Category: stories

Spreading Love – a Name is Important

When you are at the grocery store, coffee shop, fast-food restaurant, etc., how often do you use the name of the person serving you? If they don’t wear a name tag, do you ask?

“Why is it so important to use people’s names? A person’s name is the greatest connection to their own identity and individuality. Some might say it is the most important word in the world to that person.

It is the one way we can easily get someone’s attention. It is a sign of courtesy and a way of recognizing them. When someone remembers our name after meeting us, we feel respected and more important. It makes a positive and lasting impression on us.” (from Career Coach)

Using someone else’s name is such a simple, yet impactful, way to connect with them. And for those people who serve the public, this is a sign of honor. Using their name makes them visible and significant.

So as you are out and about, spread love by using the name of the person serving you. And tell them you appreciate their service. It will brighten their day. It did for a lady whose name is Vicki that I have encountered more than once.

Always Spread Love

This is my father (I’m named after him). He will be 92 in March. He is an amazing man. He and my mother were married for 66 years the year she passed away. They raised 6 kids. He is a retired minister who is still deeply loved by everyone who has met him.

For almost a year now, one of my brothers calls or visits Dad at his apartment to record a daily podcast they call “Hymns with Jim” where Dad shares a story about a hymn and then sings it. People from all over America are tuning in to this. It is inspiring to hear Dad share from his heart.

This is just one way my dad has found to spread love. When it was allowed, he would visit those on the constant care unit of a nursing home to help them smile, listen to their stories, sing a song, and then pray with them. Spreading love. Always spreading love.

My mother’s father – another retired minister – was the same way. Grandpa loved people and this was more than evident on the day he died.

On that morning, like every morning, Grandpa read the Bible and then he prayed, by name, for everyone of his 19 grandchildren. He prayed for others, too.

Then he got up and drove to the 3 hospitals in our town. He was there to visit people he knew were there. He would let them know someone cared. He prayed for them. He brightened their day. Then he went to the nursing station to ask who had not had any visitors. Grandpa then went to those rooms, introduced himself, and then commenced spreading more love. He did this at all 3 hospitals that day – Grandpa was around 85.

He then went home to eat a quick bite of lunch. He then went outside and started up his mower, and began mowing his small backyard. Somewhere in the middle of mowing, he had a major heart attack and died instantly.

Both my dad and my grandfather are/were masters of spreading love. They never tired of doing this. If you were to meet them, you would not get by with a mere “hello”. Oh no. They would ask you questions about you. They would ask about your family They would make you smile and feel good. They would spread love.

My challenge for myself, my own family and now you is that we learn from these examples and do more to spread love to those we meet. No one has to be a stranger. Not when we’re spreading love. Just a smile. Saying “hello”. Being kind.

Spreading love.

Be a Noticer

Help spread love! Be a noticer!

Go, Leader, Grow!

One of the podcasts I enjoy listening to on my morning walks is “The Professional Noticer” by Andy Andrews. Andy’s podcast is “built around Common Sense, Wisdom, and Laughter.” Andy calls himself a Professional Noticer – someone who pays attention to the great individuals and ideas all around him and then shares that with the rest of us.

This morning on my walk, I was thinking about this. How am I a noticer in life? How can being a noticer who can bring out the best in others and even myself? What will I “catch” when I begin to notice more. How will my eyes be open to things I haven’t noticed before? How can I notice more of the positive people and things all around me? I certainly don’t need to focus on the negative. And neither do you.

Would you like to be able to “tune” your…

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I Can Still Help

As I walked through the parking lot, all I could think about was the dire diagnosis I had handed my patient Jimmy: pancreatic cancer. Just then, I noticed an elderly gentleman handing tools to someone working under his stalled car. That someone was Jimmy.

“Jimmy, what are you doing?” I yelled out. Jimmy dusted off his pants. “My cancer didn’t tell me not to help others, Doc,” he said, before waving at the old man to start the car.

The engine roared to life. The old man thanked Jimmy and drove off. Then Jimmy got into his car and took off as well.

Take-home message: Kindness has no limits and no restrictions. –Mohammed Basha, Gainesville, Florida.

How did S.M.I.L.Y. Start?

Years ago, my wife, Laurie, started telling me “so much I love you!” in a Pennsylvania sort of way (at least that’s what my mother would call it. And then she did something that kicked this affirmation up a notch.

She took a plastic practice golf ball and wrote S.M.I.L.Y. on it with a Sharpie, and then she hid it in a place that I would eventually find. Just a simply reminder of her love for me – in a fun way. Then she explained that I then had to hide it for her to find.

So began the surprise reminders of our love for each other. We’ve done this for years now. When I find a “S.M.I.L.Y. ball”, I smile. I know she loves me. She has brightened my day many, many times.

Don’t you want to feel this way? Don’t you think others want to experience this somehow?

That’s how this blog and challenge that I will be sharing all started.

There is too much hate, violence, tension, and stress in this world. Many people just keep their heads down and try to live life without any interference from those around them. Others seem to want to pick a fight. And others just fade into the background of life, invisible.

I would like to change that. I have challenged myself to break out of this dreary mold and start paying attention to people around me. I believe:

  • People need to be loved and appreciated.
  • People are desperate to know that someone believes they matter.
  • People can be kind to one another.
  • People can change our world – one act of love, kindness, appreciation at a time.

No, I’m not going to be hiding S.M.I.L.Y. balls around my community (although, that is not a bad idea!). But I’m going to be more intentional in expressing my love, kindness, and appreciation of others. So, I just created this:

I carry this token and this card with me. Actually, I carry more than just one of each. I keep them in my car. In my pocket. And when I see someone needing their spirit lifted, I will give them both. When I see someone who has demonstrated love and kindness, I will give them a token and this card.

Have you ever been in the drive-through lane at a coffee shop and the car in front of you paid for your drink? I have. I then would pay for the person behind me. Pay it forward. That’s the concept here.

You see someone doing something kind for someone else, give them a token and card. Why? To tell them that you “caught them in the act”. To say “thank you”. To encourage them to do it again.

That is the spirit of S.M.I.L.Y. To express love to one another. Not necessarily a romantic love, but a love that says “you matter, you make a difference”.

Do want to join me in this challenge? “Oh, I could never do this with a complete stranger!” you may be saying. I believe you can. You can take this one simple, random act of kindness and change someone’s day, week, year, life.

Follow this blog to be inspired. Share a story with me that demonstrates the best of humanity. I’d love to read about. You can share stories on our Facebook page. I can then share these great stories here on the site.

Look Out for One Another

I love stories like this!

“I was waiting in line to pay for my groceries while maintaining my 6ft distance. When this man cut in front of me. He didn’t appear to notice me. I didn’t say anything maintained my distance. When it was time for him to pay he reached in his back pocket and pulled out a small note pad. He forget his wallet. He looked a bit disappointed and embarrassed. I stepped up and told the cashier I would take care of his groceries. (Which consisted of Milk and Chocolate Chip Cookies) He was more then grateful. He thanked me and off he went. The cashier tells me. “He cut you off and you paid for his groceries.. Why??”

“I said, I hope that if one day my Dad forgets his wallet someone will step up and buy his Milk and Cookies” 🥛🍪

With all the negativity going on in the world..I thought it would be nice to share this moment.”

Do Something Nice

He came into the cafe one day asking me for some money. I looked at him and asked him “why don’t you have a job, you know nothing is given to me for free right? He said “Well, I have a lot of felonies and no one wants to hire me for that, so now I had to turn myself to the streets and get money the only way I know, stealing and asking for money. I was short staffed that day.”

So I asked him, “You want to work? I have a job for you!” His eyes opened wide and his smile made my day!!!! He said, “I’ll do anything for some food.”

So now for almost 2 weeks, he has been on time for his two-hour shift…. helping take out the trash, washing dishes, etc. Once I pay him guess what he does? He buys food from my restaurant (HE DECIDES TO PAY) because it makes him feel good!
He gets a discount!!!!!

Do something nice for someone today and don’t judge them just because they out there asking for money for we don’t know their situation… some deserve another shot. God gave me this blessing so why can’t I bless others?

Cesia Abigal