A Season for Kindness

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Can you believe it’s December already? Many of you spent the weekend with family, putting up holiday decorations. Some of you may have fought the crowds for some Black Friday bargains. A few of you may have even polished up your Christmas wish lists.  This year has flown by and on my mind this weekend is how we’ve found ourselves at the end of the “12 Months of Kindness” campaign.

What a great year it’s been! If you’ve been following along, you’ve completed 11 acts of kindness that undoubtedly impacted dozens of people and animals, if not more. You’ve posted kind sticky notes, picked up litter, donated toys, given up your place in line, sent cards to someone you care about… just to name a few. You should be proud of yourselves!

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I can think of only one way to end this little campaign of ours… and that’s to turn it over to you. You’re certainly qualified! This month I just want to hear about how YOU choose to show kindness to others. You might give blood, you might volunteer to serve a meal in a homeless shelter, and I know many of you will participate in a toy drive. This time of year brings out the best in people – the Christmas spirit fills us with love and generosity. You’ll bake and giveaway cookies, you’ll scoop snow from your neighbors sidewalk or maybe you’ll scrape ice from a stranger’s car windows.

I couldn’t be happier to have shared this year with you. I never imagined so many people would join this campaign so enthusiastically. You’ve inspired me and I can’t wait to hear how this story continues through your kind acts.

Happy Holidays!

Linus

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Giving Thanks with a Zuke’s Giveaway

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The holidays are upon us, but I started celebrating in October with my 3rd birthday. I’m a pretty lucky dog in a lot of ways, but this time of year reminds me just how blessed I am. I’m thankful for so many things! I’m thankful that so many people follow this blog and have participated in the “12 Months of Kindness” campaign. I’m thankful that companies like Zuke’s are kind enough to send me treats. And, I’m thankful for good friends. (Particularly those willing to wear silly party hats for my b-day).

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This month I get to combine all those things into the November kindness challenge! And even better, it’s free for you but could add up to $10,000 for the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund.

Cancer has touched so many of our lives. It has affected our loved ones, friends, co-workers, and neighbors. Did you know that 6 million dogs and just as many cats are also diagnosed with cancer each year? It’s heartbreaking news to so many people that think of their pets as family.

You may also not know how easy it is for you to contribute to finding a cure for cancer. Zuke’s has launched a “Fuel the Love to Fuel the Cure” campaign and will donate $5 to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund for every picture that’s posted to Instagram or Twitter with the tag #fuelthelove. It’s just that easy!

Zuke’s has also been kind enough to send me a box full of their all-natural, made in the USA treats and I’m going to share them with you, my friends. Post your picture, tag it #fuelthelove and also tag me @littledoglinus on Instagram or Twitter by 11/28/2013. I’m going to send FIVE of you a bag of Zuke’s treats out of my own personal stash.

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I hope you all enjoy the happiest of holidays this year. You will be in my heart and on my mind, as always.

Be kind and change the world,

Linus

Sending Kindness: a “12 Months of Kindness” challenge

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Does it feel like it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me? It’s only been a month, but sometimes those 30 days seem to drag by.

We all have busy lives. Kids, spouses, jobs, hobbies, volunteer work… these things take a lot of time but also give our lives meaning. These activities make us who we are and generally bring us together with other like-minded people.

Sometimes, though, it seems hard to make time to reach out to people we love/admire/appreciate because they are far away. It’s silly, really. In this day and age social media makes sending a little note very simple. I’m on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest… and yet I’m guilty of not reaching out to a lot of people that I enjoy.

That brings me to this month’s challenge in the “12 Months of Kindness” campaign. It’s a simple one that will cost you no more than a postage stamp or less.

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Just write a little note to someone you haven’t spoken with lately. It will let them know that you’ve thought of them, that they are special, that you took time out of your busy life to acknowledge their importance… even if it doesn’t say those things specifically.

Send it electronically or through the mail. It doesn’t really matter how it gets there, just do it. It may end up in someone’s mailbox exactly when they need a little kindness the most. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box on this one either! Maybe you are really good about keeping in touch with your friends and family. Send a note to a volunteer organization telling them how much you appreciate what they do. Leave a note in your mailbox for your mail carrier. Get creative!

All of you that read and participate in this kindness campaign mean a lot to me. You’ve certainly brought me great joy and I wish I could send each of you a personal note. I can’t wait to hear how you take on this challenge, so don’t forget to post your comment!
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Go now and spread the kindness friends!

Love, Linus.

With Compliments: a “12 Months of Kindness” challenge

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Winston Churchill

And give, we will! But in this month’s challenge, giving isn’t going to cost you a penny.

Did anyone ever tell you they liked your shoes? Your hair? The way you gave up your seat for someone elderly?

Felt pretty good, didn’t it?

A compliment is such an easy thing to give, yet what we get from them is huge. Mark Twain said he could live for two months on a good compliment. I couldn’t agree more, but if you need some reasons for giving a compliment, here are just a few.

Compliments are mutually beneficial and go a long way into spreading kindness, so that’s your challenge for the month of September. Just give away a compliment.

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Being a cute little dog, children love to snuggle with Linus. I’m always pleasantly surprised when they ask first if they can pet him. I’m pretty good at complimenting the children on their good manners, but this month I’m going to really focus on also complimenting the parents. They’ve clearly done a good job educating their child and I appreciate it.

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Please be sure to share your compliments here in the comments or on Linus’ Facebook page. Your stories always inspire my readers.

Go now and spread the kindness friends.

Kindness has taken root.

“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees.” – Amelia Earhart

I’m amazed and so proud of the way you have taken up these challenges. This idea that we can impact our communities through simple acts of kindness has spread to more than 30 countries already! Isn’t it just mind-boggling how kindness takes root and springs up in the most unexpected places!?!

This month, you’re getting two challenges for the price of one… they are still free and easy, and everyone can participate.

The first August challenge is: the Cut._MG_8767

You can do this! Just let someone go ahead of you. Lots of possibilities here my friends: could be in line at the grocery store, could be in the lunch line at your school cafeteria, could even be at home when you let your sister/spouse/child use the bathroom ahead of you. How about letting someone merge into the lane you are driving in?

I’m certainly not asking you to do this every time you are standing in line somewhere, but what if that one time you let someone cut they were able to get home to a sick child just a few minutes sooner? What if they were able to get to their interview on time and land that job they really need? What if those few minutes were the difference? Can you spare a few minutes to share a little kindness?

Part two of the August challenge: Introduce yourself.

My recent move has inspired this portion of this month’s challenge. Within days of the moving trucks descending on my new home, some of the neighbors came by with brownies & cookies.

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(In drastic contrast, I’ve been watching the sentencing of Ariel Castro recently and am appalled that he was able to imprison 3 women in his home for 11 years.) So, the other part of your mission this month is to introduce yourself to someone in your neighborhood. I’m asking you to trade in social media for being social just once this month. You don’t have to invite a stranger to your home or anything, but if you run into someone at the mailbox, say hello. Find out their name and something about them. Don’t you think if we make an attempt to get to know each other, kindness is bound to follow?

This one is harder to snap a picture of, but my readers love to hear about how you you’ve taken on these challenges so be sure to leave a comment here or on my Facebook page! Your notes inspire me to keep going as well!

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Go now and spread the kindness friends!

Let Kindness Start with You

The July challenge for Linus’ “12 Months of Kindness” campaign is 8 days late… and it’s my fault.

Back in December, I wrote down challenge ideas for each of the 12 months that lay ahead. I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t get stuck for ideas; I’d be ready to write every month. But sometimes, life gets in the way.

I have to travel a lot for work and I’ve been stuck an extra night on each of the last two trips due to weather or airplane mechanical issues. I’m preparing for a move in a few weeks to a new construction home and that means scheduling time with fence people, window treatment people, fridge shopping, etc. And then I caught a cold. I was feeling bad physically and also feeling bad about not getting this month’s challenge posted when it hit me…

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This is a kindness campaign! The kind of people that follow a blog like this don’t mind if it’s a little late. You are the kind of people that care about others – about their health and happiness. You do nice things for people all the time. You put others before yourselves on a daily basis.

So why have I been so hard on myself about this?

It seems to me that my biggest critic is… me. I suspect this may be true for many of you as well. My friends and loved ones don’t care if I’ve gained a few pounds or if there isn’t a dining table in the new house right away or if I have to cancel a lunch date because I’m stuck in an airport somewhere – but these things weigh heavily on my mind.

So, I’ve scrapped the planned challenge I had for July and instead I’m going to ask each of you to show a little kindness to yourself. Give yourself a compliment, treat yourself to a mani/pedi, go ahead and have dessert. Let’s bring this kindness campaign back home because the world might be a little brighter if we feel good about ourselves.

One of my favorite things about Linus has always been his little snaggle tooth. Let’s learn to love our flaws too.

IMG_3262And if you are feeling brave enough, post a comment here or on Linus’ Facebook page telling everyone one thing you love about yourself. You may be surprised how freeing it will feel.

Love,

Linus’ mom

 

Reflections on a Half Year of Kindness

It’s June which makes it the 6th month in my “12 Months of Kindness” campaign. Half-way through! I just can’t believe how fast these months have passed and couldn’t be more thrilled with the way you have embraced each challenge.

IMG_3545This project is about making the world a better, kinder place. It’s about committing to just one small act every month that causes another being to have a better day. It’s about the possibility of setting in motion a chain reaction of kind acts that motivate others to carry on what you’ve started.

I told you in the beginning that this thing could be big and six months into it, all I can tell you is that I am NOT disappointed. You’ve left kind notes for random people, made donations of all kinds, literally picked up trash in your communities and educated yourselves (and me!) on a variety of mental illnesses.

Yep, you are good. You are kind. You make me smile every day.

I sat down to write this month’s challenge and instead ended up reflecting on all that we’ve done. It occurred to me that the act of reflection itself can have a great impact. When someone does something nice for you, don’t you feel nicer yourself? I think so!

So… I scrapped the challenge I intended to set before you and instead we are going to spend this month reflecting on what others have done for us. We’re going to celebrate those kind acts in hopes that sharing them will inspire others.

Kindness really is this simple.

There are Super Heroes among us! If someone did something nice for you or you witnessed a random act of kindness, please take a moment to share it here in my blog comments or on my Facebook page. I’m certain your stories will fuel us through the rest of the year.

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Go now and spread the kindness friends!