Y U M S
A simple SNICKERS Candy Bar
in the supermarket
is worth about $0.50 on sale. . .
The same bottle in a bar costs $1 in a vending machineIn an airport gift shop or hotel it can be worth up to $3 or maybe even more. . .
The SNICKERS bar is the same, the only thing that changes is the
P L A C E
Each place gives a different value to the same product.
When you feel like you are worth nothing
and everyone around you belittles you,
stay there. . .
Have the courage to change places
and go to a place
where you are given
the value you deserve. . .
with people who really appreciate
YOUR WORTH. . .
Don’t settle for less!
You will find
will add to Some One Else’s
L E S S. . .Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .
NO JOKE. . .
Life can kind of get a little difficult
and busy at times. . .
It’s real easy to focus
just on ourselves
and not take time to
s t o p
to help others
(which is really one of the absolutely
s e l f i s h
things we can ever do, , ,)
b u t
when we give in to giving
it makes a universe of difference. . .
Just one little act of kindness
of actually being a real live
C A R I N G C A T A L Y S T
is one single act
c h a n g e s
the lives of the
g i v e r
r e c e i v e r. . .
G I V E I N
G I V I N G
Well. . .
Is it better to GIVE
than it is to
RECEIVE. . .
DOESN’T IT. . .
I learned a long time ago
I’m not a really good
G E T T E R
I don’t receive well. . .
not even Compliments
but in case you needed any
here’s some inspiration. . .
The scientific evidence that generosity is good for us has been scant, even as the benefits of selfishness are obvious. Recently, however, a neurological study published in Nature Communications found there may be some biological truth to the maxim after all. The study showed that generosity changed the activity in people’s brains in ways that increase feelings of happiness, even if the generous act is small or only imagined.
Scientists at the University of Zurich and elsewhere began by recruiting 50 men and women and asking them to complete questionnaires about their current mood. They then were given 25 Swiss francs (about $25) once a week for the next month. Half of the 50 were asked to spend this on themselves. The other half were instructed to choose a new recipient each week on whom to spend the money. In other words, half the volunteers agreed to be selfish and the other half to be generous.
At the beginning of the study, participants slid into an M.R.I. machine with a computer screen that flashed hypothetical scenarios involving monetary gifts to a loved one at a personal cost. The M.R.I. recorded their brain activity as volunteers decided how they would react to each situation.
Afterward, the researchers again asked participants about their mood, especially happiness, and compared the results with the responses on the initial survey. Those who agreed to give away money reported feeling significantly happier than those who planned to spend it on themselves. They also made more generous choices during the M.R.I. testing, agreeing to more scenarios that came at a personal cost. And their brains worked differently, too. When the study subjects who had pledged to spend money made generous picks, the M.R.I. scans showed greater activity in a portion of the brain, the temporo-parietal junction, associated with altruism. And that portion of their brains was also showing greater functional connectivity, communicating more readily with another part of the brain, the ventral striatum, known as the brain’s reward center.
In effect, the pledge to be generous primed people to be more giving. There are probably evolutionary undercurrents to this process, says Thorsten Kahnt, who was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Zurich and co-author of the study and is now an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Our early ancestors might not have been so eager to share food and labor with one another, he suggests, if those actions didn’t entail some reward — including the potent, if abstract, reward of happiness.
In the month following the M.R.I. study, researchers provided the promised cash to each volunteer and checked in about its dispersal. For the most part, the volunteers who had agreed to give the money away did. Though the experiment lasted only a short time and involved only simulated gains and losses, Kahnt says that “it does show a mechanistic linkage in the brain between doing something nice for someone and feeling better about yourself.”
Here’s a suggestion:
Use yourself as the ultimate
be your own lab rat. . .
E X P E R I M E N T
for just the next 26 days:
(That’s right, just till the end of 2018)
G I V E
without any expectation of anything in return
G I V E
G I V E
G I V E
without any strings, threads, ropes, cables attached
without ands, buts, ifs, unlesses, excepts, or’s, untils
G I V E
u n c o n d i t i o n a l l y
G I V E
uhhhhhhhhhhhhh. . .
after all. . .
T i s t h e S e a s o n !
and more. . .
it could be
l i f e c h a n g i n g
y o u
a n o t h e r
f o r
e v e r
(uhhhhhhh, that’s way past a SEASON)
Simply be the Caring Catalyst
Y O U A R E
It’s usually the first thing that comes to mind
when someone says:
H A N U K K A H
Adam Sandler and his famous song. . .
now don’t be fooled,
usually it’s the SEASON OF LIGHT is
s i l e n t
Sometimes the greatest message come with the tune without a lyric. . .
a n d
Sometimes it’s good to just listen to The Message that’s not spoken
H E A R D. . .
Hanukkah began at sunset last evening. . .
mere hours a way, still. . .
The message of Hanukkah is one that spans generations and touches on the very foundation of Jewish continuity; it began with Sunset last night;
teach us all a lesson we really need to learn?
1. Even on the coldest nights, the menorah will always burn bright.
2. Our children will pass HANUKKAH on to their children, who will pass it on to their children . . . forever. . .
IF WE ACTUALLY TEACH THEM THAT LIGHT OBLITERATES DARKNESS ON EVERY LEVEL!
3. Even after the greatest destruction, we continue to kindles the lights.
Terrorists could not stop Rabbi Shimon Rosenberg from lighting the menorah in Mumbai, India, where his daughter and son-in-law had been murdered just weeks earlier.
4. It brings light, and light pushes away so much darkness.
The Jews in Paris, France, even after the most horrific terror attacks, were not frightened to live and celebrate as proud Jews.
5. When a small menorah stood for justice and freedom . . .
6. . . . even after all else was seemingly destroyed.
Jews in the Westerbork transit camp in Holland light candles on the seventh night of Hanukkah. Some 106,000 Jews, including Anne Frank and her family, were deported from Holland to death camps in Poland through Westerbork.
7. And we lived to see the lights return to illuminate the world once more.
A giant menorah is kindled at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
8. Brave young men and women risked their lives to ensure that Jewish people will live in safety and security in generations past . . .
Israeli soldiers around the Hanukkah lamp in the bunker on the Suez Canal, 1971.
9. . . .and on to the present day.
10. So that we may celebrate in freedom!Hanukkah & Giving Thanks
Hanukkah is a special time for us to say thank You for all the little and big miracles in our lives. When we look into the beautiful, pure flames of the candles we remember that no day is just another day. There are blessings around all of us every moment, just waiting for us to notice them.
This year during Hanukkah, consider the following three ways to say thank you. (And not only on Thanksgiving.)
1. Write a letter.
In a recent experiment, people were asked to write a short paragraph about someone who had transformed their lives. After they wrote the paragraph, the experimenter handed them a phone and told them to call the person that they just wrote about and read them what they had just written. Some of them didn’t know the number. Some people went to cemeteries to read their letter at the gravesite of the person they hoped could hear their appreciation. Others reached the person they wrote about and broke down crying as they read their words out loud.
Across the board, the participants’ happiness levels rose by as much as 20 percent just from this exercise. So try writing a short Hanukkah card or email to someone that changed your life. It’s best if you send it, but even just writing it reminds us how blessed we are to have inspiring people in our lives.
2. Keep a gratitude journal.
On each day of Hanukkah, write down three new things that you are grateful for each day. This trains our brains to search for the positive in our lives. After a month of keeping a gratitude journal, people begin to think more optimistically and clearly. They stop constantly scanning the environment for the negative, and they notice others’ strengths instead of their weaknesses. The half hour after lighting the candles is a special time for thinking about the new blessings of today. Share them with your family as you sit around the menorah. We look into the flames shining with hope, and we remember our own ability to turn darkness into light.
3. Act gratefully.
Do one small act of kindness each day of Hanukkah. Open a door for someone. Leave a note somewhere that will make someone smile. Pay for the person’s coffee who is behind you in line. Take a coat you never wear and give it to someone on the street. Give an anonymous donation. Smile. Send a Hanukkah gift to someone who needs it. These small actions increase our own feelings of gratitude and create a chain of kindness.
4. JUST BECAUSE SOME ONE FOR THE NEXT 8 DAYS
Maybe you’ll be in front of someone in line at a drive thru Starbucks
You could be so creative with this. . .
whether it be
Send an anonymous gift card
or leaving an envelope of money
or bringing candy or cookies on the porch
or putting money in a parking meter of someone’s who’s about to expire
or being a SECRET SANTA when there’s no secret Santa Party. . .
Here’s the DEAL:
THE C E L E B R A T I O N O F L I G H T S
can last way past 8 nights
or 365 Days
you just don’t so much want
A L L O W
Here’s the Simple Message:
Let’s not be about
L I G H T I N G C A N D L E S
so much as
I L L U M I N A T I N G L I V E S
T H E L I G H T
Y O U C A R R Y
I S A L S O
T H E B E A M
Y O U S H A R E
Light a Life
Warm a Heart
Illuminate A Soul
Obliterate A Darkness
S H I N E
F L I C K E R
G L O W S
Well. . .
Would you. . .
C O U L D Y O U
win the LAST BROWNIE ?
I love this clip from Notting Hill
courtesy from Wing Clips
at the beginning of the week of
T H A N K S G I V I N G
It’s an amazing scene, isn’t it?
Each guest sitting around the table trying to vie
for the last-very-much-wanted-Brownie
by telling their own personal tale of woe–
the very saddest of which
w i n s
The Brownie. . .
So what’s Y O U R Story. . . ?
Would you focus on
your lack of income
your lack of good looks
your lack of incredible health
your lack of physical mobility or skills
your lack of a great relationship
your lack of professional standing
your lack of awareness of just how good you actually do
H A V E I T ?
Even on a Thanksgiving Week
it’s sad isn’t it,
that so much of our lives are consumed with thinking
about what we Lack in LIFE
than all of the things we have overwhelming been blessed?
S O M E T I M E S
it actually takes a traumatic experience
or at least
a severely rugged turn of events
to make the mundane blessings
we usually take for granted. . .
e x t r a o r d i n a r y
Like the familiar old adage:
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT, TILL IT’S GONE
So here’s the ultimate
T H A N K S G I V I N G D A R E :
Y O U R B R O W N I E. . .
turn it in
for the Pumpkin Pie—
The O N E
You G I V E
with all of the trimmings
b u t
S T A N D A R D
with the more-than-usual exception
that’ll you’ll exceed
e x p e c t a t i o n s
for everyone else’s sake. . .
Y U M !
Dish up another Serving. . .
O U T t h a n k
everyone you know. . .
don’t even make it
c l o s e !
Some would say it’s the ONLY question. . .
Some would say WE all do it, but only with a small
Some would say. . .
What say Y O U ?
It’s never really a matter of to serve
or not to serve
as much as it is
WHO’S SERVING WHOM?
I use to play a game each Fall when Youth Groups would get back together again from Summer vacation. A nice, kind of lame Ice-Breaker that would allow us all to get to know each other and re-acquaint with old members graduating and new members moving up. It went something like:
Are you more of a Mountain or a Valley?
Are you more of a Lake or a Ocean?
Are you more of a Forest or a Desert?
Are you more of a Jingle or a Symphony?
Are you more of Lion or a Lamb?
Are you more of a Ladle or a Bowl?
Even now as I read those examples, like you, I’m answering them, maybe in a different way that I did well over 30 years ago. . .
Hey, we’re allowed to C H A N G E aren’t we?
CHANGE IS THE ONLY THING THAT’S CONSTANT
and that it’s literally inevitable
and at times very exhilarating,
it still doesn’t always have to be obeyed or observed. . .
Anyone who practices any degree of
knows how absolutely the Benefactor
receives so much more than the Benefactor-ee. . .
Being in hospice since 1994, I’ve found that,
without a doubt,
I am one of the most selfish person’s I’ve ever met,
or heard of. . .
Once you not only POSSESS the Ladle,
but actually USE it,
or account of repay,
Life becomes a series of
G I V I N G S. . .
G I V I N G S
that are intoxicatingly addictive. . .
YOU CANNOT GIVE AND NOT,
N O T,
NOT WANT TO GIVE MORE,
So. . .
Are you more of a Mountain or a Valley?
Are you more of a Lake or an Ocean?
Are you more of a Ladle or a Bowl?
Are you more SERVING or SERVED?
the answers that need no pondering are the most truthful;
especially since we KNOW before the Questions are asked !
Here’s to a little more Ladle-Living for each of us. . .
even if it means make-shifting a handle
on the not so shiny bowl
we’ve been carrying around for way too long. . .
CHANGE THAT CAN BE CONSTANT
. . .e v e r y t i m e !
and simply remember the greatest of truths:
Hand in Hand
we go. . .
or not. . .
The survey won’t lie,
will it. . .
Are you ready:
What’s the worst thing someone could say about you
about your life’s vocational choice:
A) YOU DIDN’T DO YOUR JOB
B) YOU DIDN’T DO YOUR JOB WELL
Maybe there should be a
category. . .
There are studies out there that basically states:
NOBODY C A R E S. . .
We chronically confuse the feeling of effort with
the reality of results. . .
Psychologists have long noticed what’s sometimes been called
THE LABOR ILLUSION
and it kind of rains on your Labor Day Picnic;
When it comes to judging other people’s work,
we might say we’re focused only on whether they did a good job
quickly and well–
but really we want to feel they wore themselves out for us. . .
For me it goes back into my history
that has always had me believing
the harder I work,
the happier I make others. . .
It was how I first tired to impress my parents
and then my supervisors
and then my co-workers
and then my friends
and now. . .
So how do you answer the survey?
Would you be hurt if people called you lazy
if they accused you of not working hard
or would you take more offense
not working well
. . .or smart?
Maybe there really should be a
C) HE DOESN’T CARE
Maybe that would be the most offensive thing
that could be said of you
your ethic. . .
The old cliche
could hauntingly be true:
PEOPLE DON’T CARE HOW MUCH YOU KNOW
UNTIL THEY KNOW HOW MUCH YOU CARE
There was an actual survey taken
which posed the question:
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
A FOLLOWER ASKS OF THEIR LEADER?
You would think it would have to do with
some kind of
A C T I O N
H O W E V E R
The most requested
and the number one question
of followers about the Leader was
DOES THE LEADER CARE FOR ME
The survey showed that followers wanted to know more
about the fact that the Leader
C a r e d
than the fact the Leader was
C o m p e t e n t
or that the Leader
could take them to a higher level. . .
They just wanted to know
before they fell in line:
DOES THE LEADER CARE FOR ME ?
So. . .
what say you?
How do you answer the survey?
A) YOU DON’T DO YOUR JOB
B) YOU DON’T DO YOUR JOB WELL
C) YOU DON’T CARE
Which would be the worst someone could accuse you?
Maybe the only way to truly to answer the Survey
is to merely
E L I M I N A T E I T
A Caring Catalyst
enough to never even have to pose the survey
Maybe. . .
it just comes to down to your
i n t e n t i o n:
A) MAKE MONEY
B) SECURE BENEFITS
C) S E R V E
or to just
with every opportunity afforded,
and when an opportunity was present. . .
Y O U
created i t
What say y o u ?
uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, , ,
what d o you ?