We’re grateful not only for the good in our lives, but for our ability to improve the lives of others. Remembering that the holidays are difficult times for many, recognize and increase the ways that you uplift those around you every day.
The stories behind every face would surprise us. Have you taken the time to talk to and learn about someone who wouldn’t normally be in your spheres of interconnection? Have you ever looked at everyone around you in a store and wondered about their families, histories, losses, and the difference that they’ve made for others?
Compassionate connection to others is a skill we need to continually work at developing. I remember the story of my mother trying to get to the hospital to be at my father’s side for his last breath, and how my brother drove to get her there. No courteous driver awards for him that day. When someone cuts us off in traffic, are we quick to anger, or do we focus on keeping everyone safe? In our reactions to the world around us, are we coming from a place of judgement and egocentricity, or are we concerned with the well-being of others? Wherever we are on that variable scale, today we can be better – and tomorrow, even better.
We can tell how grateful we truly are by how we act; the clearest expression of gratitude is kindness. There are many ways you can expand your kindness footprint. Donations and drives fill needs in our communities; outreach and advocacy inspire an informed public to act; and daily human kindness connects us to others. I have an autistic friend with a talent for making every baby smile. He can calm a wild tantrum in a store – how’s that for a superpower? What’s YOUR superpower?
This Thanksgiving, let’s make a commitment together: we’re going to make the world a better place by valuing our own empowerment to do good for others, and putting gratitude into action through both random and intentional acts of kindness.
We can’t believe it is the holiday season already, but we are READY. In October, November, and December we make holiday-themed meals at our second wednesday chef adventure.
Last night the season began with superhero volunteers preparing a creative “spooky super supper” buffet for the residents at SafeHouse of Seminole. Spider dogs, mummy dogs, mashed potato graveyard, string cheese witches’ brooms, and spooky fruits & veggies complimented a pasta dinner with field greens salad. The most important part (dessert) included witch hat cookies, dirt & worm cups, and Halloween cupcakes.
Special thanks to the kids at SafeHouse who not only put up with our caped volunteers’ silly spooky shenanigans, but even joined in dancing and singing with the animated musical “who let the dogs out” halloweiner pup.
As the season of giving begins, think about creative ways that you can impact the lives of others in your community. You’re not just preparing a dinner or hosting a needs drive, you are investing your time to make a positive difference in the world. Volunteers lighten burdens, uplift hearts, and create light and joy.
Thank you to our BE. Orlando volunteers for BEing involved, and to everyone who invests the time to make a difference.
The last Thursday of April, 4/28/26, is Pay it Forward Day. At BE. Orlando, we take every opportunity to celebrate kindness and compassion – and today is one of our favorite days! 🙂
At Central Florida Earth Day last weekend we had our Humanist “Good Without God” campaign messaging displayed at our vendor tent. Most people who came by thanked us for sharing the message that all humans have the potential for good, for creating intentional opportunity for secular individuals to gather in service, and for providing a voice to those feeling unfairly and negatively judged because they don’t share the Christian faith perspective. One person had tears in her eyes: “I thought I was alone.” But some guests at our tent were angry, befuddled, sarcastic, and even mean. All were great conversations, but those who were surprised by our existence or afraid of our message are the reason why it is essential that Secular Americans be vocal and visible – when safe to do so – in our commitment to integrity, ethics, compassion, and kindness.
According to the Pay it Forward site, people from 75 countries participated in Pay it Forward Day in 2015 with individuals working on proclamations in 42 states & 48 cities.
For the 2016 international Pay it Forward Day (PIFD) they are aiming to inspire over 10 million acts of kindness around the world. Imagine the difference that would make!
They suggest some options:
Collect smiles: How many people can you make smile today?
Click here for more ideas from BE’s Random Acts of Kindness Week post
While Pay it Forward Day focuses on marketing the concept of selfless giving for just one day a year to promote the concept, everyday can be Pay it Forward Day. Keep celebrating Kindness holidays (we post them on BE’s calendar) and intentionally seek opportunities to make a difference.
November 13th is World Kindness Day. How will you celebrate kindness?
November 13th is celebrated worldwide as a day to be grateful for and to create kindness.
Do something today to create happiness, make the world a better place, and improve the quality of life for someone that you meet. Whether you share a smile or find an opportunity to do something extraordinary, your efforts create a ripple of kindness that spreads farther than you can imagine.
THANK YOU for every kindness you share with the world every day. You are awesome!
For our Humanist community in Central Florida, consider printing out and using RAK Cards to sign your good deeds today – you can write a kind note on the back of the card.
RAK Card Ideas –
Write a compliment on the card and leave it on someone’s car or on their desk at work
Leave a gift card or even cash clipped to the card on a shelf, bus seat, or somewhere else public for someone to find
Leave an extra large tip today with a RAK card attached
February 9 – 15, 2015, is International Random Acts of Kindness week! Use your creativity and look for opportunities this week to make a difference in the world by spreading kindness.
Take this week to step out of your normal routine or comfort zone and attempt a new random act of kindness each day of the celebratory week. Post and share your stories, photos, videos and ideas on our social media channels.
Please use #RAKweek and #RAKweek2015 to tag your social media posts so the RAK Foundation can find them and feature posts throughout the week on their social media sites.
Promoting Inclusiveness: A Humanist Perspective on RAK Week
Many members of our local community identify with populations that are misrepresented and misunderstood. The LGBTQ+, minority faith, and non-faith communities, while representing a significant portion of our population, are often discluded from discussions of diversity and not valued for the positive contributions they make to the world.
Humanists believe in the value and good in all humans; let’s demonstrate that commitment this RAK week and make a visible difference that strengthens and affirms our positive presence in our community.
#RAKweek2015 is an opportunity for members of the Humanist and other marginalized communities to visibly promote that goodness is in the heart of all. Dispelling mythology that only promotes hate and misunderstanding is important. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
RAKtivists of Orlando pledge to spread the love and create ripples of kindness that let others know that goodness is in the heart of all. BE. part of it. Use our Orlando Humanist RAK cards to “sign” your kind acts with a message of inclusiveness and connectedness. Include a personal message on the back, or a favourite quote.