Monday, June 9, 2008

A Random Act of Kindness

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I have the great pleasure of sometimes checking out Kelly Lang and T.G. Sheppard when they eat at Cracker Barrel here in town. These two are a joy to wait on. I was raised on country music and so enjoy seeing them come in.

I just wanted to say thank you to Kelly. I had no idea that they were working on a show like this. I am too busy waiting for her CD to appear in our Cracker Barrel store!

She absolutely made my day today and I grinned from ear to ear the rest of my shift. I have always loved her sunglasses. It seems to be a little trademark of hers. She will come in with them on her face or propped up on her head, and I just love her style.

Today she took her sunglasses off the top of her head and said, “I want to give these to you as a gift.” I was in shock! I have never had anyone do anything like that for me. It brought me to tears. I had been having a rough day because of something that had happened to my daughter. So I just broke into some tears of the thought of her doing that for me. That was straight from her heart. I think I hugged her twice, but I could have hugged her more! I was so moved that I can’t even put it into words.

It wasn’t the sunglasses. Now don’t get me wrong…I LOVE THEM (and boy did I model and show them off the rest of the day). But honestly, it was the act of kindness of her giving me something of hers that she knew I would enjoy. She remembered me commenting on them, and that was so sweet in itself. I’m just a Cracker Barrel employee, but she must truly notice people and listen. There doesn’t seem to be enough of that in all of us, but she is practicing what will soon be airing in her show. She did something for me that I will always remember, something that she didn’t have to do, but something that she knew would mean so much to me. It truly was a beautiful thing to do.

I hope that she gets this message. She is truly doing what her new show is about. This may sound simple to others, but this act of kindness truly made my day, and it really, really blessed me. And if we could do something each day or each week for someone that gives them the same feeling Kelly gave me, what blessings we could be to others. Every time I wear these sunglasses, it will remind me what she did for me, and help me to remember to look for someone daily that I can bless.

Thanks so much Kelly, and I can’t wait for your CD to hit our stores!

God Bless,

Kim Robinson, Cashier at Hendersonville Cracker Barrel

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gratitude Quotes #3

Meister Eckhart: If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.

Melodie Beattie: Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.

Thomas Erskine: In the New Testament, religion is grace and ethics is gratitude.

William James: The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Gratitude Quotes #2

Alfred Painter: Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.

Albert Schweitzer: To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude.

Eric Hoffer: The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.

Henry Ward Beecher: Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Gratitude Quotes #1

Brother David Steindl-Rast: Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy -- because we will always want to have something else or something more.
BUDDA: Let us rise up and be thankful, for if we didn't learn a lot today, at least we learned a little, and if we didn't learn a little, at least we didn't get sick, and if we got sick, at least we didn't die; so, let us all be thankful.
Cicero: Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.
Dr. Denis Waitley: Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Instructions on Gratitude

Whatever is given is a gift—even the most difficult experiences and traumatic events can be seen as Wake-Up calls, and therefore gifts. And the appropriate response to any gift is gratitude. In the depth of our heart, we can turn fear into courageous trust, agitation and confusion into stillness, isolation into a sense of belonging, alienation into love, and irrational reaction into Common Sense. The creative imagination of gratefulness will suggest to each one of us how to go about this task. Here are five small gestures that can help you show gratitude and stay awake.

1. All gratitude expresses trust. Suspicion will not even recognize a gift as gift: who can prove that it isn't a lure, a bribe, a trap? Gratefulness has the courage to trust and so overcomes fear. The air has been electrified by fearfulness these days, a fearfulness fostered and manipulated by politicians and the media. There lies our greatest danger: fear perpetuates violence. Mobilize the courage of your heart, as the truly awake ones are doing. Say one word today that gives a fearful person courage.

2. Because gratitude expresses courage, it spreads calm. Calm of this kind is quite compatible with deep emotions. Join the truly compassionate ones who are calm and strong. From the stillness of your heart's core reach out. Calmly hold someone's hand today and spread calm.

3. When you are grateful, your heart is open—open towards others, open for surprise. During big wake-up calls in your life, or in our collective lives, we often see remarkable examples of openness: strangers helping strangers often in heroic ways. Others turn away, isolate themselves, dare even less than at other times to look at each other. Violence begins with isolation. Break this pattern. Make contact with people whom you normally ignore—eye-contact at least—with the agent at the toll booth, the parking lot attendant, someone on the elevator. Look a stranger in the eyes today and realize that there are no strangers.

4. You can feel either grateful or alienated, but never both at the same time. Gratefulness drives out alienation; there is not room for both in the same heart. When you are grateful you know that you belong to a network of give-and-take and you say "yes" to that belonging. This "yes" is the essence of love. You need no words to express it; a smile will do to put your "yes" into action. Don't let it matter to you whether or not the other one smiles back. Give someone an unexpected smile today and so contribute your share to peace on earth.

5. What your gratefulness does for yourself is as important as what it does for others. Gratefulness boosts your sense of belonging; your sense of belonging in turn boosts your Common Sense. Your "yes" to belonging attunes you to the common concerns shared by all human beings. We have only one enemy, our common enemy: violence. Common Sense tells us: we can stop violence only by stopping to act violently; war is no way to peace. Listen to the news today and put at least one item to the test of Common Sense.

Written by Brother David Steindl-Rast a Benedictine monk who has spent the last 35 years building bridges between religious traditions. He is the author of Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer and other books.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Eight Ways to Stay GRATEFUL Always

One: Start Your Day Gratefully
Two: End Your Day Gratefully -- No Matter How Rotten the Day Was
Three: Say Grace Before Meals
Four: Keep a Gratitude Journal
Five: Go Crazy With Post-It Notes
Six: Set a Daily Compliment Quota
Seven: Resurrect the Thank-You Note
Eight: Give Something Away
Bonus: Bless Everything Always

Excerpted from A Gratitude Revolution -
Eight ways to make gratefulness permanent. By Anne A. Simpkinson