I was raised by a Irish Catholic mom in the 1950's. She was very compassionate and mainly tried to instill in us love and concern for our fellow man. In the 40 days before Easter Catholics traditionally sacrificed something but my mother did not harp on what we weren't going to consume. For her, not eating chocolate but consuming sugar cookies instead wasn't much of a sacrifice.
As I grew to adulthood I found I agreed with her and as I taught I focused on my classroom for those 40 days. Sometimes there was a student with whom I had gotten off on the wrong foot or didn't seem to enjoy my class or me. And quite frankly, some pupils were easier to appreciate than others.
I would pick the child who seemed to be hating my class the most. I would pay that kid special attention and be nice to her every day for 40 days. It helped me see the goodness in that young person and our relationship would always improve.
Now that I am retired I have to find more creative ways which I am about to share with you. If you are looking for a sacrifice here are 40 helpful acts rather than give up candy. You can do the same one for 40 days or pick 40 different ones to try.
- Open a door for a stranger.
- Send someone a card each day.
- Let someone tell you a story you've already heard from them.
- Send a nice text, email or Facebook comment who doesn't really deserve it but needs it.
- Go to the library and pick up books left around and put them where they belong.
- Bus someone else's table in a fast food restaurant.
- Listen fully and actively to a boring person.
- Share something you'd really like to keep for yourself.
- Give someone a dollar.
- Pick up a piece of trash on the street that didn't come from you.
- Let someone you love pick the restaurant, music or dessert to share.
- Clean up a mess you didn't make and don't say a word about it.
- Visit someone who needs a visit even if you'd rather do something else.
- Repair, for free, something for someone else.
- Pay a compliment to a stranger.
- Buy a needed item from a local, small business.
- Refrain from a habit you have that isn't good for the environment.
- Show someone who is at risk that you accept them as they are.
- Clean up after yourself in the movie theater.
- Run an errand for someone.
- Bake something for a lonely or sick person.
- Buy flowers and leave them anonymously.
- Tell someone you are proud of them.
- Help someone who is lost in a store.
- Help someone look for a lost item.
- Watch a pet, child or elderly person for a friend.
- Pick up the tab and don't make a big deal out of it.
- When you go to the grocery store pick up something for someone else.
- Do a chore that someone else in your house usually does.
- Smile at 10 people you don't know.
- When someone tells you something assure you that you believe them.
- Do a favor for someone that you know they can never repay.
- Clean out someone's hairbrush.
- Buy a new toothbrush for someone.
- Help someone pushing a stroller or wheelchair.
- Let the other person control the remote.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line, in traffic or take a parking place.
- Don't brag or complain for 8 hours.
- Ask someone how they are and really listen to the response.
- Tell one person that you love him or her. Tell someone else that you're sorry.
I'm going to run off this list and see how many I can hit. I may add items like "sew for someone else" or other ideas I think of. I think it will be a grand way to spend 40 days.
And if I miss a day, I will be nice to me.
Want to see and enjoy more quilty fun? Check out my Facebook page. Like the page and join the conversation!
If you want to keep reading my blog, you can subscribe. To do so, look for the square on the side rail. Just type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. You will receive a verification email. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.
I have written a post about compliments to pay a quilter. Maybe this will take up all 40 days!