in an effort to promote the common good.

This video is great fun to watch, but, kids, don’t try any of these stunts at home. I don’t want to be held responsible for any injuries you might incur!

GOOD is challenging readers to commit one percent (1%) of their time to volunteer efforts over the next year. I must admit, this might be a difficult time commitment to make, but please consider making a change in your habits and schedule – at least during the Lenten season. Here in Joplin many of us have seen the difference volunteer efforts can make in a community. If you ever feel discouraged or unappreciated, check out this video and see the impact of the tens of thousands of volunteers who have worked so tirelessly to help us recover. Together we CAN make a difference in the world.
The most comfortable shoes!

Have you ever wanted to participate in a TOMS giving trip? Would you like to see, first-hand, the children and communities who benefit from the purchases of consumers who bought shoes and sunglasses from the company that made giving a corporate business model? TOMS is sponsoring a contest that will provide 50 fans the opportunity to accompany TOMS representatives on their next giving trip. Are you passionate about serving? Do you work for or support an organization that promotes philanthropy? What is your story about why you support TOMS? Head over to their website and submit an entry for their Ticket to Give contest. 

Finally, I want to leave you with this week’s Be the Love challenge. From the God Article, “Put together a small care package for someone who is struggling. One example would be a care package for someone who is homeless (canned protein, toothbrush, etc.). As you assemble the package, think about the person who will receive it (yes, even if you don't actually know them yet). The care package itself, isn't the "Be The Love" project -- at least not directly. It's the excuse to have a conversation. Ask them if you can share the package with them. When giving it to them, ask them how they are, where they are from -- let the conversation lead where it will.” Oh, man. I don’t know if I can handle this one or not. I’ll see what I come up with.

What good stuff did you find this week? Will you do anything special for Lent this year? How about that Be the Love challenge – can you do it? And, do you have a pair of TOMS? We want to know your thoughts – feel free to share in the comments section below!


  1. My daughters love Toms, but they go through them pretty fast!

    I think I'll let all three choose what I give up for Lent, but I also am looking for something to add to my life during Lent.

    Nice post.

    1. Thanks, Eli. I like to add stuff to my Lenten adventure, too. It makes this season a time for spiritual growth, don't you think? And I know what you mean about the TOMS - my daughter wore a hole in the toe of one pair because her feet grew so fast right after I bought them! But, thankfully, mine have lasted well (and I wear them more than my kids do!) And, they can't be beat for comfort!
      Thanks for stopping by - love your blog, and hope to see you joining the conversation over here again!