C for Contribute

Today was not the best of days. I did entirely too much housework and there was a little difference of opinion here on the home front. Of course, you know I was right!😀

Since I am now teaching distress tolerance, I tolerated my distress by doing some activities, such as preparing my lesson plan. If you have been following along on this journey you know activities are the A in ACCEPTS in Dialectic Behavior Therapy.

I then looked at my notes for the first C, contribute. The list of stuff we have on the PowerPoint all sounds like a lot of work to me. Do volunteer work? Make something? What, for heaven’s sake? I gave up being crafty in high school. Lots of invested time for needle-crafts that went in a drawer. Maybe that is why they suggested you give the stuff away!

My answer to the too much effort, too much time and need to do something because I am distressed NOW bit was random acts of kindness. Random acts of kindness have become very trendy. [Lin/Linda: there’s even a website and foundation with that name.]  They are so “now trending” that we have a random acts of kindness wall at school and someone has started a line of random acts of kindness gifts. While I tend to think that all this play is making this random acts of kindness stuff a bit schlocky (love Yiddish. It is so expressive!), there is something to be said for the original concept.

The National Civility Foundation has a civility toolkit in which they encourage 24 acts of kindness in 24 hours. They obviously believe it does something positive.

I found several lists of 100+ random acts of kindness. I took the one with 102 things because it was a regular list and would print out on three pieces of paper. Random act of kindness for the environment and my pocketbook. Ink is expensive.

One of the things suggested on the list was donating old clothing. That was one thing I actually did today. Strolled over to the church and put things in the Red Cross bin.

Which brings me to a cautionary tale. I know this went viral on the news networks so you probably saw it in the States, maybe other places, too. Anyway, a woman in the region died after she got her arm stuck in a Salvation Army donation bin. She was, shall we say, doing a ‘reverse donation’ from the bin at 2 a.m. in February. Her stool went out from under her, her arm got trapped, and she froze to death. I teeter between saying it was all very sad and saying it was poetic justice. Not that any of you people would do such a thing. I just found it amazing. The fact she was stealing from a charity while driving a Hummer makes it even more amazing.

And that, my dears, is the second C, comparison. We are all allowed to feel a little superior that we have not done anything like that. At least I hope we haven’t.

So go on out there and hold open a door. Put a coin in someone else’s parking meter. Smile at a stranger. And if you go to the clothing donation bin? The stuff goes IN the bin.

written April 1, 2017

Next: Fair and impartial

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