Several occasions collide in the next 5 to 7 days making it the obvious topic of today’s column. This Wednesday is Valentine’s Day but more importantly it’s Ash Wednesday, making Tuesday “Fat Tuesday,” aptly named because many Christians observe Lent as a sacrificial season of fasting and abstinence. Ash Wednesday is always the first day of the Lenten season which spans six weeks, and bears some semblance to six weeks we await for spring to arrive.
Lent is a preparatory period as we reflect and joyfully await Resurrection Sunday, widely known as Easter, which happens to fall in April fool’s Day this year. Perhaps you caught the irony, although I don’t believe the Romans were laughing on that first Easter.
But there’s still one more event on the calendar which coincidently coincides with the Lenten season this year and that is National Random Acts of Kindness Day which is observed on February 17th. Although this event is not widely known it as grown in popularity since its inception and it is celebrated by individuals, groups and organizations nationwide to encourage acts of kindness.
This past Christmas I had a young lady send flowers to an individual and the card was to read RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) an established organization in Russia, Ohio. Most recently I had a young person send flowers to a local business employee who waited on her but was obviously having a difficult day. She hoped the gift of flowers would provide encouragement to the recipient and let her know that she is loved. It’s these occasions that make the flower shop a rewarding place to work.
Doing random acts of kindness (RAK) is a modern day twist to the Good Samaritan bible parable. Since another common Lenten devotion uses the six weeks of Lent as spiritual self-improvement, with focus on an increased emphasis on prayer, fasting and almsgiving “random acts of kindness” truly fits the season like a glove.
We all know the old adage, it’s in giving that we receive, and well according to studies done by the American Physiological Society exhibiting kindness towards others may be the best way to improve our own health. So instead of giving up soda pop or candy for Lent, this year, consider doing a RAK daily. But if you still want to give ups chocolate for your waistline don’t forget to smile because one smile has the same chemical effect on your brain as eating 2,000 chocolate bars. Smiling boosts our immune system, elevates our mood, relieves stress, makes us look and feel younger, keeps us positive and best of all smiling is contagious!
· Put change in a vending machine.
· Hold the door open for someone.
· Do a task for someone without them knowing.
· Tell a joke.
· Pick up litter.
· Let someone go ahead of you in line.
· Compliment someone.
· Wash someone’s car.
· Write a thank you note for your mail carrier.
· Bake dessert for a neighbor
· Check in on an elderly neighbor.
· Put money on a stranger’s layaway bill.
· Tell someone why they are special to you.
· Donate your forgotten clothing
· Buy a coffee for a stranger.
· Shovel snow for a neighbor.
· Donate food and/or your time to the local food pantry
· Tell a manager how good your service was.
· Give a lottery ticket to a stranger.
· Call a friend you haven’t seen in a while to say hello.
· Take treats to a business that you appreciate; Post Office, Bank, Village or Church offices, etc.
· Read a book to someone.
· Donate a book to a doctor’s office waiting room.
· Tell someone how much you love them.
· Smile and say hello to everyone you see.
· Hold the door open for someone.
· Visit someone at the nursing home.
· Say thank you when you see service members; Village workers, janitors, mail carriers, etc.
· Make a busy bag for a family with young children.
· Bring your neighbors’ garbage cans up for them.
· Send dessert to another family at a restaurant.
· Give someone the benefit of doubt
· Volunteer at the Community Meal (Call Karen Schultz at 526-3091).
· Drive someone to a doctor’s appointment
· Take someone to the K of C or Eagle’s Breakfast
· Treat someone to carryout dinner
· Help someone carry, unload or buy their groceries.
This Sunday, February 11 Enjoy the Annual K of C Mission Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the K of C hall. Then from 4 to 6 p.m. the American Legion is having their Chicken Fry, complete with potato salad and dinner rolls, at the Vet’s Club. Eat in or carry out.
Thursday, February 15 the local Chapters of St. Vincent DePaul are hosting a Valentine Extravaganza wine tasting party beginning at 2 p.m. in the Fr. Jaekle Room of the Versailles K of C Hall. This is open to everyone 21 years and over. Later Thursday evening the Versailles Vets Club holds an open to the public Bid Euchre Tournament downstairs at 7 p.m. There is a $5 entry fee with an opportunity to win a cash prize.
Mark your calendars for St. Denis’ first Fish Fry on February 23.
Birthday wishes Francis McEldowney, Harold Schultz, Mary Miller, Maggie Shrock, Jean Shimp, Tricia Ingle, Jean Grieshop, Deb Godwin, Aryana Cordonnier, Kathy Subler, Kim Hayes, Shawn Kemper, Susan Meyer, Dakota Overholser, Kristin Lenox, Christie Boyd, Bruce Simon, Lucinda Todd, Baylee Roll, Nicole Berger, Mark DeMange, Dawn Luthman, Jenni Paulus, Peg Summers, Ola Schafer, Dave Miller, Judy Cochran, Terry Oliver, Angie Minnich, Mary Lou Francis, Jeff Stammen, Mary Bruning, Beth Schultz, Nancy Taylor, Samantha Porter, Eric Epperly, Tim Lewis, Vicki Monnin, and Avery Wentworth. Anniversary wishes to Tia and Andy Gehret (8), Lynn and Larry Hemmelgarn (27), Arlene and Bob Luttmer (30), Jana and Doug Reed (35), and Linda and Rob Kendig (46).
Please give your supportive and healing prayers for the many who are dealing with any of life’s countless challenges, and especially for Betty Brown, Dale Goubeaux, Lois Knapke, John Davis, Andy Zumberger, Jan Turner, Claire Owens, Angie Keiser, Jerry Paulus, Janice Berger, Janet Folkerth, Beverly Brown, Cyril Frantz, Denny Subler, Wanda Romie, Jack Borgerding, Alvira Marchal, Jane Huber, Earl Gigandet, Tony Gehret, Pooch Barga, Chris Apple, Ruth Wirrig, Wilma Heiby, Carl DeMange, Mary Seman, Marge Prakel, Orville Borchers, Mary Batty, Norma Magoto, Betty Kremer, Denny Grilliot, Samantha Smith, Virginia Smith, Anabelle Subler, Lois Youngker, Barb Goubeaux, Eileen Rahm, Cyril Voisard and those not mentioned by name who are recuperating, hospitalized, homebound and/or in need of our prayers.
Extend your heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Vickie L. Monnin (65). Also remembering the lives of Jim Fox, Linda Brandt, Leslie Bubeck, Patricia Francis, Joann Bensman, Ruby Singer, Ralph Hartle, Leo Wenning, Betty Ann Hoying, Wilma Monnier, Henrietta Hart, James Edward Petty, Sr., Richard Huff, Norman Cullars, Helen Canan, Werner Bruggeman, Bertha Bruening, Nicholas Bergman, Carol Kremer, Dale Sherrick, Gary Marchal, Tillie Paulus, Matt Mumaw, Ralph Grillot, Janice Boroff, Mildred Bey, Jan Donnelly, Ed Goubeaux, Gene Loxley and all those in our hearts but not mentioned by name as the anniversary of their passing nears.
“Smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde
“No act of kindness however small is ever wasted.” ~Aesop
“How beautiful a day can be when kindness touches it.” ~George Elliston
Kathy Magoto is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her weekly Versailles community column. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 526-3798. Feel free to contact her with Versailles news and tidbits. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.