Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doing the Math

If you're a new reader to this blog, you know it's all about service. I am a firm believer that if each one of us did something to serve even just one or two other people, once a week, the world would be truly transformed.

Let's do some math:

There are 19 readers who subscribe to this blog.

If each one of you - and you alone - served two people a week for one year, there would be 1,976 beneficiaries of your service.

If each one of you subscribers passed this blog along to a friend who would do the same, there would be 3,952 recipients of service.

Now, I don't have a firm grasp on the actual numbers of readers, here, but I'm asking one favor of you.

Pass it on.

Let's make some Heavenly math.

Reach out to someone today, tomorrow, Saturday - all next week. Let's try to pass it on to at least one person every week between now and the end of the year.

That means each of us can try to get just 10 people - new people - to read this blog.

I have no idea how far and wide this can go - but I'm excited to try.
Start small and simple.
Email a link to my blog (use the link) and ask them to visit.
Or, email a link to this week's Service Thursday challenge:
Or, find your favorite post and send a link to that.
I hope and pray we can make service a success - and with you helping, how can we fail?

Are you in?

Thanks for taking the weekend challenge!

Have a safe and happy Halloween!
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Care Coupons

This week, Service Thursday (and Friday) is Coupon Day!

Not the kind of coupon you take to your favorite store or coffee shop. This coupon is designed to help others.

Here’s your challenge (it’s a two-part challenge):

Part One:

Today, I’d like you to make and print a very simple coupon. All it needs to say is:

“Sometimes it’s just nice to know that someone cares about you. I care. Have a nice day!”

Or something to that effect. Remember to keep it small and simple.

Then, if you like, you can leave a line for your signature. Or, you can type your name and even your email address if you like. Please try to remember that this is not about self-promotion. Don’t put your sales motto, slogan or logo. It’s all about someone else today – not you.

If you prefer not to sign it or let them know your name, you can sign it with something like, “An Anonymous Friend”.

If you do it just right, you should be able to put more than one on a printed page. Then, just print it out, cut them out, and you’re ready to go.

Part Two of the challenge is a little more difficult, but it's the fun part:

Once you have your coupons cut and ready, find at least three people to hand them to today and tomorrow.

You can hand one to someone you know who may be having a difficult day. Or, you can hand them to strangers who look like they can use a boost.

If you can't make the coupons, or need an idea, please feel free to email me and I will email a Word doc with the coupon I use.

One more thing:

Service should not always be a chore – try to make today’s small and simple service challenge fun!

Thank you for being willing to take today’s challenge. I so appreciate you! Thank you also for passing it on to others. Even if every one who reads this challenge just told two new people about it, think of the impact we could have in our world!

I'd love to hear about your experiences. Please come back and share what happened when you took this challenge.

Let’s do it!

Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Being Remembered

Welcome to Wednesday.

Let’s talk about death. Let’s talk about our own mortalilty.

Not a pleasant topic for some, but I hope to talk about it in a way that will make it a more positive experience.

Many of us have regrets that we didn’t tell a loved one how we felt about them before they passed.

I talked about that in a recent blog post:

So, now that we’ve talked about telling our loved ones how we feel about them – telling them we love and appreciate them before they leave us, let’s talk about our own life and death.

Think of someone you love who has passed on. Could be a family member, friend or co-worker.

What do you remember about them?

Were they friendly?

Did they make you feel welcomed into their homes and lives?

Did they make you smile?

Did they leave you wondering how they felt about you?

Did they have a mean streak that made it difficult for you to mourn their passing?

All valid questions.

My brother Mark passed a few years ago. In fact, we’re approaching the anniversary of his transition – from shuffling of his mortal coil to stepping through the veil to his new home in the Spirit World.

For years prior to that memorable day, we siblings hadn’t exactly been close.

I can’t say that we had been fighting or anything like that, but we certainly could have been closer.

Each of us (my mother bore eight children) had gone off into our own corner of adulthood. Most of us worked, few of us communicated with each other.

Oh, sure, there was the occasional family Christmas party where we were all in one place at one time, and there were various groups getting together for Thanksgiving dinner, but that was about it.

We rarely made it a point to gather and just be with one another.

When Mark slipped into a coma in the intensive care unit, we, his siblings finally got it together. One of our own was down and we dropped everything that didn’t matter and held vigil with him.

Of course, there were lots of tears and prayers, and lots of laughter, too. In fact, I remember promising Mark that I would do all I could to make his passing a celebration and not a time of desperation and depression.

So far, I’ve been true to that promise.

When the time came for him to pass, the kind medical staff in ICU brought him out of his coma so we could explain to him what was happening. His best friend Shirley had the very difficult task of telling her dear chum that he truly was at the end of his mortal journey.

Then, in groups and in pairs and later one-by-one, we all said our goodbyes.

We left the hospital, and we left my brother in care of another of his friends.

They removed his respirator and feeding tube.

On the morning of December 31st, 2005, I awoke with a strange, peaceful feeling. I remember waking up almost shouting: “Hello!”

And with that, I knew he was gone.

Even now, I find it strange that I told him hello instead of goodbye.

At his funeral, during a sort of open mike time where we invited those not on the program to say a few words, one of Mark’s friends shared something incredible with us.

It’s something I’ll never forget. It was a wake up call to all of us as Mark’s siblings.

She told us that Mark had often talked about a rift between his brothers and sisters. He talked a lot about wanting to be able to bring us together. That was his wish, his hope and his dream.

He fretted often about us and wondered how he could finally rejoin us in some meaningful and lasting way.

In his illness and death, he did just that.

So, what do I remember about my brother in his passing?

He healed wounds.

He calmed troubled hearts.

He reunited us.

He brought his brothers and sisters back to a point where we now understand, more than ever before, what really matters in life.

We matter.

To each other.

We know now what it’s like to lose one of our own. We certainly sailed through uncharted territory and survived intact, though one of our own is now mortally absent (though we often feel his spirit with us, especially in trying times).

We know now that a quick call to say “hello!” is important, even if it means forgoing lunch or being late to a meeting.

We know how very important it is to say “I love you” at the end of every phone call. When we see each other in person, we rush to embrace each other, and we don’t leave without another hug.

We know.

Recently, I asked some friends (tweets from Twitter) what they want to be remembered for when their time comes to leave this frail mortal life.

I’m posting their responses at the end of today’s challenge – so let’s get to the challenge first:

Think about your own funeral. Think about your friends, family, acquaintances and co-workers filing by your family.

What will they say? How will they feel?

What will they tell your surviving family members they remember most about you?

Will they say you were friendly?

Will they say you made them feel welcomed into your home and life?

Did you make them smile?

Did you make them feel valued as a person, as an individual and as a fellow human being?

Will they say you loved life?

Will they say you took time for them, despite their challenging schedules and meetings and such? Will they say that when you were there, you were really there for them?

If your answer is yes, then I’d say you’ve passed today’s challenge.

But if your answer is no to any of the above questions, what can you do today – right now – to change their perception of you?

Can you be a little kinder today?

Can you be a little gentler?

Can you call someone just to see how they’re doing?

Can you write an email or a note to tell them how much they mean to you?

When you’re exasperated with someone you love, can you still smile and hug them and tell them they mean the world to you and you don’t know what you’d do without them?

Can you?

I think you can.

Live today as if you knew with absolute certainty that you would be stepping through the veil tomorrow.

Live today so that your actions and your words uplift and inspire others, especially those closest to you.

Live today so that those closest to you will never, ever wonder if you really loved them or if they were just words tumbling out of your mouth out of duty or obligation.

Live today.

Love today.

Don’t be afraid to tell them.

Thank you so much for reading today, and for taking today’s challenge.

I very much appreciate you.

I know you’ve stumbled my blog. I know you’ve retweeted my posts. I know that you’ve helped spread the word with dig and other tools.

I appreciate that so much. One by one, you and I can really help transform the world into a more loving place, into a Heaven on Earth.

As promised, here are the comments I got from my Twitter friends about what they most want to be remembered for when they pass on.

The question I asked was:

When you die, what do you want people to remember about you?

pattih05k i want to be remembered as a mother who loved to sing and act and loved sunrises & sunsets.

jantallent seriously, that I was half the mom my Mom is and 1/10th as perfect a Grandma as MINE was

triplej2676 i want to be remembered as kind, honest and funny. i'd like to be remembered as someone who made people laugh.

TamiDePalma When she was with you she was really WITH you. She lived unconditional love.

teejerx: as someone gentle and kind, a good brother and friend, and someone who was there to listen and help.

Deb_Andersen I want to be remembered as Caring and Giving of myself :) I try to think of others when considering my actions!

northpolemama that I was always true to my heart and i never let life pass me by

isequeira I want ppl to remember that I was fun to hang around and genuniely cared for them (& my kids to remember I spent a lot on life insurance)

PRsarahevans that I ran unabashadly free through this one life, without fear; believed in abundance; expected the unexpected; lived

How would you answer? Feel free to comment!

And what I want people to say about me when I go?

“He had kind eyes and a gentle manner. He served others.”
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Opening Doors

Welcome to Tuesday!

Today's challenge is surprisingly small and simple:

Open a door for someone - anyone, and find a reason to give them a sincere compliment.

Remember to make the compliment sincere. Nobody likes to be patronized.
Maybe they dressed nice today. Maybe they have a new hairdo. Maybe their smile makes your heart feel warm.

Don't expect to be thanked. If someone thanks you, smile and say, "You're welcome", but remember you're not doing it to get a thank you.

You're doing it because you want to do something nice. That's all.


It's easy!

You can do it!

Thank you for taking the challenge today. I appreciate you!

Please try to stumble, Digg, fixx, retweet and otherwise pass it on.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Monday, October 27, 2008

Tell Them

Welcome to Monday

Most of us don’t know when we’re going to be called Home by that God who gave us life. For either you or me, it could be today or twenty years from now.

We just don’t know.

Have you ever lost someone and regretted not being able to really tell them how you feel about them?

I’ve been there.
I suspect you have, too. It’s not a pleasant feeling.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

Pick one person in your life (family, coworker, neighbor – whoever) and tell them how you feel about them.

Tell them why they make you feel good.

Tell them why they make you smile.

Tell them why you’d miss them if either of you were to be separated.

Tell them you appreciate/like/love them.

If you happen to get called Home soon, don’t make them wonder how you really feel about them.
Tell them.


I appreciate you.

Thank you so much for reading and taking today’s challenge.

Please pass it on.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Friday, October 24, 2008

Just One Pair

It’s cold here. For some of us the winter is a beautiful time of year. The snow in the mountains is breathtakingly lovely. For others, however, it's nothing but a painful nuisance.

Your challenge today is both simple and easy.

It’s going to get cold outside. For many of us who live in the northern climes, it’s no big deal to walk outside and keep our feet warm and dry.

For others, however, such a task is not so easy. They can’t afford a decent pair of shoes or boots. What they wear out in the snow might be okay for us once in awhile, but some folks have no choice.

Their shoes have worn out.

They have holes in them.

They leak and let in the ice and snow that winter brings.

Just going out to get the mail – normally a five minute event – can leave them with cold, achy feet for the rest of the day.

How would that feel to you? I bet you wouldn’t like it, even for just a day.

For some people, it’s a daily reminder of their poverty.

The economy has forced so many people to shift their priorities. Some people I know have had to decide between getting gas to go to work to make money for food and rent, or other necessities like medicine and other needful things. Their priorities don’t leave a lot of room for what we might call frivolous – new shoes.

What for you and me is a luxury is a basic necessity to others.

A necessity they’ll try doing without for one more winter.

This should not be.

This is an election year. I’d like to remind you of a campaign slogan from someone who wanted to be president long before you or I were born.

In his 1928 campaign, Herbert Hoover promised a chicken in every pot.

A great slogan – but I think we can update that.

How about in the waning months of 2008 and the dawning months of 2009 we say:

“A new pair of shoes on every person”

Can we do it?

I think we can.

Working together, I know we can.

While we shop for our own shoe collection, how about we do something small and simple? How about we buy just one pair of extra shoes? They don’t have to be expensive – but they should be practical and sturdy.

While you’re shopping, think of someone you know who needs a decent pair of shoes.

Buy just one pair of shoes for them. Keep the receipt in case you get a size that doesn’t fit them. Then, offer to make the exchange for them so they don’t have to. You can even buy a gift card to a shoe store if you don’t want to buy the shoes right then.

If you can’t think of anyone who needs shoes, I know you can find out who can put them to good use.

Here’s a tip: if you don’t know who needs shoes, call 2-1-1. In most areas, the kind people at the other end of this information line can direct you to a church, synagogue, temple or charity who will gladly accept your donation.

So, how about it?

A pair of shoes on every person.

Are you in?

Thank you so much for being willing to tackle this daily challenge. Thank you also for being willing to post this elsewhere (please link back). Thanks for digging, stumbling, retweeting and otherwise passing it on.

I appreciate you.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Give on Service Thursday

It’s Service Thursday again.

Yesterday, your challenge was to think about and identify someone in your neighborhood who is enduring some sort of hardship.

(If you missed yesterday’s post, please follow this link):

Today, I’d like to follow up on that.

What did you find?

Did you find someone in need?

If you did, have you considered how you can help them?

Do they need you to go to the store for them?

Do they need food?

Do they need resources above what you can help with? (If this is true, try calling 2-1-1 and you should be able to find resources to help them).

For today’s challenge, can you gather a box of food for them? We all need food, even if we’re struggling with other hardships.

Or, you can make it a care package with a mix of food and non-food items.

It doesn’t have to be a big box. It can be a regular sized grocery box, or even a shoebox if that’s all you can manage to collect for them.

The idea here is not to give so much food that it puts you in a hardship, too. The idea is to share what you have – even if it’s just a gallon of milk and a box of crackers.

You also don’t have to do this alone. Call a friend or relative to help you.

And, when you deliver it, you can do so anonymously, if you like.

Or, you can greet them at the door and offer to help put the food away for them.

You can even offer to cook! (But again, remember to allow them their dignity. Feel the situation out so you’re not making them feel like a service project. You want them to feel better for knowing who you are, not worse).

Here are some foodstuffs that work well for situations like these:

Peanut butter
Canned tunafish
Canned milk
Fresh fruit
Canned fruit and vegetables
Baby food
Fruit juice

Non food needs (These things you can take over in a laundry basket):

Paper towels
Laundry detergent
Dish detergent
Paper plates
Plastic utensils
A 3x5 card with your name and phone number
If they have children, you can throw in a coloring book and crayons

Use your imagination for other ideas. Have fun with it!

But do it.
Someone may be hungry and waiting for you.

Thank you for reading and taking today’s challenge.

As always, please pass it on. Stumble this. Digg this. Retweet and repost this and link back to it.

I appreciate you!
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Your Neighborhood

Welcome to Wednesday!

With apologies to Sesame Street, I’d like you to think about the people in your neighborhood.

I’d like you to focus on those who may be experiencing some sort of hardship.

It could be a single mom or dad who are feeling overwhelmed by trying to be both parents at once.

Or, it could be an elderly couple who can’t get out to pick up their prescriptions or go to the grocery store. Maybe they can’t drive anymore.

It might be someone who is a victim of the current economy, who has maybe been laid off and is really struggling with putting food on the table.

At any rate, I’m confident we all know someone who is facing a difficult time. They often don’t know where to turn or are sometimes too proud to ask for help.

Have you identified someone?

Okay, now for your challenge:

Make the first move.

Gather your family or a few friends and go make a friendly visit.

You don’t have to be blunt and tell them you’re there to turn them into a service project – that may only make matters worse. We rarely are willing to be someone else’s service project.

But, you can go to them. Ask how they’re doing. Be genuine and show them you’re willing to be a friend.

Before you leave, ask them if there’s anything they need and offer your time and talents to help them. And if they mention something, offer to help and then follow through. If you need help beyond what you can provide, you can often call 2-1-1 and find resources.

Remember to allow them their dignity.

But do it.

Do it today.

I believe in you.

Thank you so much for being willing to read today’s challenge. Thank you also for being willing to serve someone else today. I appreciate you!

Please pass it on.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Military Families

Welcome to Tuesday.

Today, I want to do something to honor our military and their families.

No matter the political persuasion you happen to subscribe to, our men and women in uniform put their lives and safety on the line every day.

They don’t make the policy.

They go where they’re sent and do what they’re ordered to do.

And, often, the families are caught short.

When a member of our military is deployed, their spouses and children get left behind to deal with the financial and other life pressures that are tough enough when the military member is home full-time.

Can you imagine the pride swallowing that takes place when the family of a deployed Sailor, Airman, Soldier, Marine or Coast Guardsman has to decide whether or not to ask for help?

Is there something you and I can do today to make life a little easier for these families?

Here’s today’s challenge:

Think of someone in your family or social circle who is in the military. What are their needs? Remember, some of their needs may be more than financial. They may be emotional. Theymay be spiritual. Remember that they deal with loneliness, uncertainty and the very real fear that their loved one may not make it home.

The Holidays are fast approaching. Is there something you can plan out now to include the family of a deployed man or woman in uniform?

Can you plan to include them for your Thanksgiving dinner?

Can you plan to include them in your Christmas, Hanukah or other celebration?

Can you help them make ends meet by donating food, clothing or other items to them – even if anonymously done?
Can you invite them to ride with you to worship services?

Can you even send a thank you note, or thank them in person for sending their loved one into harm’s way?

I think you can.

Remember, you don’t have to agree with the reason these brave people are deployed. They follow orders. That’s their job. Still, you can do something today – and throughout the Holidays to ease the burden of those left behind.

Let’s do it.

Let’s take care of those who have sent their husbands, wives, children and parents off to far away places.

Lets take care of those who are sworn to take care of us.

Let’s do it.

Thank you for taking today’s challenge.

By doing some small and simple act of service, we really can make an impact in our world.

Please pass it on.
And, while you're at it, here's a great way to help out - an easy link to click!
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Help the Children

It’s Monday, October 20, 2008

Let's talk about helping children today.

Children are the future leaders of our world and contributors to our society.

In the news, lately, we’ve read of so many horrific things happening to children. I don’t need to harrow up your memory by being specific. You know the news stories I’m talking about.

So, today’s challenge is simple.

Watch out for children. Help them.

The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child is, in my humble opinion, absolutely true.

Are we doing our part as villagers to keep our children safe, fed, clothed and educated?

What can you do today to make a positive and healthy impact in the world of a child?

Can you teach a child something new and valuable?

Can you help a child stay safe?

Can you feed a hungry child?

Can you clothe a child who may not have clean or new clothes?

Can you donate $5.00 to a children’s charity or to a local school?

Can you help a single mom or dad with their children today?

I think you can.

I know you can.

And I so appreciate being a part of your village. You’re the best!

As always, please pass it on.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Sunday, October 19, 2008


Small & Simple Sunday Challenge.

We've all done something to hurt, offend or otherwise alienate someone. We may have done it today, last week or twenty years ago.

It may have been a misunderstanding. It may have been an innocent mistake. But the effects are the same, regardless.

Here's your challenge.

Write a letter or an email and apologize. You can call them if you prefer. But do it.


Thanks for reading and for being willing to be a peacemaker.

Pass it on.

Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!



Small & Simple Sunday Challenge.

We've all done something to hurt, offend or otherwise alienate someone. We may have done it today, last week or twenty years ago.

It may have been a misunderstanding. It may have been an innocent mistake. But the effects are the same, regardless.

Here's your challenge.

Write a letter or an email and apologize. You can call them if you prefer. But do it.


Thanks for reading and for being willing to be a peacemaker.

Pass it on.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Winter Warmth

It’s Friday, October 17, 2008

Another guessing game.

When you look at the picture above, what feelings, memories and emotions come to mind?

If you’re like me and mine, you perhaps remember times with family and friends playing games, watching a favorite movie, and just enjoying one another’s company.

For too many others, however, such good feelings are rare.

They may have the same types of memories, but those memories are dim. They are now in a position where they wonder if they will ever again feel the warmth of either humanity or a crackling fire in a real home.

While you and I sit snugly at home, wrapped up in a comforter, watching our favorite DVD, there are people outside our homes trying desperately to stay warm.

They stuff old newspaper in their clothing. They sleep under old coats and moth-bitten blankets. They are relegated to homeless shelters, children’s’ shelters or battered women’s shelters.

Sometimes, they can find no shelter.

While we are warm and comfortable, having some semblance of normalcy and sanity in our day to day living, they struggle to find any type of normalcy and security.

Many of the rest of society (sometimes you and me included), treat them as second-class citizens. We look down on them, wondering why they don’t do something to change their circumstances. By our actions, and sometimes our words, spoken and unspoken, we let them know we are better than they are.

Is this how we should treat our fellow brothers and sisters?

An old wise king named Benjamin once chided his people for such attitudes and actions.

From his tower at the temple, he taught:

“And also, ye yourselves will succor those that stand in need of your succor; ye will administer of your substance unto him that standeth in need; and ye will not suffer that the beggar putteth up his petition to you in vain, and turn him out to perish.

“Perhaps thou shalt say: The man has brought upon himself his misery; therefore I will stay my hand, and will not give unto him of my food, nor impart unto him of my substance that he may not suffer, for his punishments are just—

“But I say unto you, O man, whosoever doeth this the same hath great cause to repent; and except he repenteth of that which he hath done he perisheth forever, and hath no interest in the kingdom of God.

“For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?

“And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins. And has he suffered that ye have begged in vain? Nay; he has poured out his Spirit upon you, and has caused that your hearts should be filled with joy, and has caused that your mouths should be stopped that ye could not find utterance, so exceedingly great was your joy.

“And now, if God, who has created you, on whom you are dependent for your lives and for all that ye have and are, doth grant unto you whatsoever ye ask that is right, in faith, believing that ye shall receive, O then, how ye ought to impart of the substance that ye have one to another.

“And if ye judge the man who putteth up his petition to you for your substance that he perish not, and condemn him, how much more just will be your condemnation for withholding your substance, which doth not belong to you but to God, to whom also your life belongeth; and yet ye put up no petition, nor repent of the thing which thou hast done.

“I say unto you, wo be unto that man, for his substance shall perish with him; and now, I say these things unto those who are rich as pertaining to the things of this world.

“And again, I say unto the poor, ye who have not and yet have sufficient, that ye remain from day to day; I mean all you who deny the beggar, because ye have not; I would that ye say in your hearts that: I give not because I have not, but if I had I would give.

“And now, if ye say this in your hearts ye remain guiltless, otherwise ye are condemned; and your condemnation is just for ye covet that which ye have not received.” (Mosiah 4:16-25)

Now, if you’ve read this far (and I hope you have), here is your challenge:

This weekend, starting today, see if you can find one or two of something warm to deliver to a shelter. It can be a battered woman’s shelter, a children’s shelter or a homeless shelter.

In most US cities, you can dial 211 to find donation centers and shelter locations.

What to give?

Do you have an old blanket you no longer use?

How about buying a few pairs of socks?

Has anyone in your household stopped wearing a flannel shirt? A pair of warm boots? Trousers?

Are you buying new coats for the fall and winter season? How about donating your old coats?

If you want to take it a step further, why don't you call a friend or two and ask for their help. Get some cardboard boxes and make it a group project.

I’m so grateful that I have a warm home to go to at the end of the workday. I know you are, too.

Let’s really try to make a difference with this challenge.

We can make a real difference!

It’s cold outside, and it’s going to get colder. The economic times are hitting everyone hard. Heating bills are going up. Income is going down.

Let’s do this, and be grateful for what we have.

Thank you so much for reading today’s challenge. I really appreciate you and your efforts to pass the word along.

May you stay warm in your home and in your heart for being willing to try.

Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Thursday, October 16, 2008


It’s Thursday, October 16, 2008

Welcome to Service Thursday!

Let’s talk about perception.

Look at the picture above. What do you see? What would your reaction be if you stumbled across such a creature?

Depending on who you are, your answer will differ.

If you were an insect or a mouse, you’d say it’s a predator – something deadly.

If you were a farmer, you’d say it’s something that catches bugs and mice – something helpful.

If you are a herpetologist, you’d say it’s a specimen to be studied – something interesting.

And if you are ophidiophobic, you wouldn’t hang around long enough to answer the question. (Ophidiophobia is fear of snakes, just so you know).

Now, let’s think about how we perceive others. We can all have the same encounter with the same person or people, and come away seeing something completely different.

And others in that same encounter may well perceive our words and actions much differently than we indended.

Some of us will see the encounter as helpful; others will see it as dangerous. Still others will perceive it as simply interesting.

For example, at my house, if there’s a spider on the wall, who do you think squeals and cries and calls the brave spouse to come dispose of it?

If your answer was my wife, you’re wrong. When it comes to spiders, I’m the squealer, and my wife is the courageous one who comes to the rescue (often giggling at my scardy-cat behavior).

In fact, more often than not, she’ll even release the beast back into the wild, where I’m just sure he’s already scheming and charting his way back to the house.

But, I digress.

Perception can be absolute reality of the perceiver. What we think we see, feel, hear and touch is reality to us.

If you have siblings or a childhood friend you still keep in touch with, try this experiment with them:

Together, think of a situation from your childhood. It could be Christmas morning, a family camping trip or a trip to the movies.

Talk about how each of you felt about something your parents or other adults said in that situation. If you’re like me and my seven siblings and friends, you’re almost sure to see things differently.

Sometimes, the differences in perception are small and slight. Others are like night and day – you perceive the same situations completely differently than the other perceived it. It doesn’t mean either of you are wrong, you just came away from the same situation feeling and seeing things differently.

I have an uncle who thinks his dad (my grandfather) was mean-spirited and ornery in some situations. My father, however, remembers some of the very same situations and thinks grandpa was kind and loving.

Same situation, same grandfather – different perceptions.

Perception to each is their reality.

So, here’s your Service Thursday challenge:

As you interact with others today – whether with your boss, your direct reports, your spouse, children or others, try to avoid letting a negative perception color anyone’s feelings about those interactions. Try really hard not to see (or be seen as) predator where others would see benefactor.

Try to perceive things with a positive spin. Try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Try also to leave an impression with them that you are a benefactor, too.

Try to make it so that neither of you perceive the other as a snake.

Try not to strike out or run, even if you’re feeling scared or repelled.

Try also not to make them want to strike out or run.

I realize this can be hard, whether in the workplace, with family or with strangers. Its especially difficult in a heated disagreement to stop thinking that everyone has an agenda that is painful and poisonous to others.

You may have a disagreement with another person, but it’s really your choice whether or not you are disagreeable in that situation.

Try to perceive the other people in your life as allies, as fellow brothers and sisters – as Children of God.

And then (the fun part of the challenge!) try your very best to treat them like you’d want to be treated in the same situation.

Treat them like Children of God.

Try not to see others as dangerous snakes with a poisonous agenda.

Try not to act in ways that give others a reason to perceive you as a snake with your own brand of venom.

That’s all there is to it!

You can do it.

I know you can do it.

Thank you for reading today.

Thank you for being willing to take my challenge.

And, as always, thank you for passing it on to others!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What Are You Thinking?

What are you thinking?

It’s Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I believe that our thoughts, as well as our deeds, actions and inactions, will either elevate us or be our downfall.

So, what are you thinking?

When you encounter a surly coworker, or a spouse who criticizes you, or a child who talks back, what are you thinking?

Are you thinking of a retort that will make you seem smarter or right?

Are you considering how you’ll win the argument?

Are you wishing bad things upon them?

Can you stop for a moment and change your way of thinking? It’s not easy, but it is possible.

Can you turn it around and try putting yourself in their shoes?

Can you try to see where they’re coming from? Why they said or did what they said or did?

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that we’re all mortal – we all make mistakes. At times, we fall into the trap of wanting to be judged on our intentions while judging others on their actions and ignoring their intentions.

Can you forgive?

Can you think better of them?

Can you think kind, compassionate thoughts about them?

I think you can.

So, that’s today’s challenge.
Think kindly of others, regardless of the circumstances.

Not easy, but possible.

Thank you for taking today’s challenge.

I really think that by doing these small and simple acts of service, we can transform the world.

One act at a time.

One thought at a time.
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

First Love

Welcome to Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I’ve been thinking a lot about a scripture, lately.

The ancient Apostle, John said:

“We love Him, because He first loved us” (John 4:19)

There are so many times in my life where I know I make it difficult to love me. I truly can make myself “unlovable”. This is a weakness I have that I’m all too aware of.

I can be disagreeable, quick to judge and oh, so surly. These are some things about me that I am working on changing. But in the meantime, I realize others suffer.

Are there people in your life who seem unlovable? Do they get surly, disagreeable and downright ornery?

This is where the above scripture comes into play.

Jesus loved us first.

How can that be?

How can such a perfect Being love the unlovable like me?

I have a theory.

If you’re a parent, think about your children when they first burst into the world. If you’re not a parent, try and remember your relationship with your own parents.

When your child was born, what was the feeling you had? Did you immediately love them? Did you embrace them? Did you feel an overwhelming desire to protect them from all the harm the world can inflict on them?

If you did, think about why.

Practically and logically speaking, they didn’t deserve your love or protection. They hadn’t earned it yet.

They were simply consumers. They were non-producers. They neither contributed to the household finances, nor to the upkeep of your home.

They ate. They slept. They cried when they needed food or sleep.

They were utterly and completely dependent on you and others to even survive.

But you loved them.


Well, because they were yours. You knew their potential. You knew there could be times in their future when they would frustrate you, anger you, and even cause deep, deep heartache.

You knew they could, someday, become unlovable.

Yet you still loved them.

I honestly believe it’s the same way with Christ and Father in Heaven.

We could never, ever produce enough on our own to pay Them back for all They’ve done for us. We’re consumers. The contributions we do make are miniscule in comparison to what we receive. And yet, we know, They still allow us Their mercy, grace and unconditional love.

Think for a moment –

Who in your circle of family or friends seems unloveable?

Who is irascible? Who is cranky? Who is, to be frank, a jerk to be around?

Now that you’re thinking about them, let’s look at it another way.

Who needs encouragement? Who needs a kind word or action? Who needs your love?

Could it be the same person? I think it could be.

So, here’s your challenge:

Find someone who is difficult to love. Pray to be able to understand their heart a little better. Ask God and yourself what one or two small and simple things you can do to show them they are loved.

Then, when you have your answer, go and do.

Try your very best to show them love.

Be prepared for resistance. They may not want your help or your love – yet. That’s okay. Try.

Just try.

Also, try your very best to complete this challenge without expecting anything in return. This is not about you – it is all about them.

Thank you for taking today’s challenge. I love you for being so willing to serve one another.
You are loved.

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart. (Samuel 16:7)
Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Daily Unsung Heroes

It’s Monday, October 13, 2008!

In some parts of the country, it’s cold and snowy today. In other places, it’s balmy. Where I am, we’ve been getting snow. I think I’m finally ready for winter. It's nice to know I have a wife and daughter who will take care of me in the cold.

Who takes care of you?

Who helps you manage your personal or business life? If you’re like me, it’s more than one person. Some people have assistants who manage the details; others have spouses who do that for them. For those who work from home, that may be the same person.
Who helps shelter you from the cold?

In most of our business, school or personal lives, there is that someone we really depend on to help us get through it.

Think about it for a few moments. Close your eyes if you need to.

Okay – do you know who it is?

Alright, now, in your mind, ask them this question:

“What have I done for you lately?”

There are so many unsung heroes in our lives. So many people who take such good care of us. If we’re not careful, we can forget the simple things, like saying please and thank you.

If we really get too focused on other things, we may even take unfair advantage of those who help us manage the day. This may impact their loyalty to us, and rightfully so.

So, let’s think about them for today.

As you go throughout the day, take a few minutes and ask what you’ve done for them.

And then, as you think about it, think also of ways you can do something – even something small and simple – to ease their burdens.

Talk to them. Ask how they’re doing. Let them know you care and appreciate them.

Write a note, thanking them for all they do. Be specific.

Bring them lunch. Buy them a coffee and a donut.

You don’t have to empty your pocketbook to let them know they’re appreciated.

And to you – my unsung heroes –

You who stumble me, digg me, retweet my challenges. You who follow my blog and pass it on…

Thank you.

Service in small and simple ways would be so much less meaningful without you.

I appreciate you!
And, remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Simple Stranger Challenge

It’s been a long week, so I want to give you a very easy and simple challenge today.

Strike up a conversation with a stranger. Find out what makes them who they are. See if you can learn something from them. Encourage them to teach you something you didn’t know.

This isn’t about furthering your own interests. Keep your business cards in your briefcase, pocket or purse. This is about focusing completely and totally on the stranger.

Ask them questions, and encourage them to tell you something new.

It could be something trivial, like what they had for breakfast.

It could be something profound, like why they have or had a healthy or unhealthy relationship with their parents and siblings.

When you leave them and the conversation, who knows? You might have made a new friend.

Whatever you do, do your best to leave them feeling better for having met you.

That’s the challenge.

You can do it.

Have fun with it! But take it seriously, too.

And please – pass it on. Remember, Service is the Action Form of Love!


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Another Service Thursday

Welcome back to Service Thursday.

Today’s challenge is both simple and easy.

Let me tell you what I experienced yesterday – quite by accident.

There’s a lady in my office I only see from time to time. We’ll call her Heather.

Heather started working with our company about 5 months ago. The woman is a professional at customer service, and always dresses really nice.

I was walking down the row of cubicles where she sits, and I walked right past her. I stopped, and backed up.

“Heather,” I said, “did you change your hair?”

She smiled demurely and nodded.

“I love it! It looks really good on you like that!”

I continued on.

Not long after, I got an IM from one of her teammates telling me that Heather was on cloud nine. All because I happened to notice something she had changed.

But, like I said, she always dresses nice, and all she had done was try on a new hairstyle. It was almost an accident that I happened to pass by and notice.

It was that – the fact that I noticed what she’d changed – that put her over the moon.

The compliment was sincere, and she accepted it as such. She knew I wasn’t being facetious, sarcastic or saying something nice “just because”.

Sincerety goes a long, long way.

When Heather left for the day, she came and found me and she was still beaming. She thanked me for noticing, and said my comment made her day.

Here’s your challenge:

Find two or three people today who you normally don’t interact with and give them a sincere compliment.

Remember, sincerity is the key. You don’t want people thinking you’re shallow or sarcastic. If you compliment someone on something you genuinely don’t like, they’ll know. That’s not the goal.

Be sincere and they’ll feel the sincerity of the words you speak, because there will be real sincere feelings behind them.

Now that you know the challenge, go and do.

Go be nice to a few folks (not that you’re not already nice – I know you are).

Is there someone who has accomplished something you admire?

Is there someone who does what they do with exceptional kindness or efficiency?

Is there someone who has helped you or someone else through a difficult time or situation?

Remember the people who don’t get much attention.

The harried barrister at your favorite coffee shop.

The janitor who cleans up after you.

The person who has the thankless job of delivering your mail.

You know who I’m talking about.

Have fun with it, but do it.


And as always, I’m asking you to pass it on.

Digg this. Stumble this. Link this. Post this.

But wait until after you’ve completed your challenge.


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finding the Trail

Welcome to Wednesday.

For many of us who work in the corporate world, this is considered “over the hump day”. It’s the middle of the week, right smack-dab between Monday and Friday.

For some, the day is easy – we have a clear goal and direction of where we want to go – what we want to accomplish.

For others, our vision is not so clear. We can’t always find a clearly marked trail. Such myopia can be especially troublesome when we feel that we are being pulled in all directions.

You must know that if you feel this way, others do too. They are searching for a path up and out of their troubles. They are hoping to find a trail marker. All too often, however, there is no rock at the trailhead with fluorescent painted sign marked “Trail”.

Sometimes they need a trail guide. They need someone to show them that someone else has not only found the trail, but they have ascended the mountain. They not only need to know there is indeed a trail, they also need a firm reassurance that the trail is walkable and the view from the top is worth the hike to get there.

Have you found the trail?

Have you been to the summit?

Can you help someone else find the trail?

Can you guide them up the trail so they can see the view you’ve been blessed to see?

Think about the trails you’ve blazed, or found with the help of others. Can you identify them?

Have you traversed the trail of addiction? Divorce? Losing a loved one through divorce or death? Disability? Single parenthood?
Have you seen the vista of freedom from the top of the trail?

Would you be willing to share your experience and help someone else find that trail?

I bet you would.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

Seek out one person today who is struggling. You may not be an expert at completely overcoming the same struggle, but you may be farther up the trail than them.

Can you reach back and help them get to where you are?

Can you teach them, through word, deed and example, how to find and then climb the trail?

I promise you, that if you help someone up to where you are, you can help each other from there, on up to the summit. And you know what? At that point, you’re both there.

You can do it.

You can help them.

I know you can – and I very much appreciate the fact that you’re willing to try.

Please pass it on.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Do They Know?

Welcome to Tuesday.

Short post today, as I realize you probably have a lot to do, including reading other people’s blogs.

I’ll get right to the daily challenge, after a brief background sketch.

On December 31, 2005, my older brother, Mark passed away after a brief illness. He came out of his coma long enough for us to tell him that we loved him, and say goodbye.

I am so very grateful it worked out that way for us. But, often, death steals our loved ones away suddenly – without warning – and all too often, we have neither said a proper goodbye, nor told them how we feel about them.

And now, with my older sister in the hospital and not getting better from a very serious illness, this challenge means all the more to me.

Here it is:

Think of 2 – 5 people in your life you dearly love.

Call them.

Tell them how much you mean to them.

No, don’t wait til tomorrow. There will be a new challenge tomorrow!

Okay, well, if you can’t reach them today, I suppose you can do it tomorrow – but no later.

And then, make it a point to let them know once in awhile that you love them, like them, admire them, are grateful for them. Just don’t let them wonder. Self-forgiveness is so difficult when you know you had the chance but didn’t take it.

Thanks for taking my challenge.

I want you to know how much I appreciate you! Please pass this on.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Stumbling Blocks

Welcome to Monday.

In June, 2007, I stepped down out of the tub wrong and broke a bone in my right foot. I was on crutches for months. During that time, I was unable to put any pressure on my foot. That meant I had to keep my foot suspended in it’s boot anytime I hobbled anywhere.

I had just started working for a company that was planning to move locations. The office I started working in first was a nightmare to get to. It was in an old business park where you had to walk down 34 (I counted) old, broken concrete stairs. There was no elevator.

I was able to get to and from work on the bus, which was a definite blessing.

When we moved offices, however, the bus stopped half a mile away. The building was nice – it even had an elevator. But the glass doors to get in both the lobby and my upstairs office, were heavy, and I often had to wait for someone to come along and let me in or out.

It was a frustrating time. There were many stumbling blocks that I needed help with.

A couple of coworkers really helped me a lot, but when they weren’t around, I had to really swallow my pride and ask. Leaning down to place my lunch in the under-counter refrigerator, for example, was really challenging. The floor was often slick, and my crutches threatened to slip out from under me.

I think one of the most uncomfortable things for me was knowing there were coworkers sitting not 5 feet away from me as they watched me struggle.

Maybe they didn’t help because they didn’t know me well. Maybe it was because they felt funny offering help. Maybe they thought that unless I fell, I was really okay.

I wasn’t. I really could have used some help.

I’m not sharing this so you’ll feel bad for me, nor for my old co-workers to get a first-class ticket for a guilt trip. I only share it as an illustration for this challenge.

Since that time, I’ve really tried to be aware of co-workers who struggle with crutches, disabilities and injuries.

And that’s your challenge for this week.

Think of the people you work with, or that you see on a daily basis. Are there any on crutches? Do any of the people you see depend on a cane? How about a wheelchair or walker?

Do they need help?
If you answered “no”, how do you know? Have you offered? Have you watched them struggle?

Can you offer?

Would you offer?

Would you let them know that they can call you, text you, email you or IM you if they need your help?

Do they need help getting around, to and from work?

Can you help them find that help if you can’t do it yourself?

I bet you can.

I know, because if you’re here reading, you already are interested in doing something nice for others.

And I appreciate that!

Find someone who is having a hard time getting around and help them.

Who knows? You might even learn something about them, and about your ability to make an impact on someone’s day.

As always, please share this with someone else today.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Toughest Challenge

It's almost Monday. For many of us, the roughest day of the week.

If you’re a first-time visitor, welcome!

If you’re returning, thanks for coming back!

This blog is dedicated to serving others – to do something tiny that will make an impact in your world, and, just as importantly, in someone else’s world.

Throughout the days of the week, I issue a small and simple service challenge. I don’t always know if these challenges are accepted and carried out, but I hope and pray they are.

I would appreciate it if you would link your blog to mine, stumble, dig and otherwise pass the word. I truly believe that by serving others, we can make a great and positive impact in a world that is turning selfish.

So, what’s today’s challenge?


Today, your challenge is to forgive.

We all have people in our life who have hurt us. Whether intentional or not, the pain is still there.

Jesus told us to forgive our enemies and bless them that curse us.

A difficult challenge, to be sure. (Notice I said today’s challenge would be simple – I didn’t say it would be easy).

I’m not telling you that you need to walk up to someone who is abusive and tell them you love them and forgive them.

What I’m asking you to do is to forgive them in your heart. Hold a picture of them in your mind and say, “I forgive you”. I’m asking you to get down on your knees and talk to your Heavenly Father about them, about you, and about the situation.

Ask Him to help you forgive.

This challenge, depending on your circumstance, may not be accomplished in one day. That’s okay. Take two days. Take two years, if you need to.

But try.

I promise you that it will be worth it.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Please pass it on.


Service Letter

It's Sunday.

To many, it's a day of rest from weekly labors. But it can also be a day to do something good.

Something positive.

Here is today's service challenge:

Spend a few minutes thinking and praying. Think of someone who you secretly admire. Someone who may be an unsung hero in your life.

When you know who it is, pick up a pen and get some paper.

Write them a letter. Tell them you notice the good they do. Be specific if you can.

Get an envelope and stamp.

Tomorrow, mail the letter.

That's all there is to it.

A small and simple service project.

Thank you for being willing to do something nice. That makes you an unsung hero, too.

As always, please pass it on.

I appreciate you!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Taking Care

Do you know someone who takes care of someone else?

Most of us do.

There are single moms and dads who have to play both parental roles all the time. There are adult children who give up much of their “outside” life to take care of their parents. Spouses become disabled and debilitated and need round the clock care.

It seems at some point in life, we all get the opportunity and blessings of service by taking care of someone we love.

But this weekend’s challenge isn’t about caretaking of children, parents or spouses. It’s about taking care of the caretakers.

What can you, as an individual or family do to help ease the burden of a caretaker you know of?

Can you find a few hours this weekend to give them some time to regain their sense of individuality? Can you take over watching their loved ones for an hour, a day or the weekend?

Maybe you can send them to a movie.

Maybe you can send them to a spa.

Maybe you can just give them the free time to do whatever it is they’ve been longing to do but haven’t been able to.

Could be they want to just go pick up a book at the library.

Could be they just want to get out for a drive.

Could be you don’t know what they want to do, and that’s okay.

You know they don’t need your permission to go relax and recoup. But they may need your help giving themselves permission.

Caretakers are very loyal to the one they watch over. It’s so hard for them to want to let go, even for an hour. I know. I’ve both been a caretaker to my mother, and I’ve watched my father and siblings. It’s a tough thing to allow yourself to relax when a loved one needs constant care or supervision. When you step away from that situation, you worry, no matter how long you’re gone.

It’s tough to let go, even for an hour or two.

You worry about the one you’re watching over. You worry that the person taking over for you won’t know how to do things “just right”. You worry that something will happen.

Still, it’s critical that we allow them time to get away from the situation for even a short time. They need the mental rest. They need to know that others are there to care for them, as well as for their loved one.

You can be that person.

You can help them understand you are competent and capable of taking over for a time. You can make sure they know you’ll contact them if something comes up that you aren’t sure you can handle.

You can even lend them your cellphone and tell them you’ll call them if there’s an urgent matter they need to address.

They may not want to take the time off. They may feel guilty for wanting to take some time alone.

The best you can do is to offer, and to help them in whatever way they need you.

You can at least ask.

And you can certainly listen.

Even if they don’t want to go anywhere, you can stay with them and their loved one and listen.

Listen with your ears, and with your heart.

Ask what they want you to do, as well as what they need you to do.

And then do it.

That is your weekend challenge. Please do what you can, and as always, please pass it on.

Thank you for all you do. Your willingness to serve amazes me. Truly.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Glamor

It’s Service Thursday again.

Today let’s talk about glamorous service – a topic a friend suggested we discuss.

You know what I’m talking about – the kind of service that takes you far away, to other places. Feeding orphans in third-world countries. Building schools. Joining the Peace Corps.

These things are wonderful ways to serve others. Such service is fulfilling and very self-rewarding, not to mention what the beneficiaries of such service get out of it.

Why am I talking about glamorous service?

Am I going to challenge you to book a trip to Kenya?

No. Not at all.

I bring it up because sometimes when we think we want to have an impact on the world, we think about doing something really big and important.

But, you know what?

You can do something big. You can do something important. You can even do it close to home and still make a very positive impact on the world.

You can even do something small and important. Small and simple service is – well – small and simple.

Stop and think for a moment. Who is in your neighborhood? Who lives across the street? Who works down the block? Who moved in around the corner from you? Who is a single mom that needs some down time?

Could they use your help?

Would they appreciate someone coming over to just say hello? Could you take some fresh-baked bread? How about a plate of store-bought cookies? While you’re there, could you maybe offer to help rake their leaves?

Could they use a hand with a broken fence? Would they appreciate an invitation to Sunday dinner with you and your family? How about just sending over your favorite dish for their Sunday dinner?

Can you find someone to serve this week who lives near you? Can you encourage your family or close friends to help you? Can you do it without making the served feel like they are a service project?

Is there a woman’s shelter or homeless shelter in your vicinity? Can you and your friends or family gather used clothing, books and kitchenware to donate?

Remember, service doesn’t need to be glamorous. In fact, when it is, it often draws attention to the one serving.

Can you serve without glamour?

Can you serve without fanfare?

Can you think of some other small and simple way to serve your neighbors?

I bet you can.

I know you can.

How do I know?

Because the people who read this are good people. You like taking care of each other. You know that you don’t need recognition or awards or fanfare to do something nice.

You just do it.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

And for that, I thank you – sincerely.

As always, please pass it on.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Did you think to pray?

There’s a hymn our church sings, that says:

“Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray?”

This is today’s challenge.

Praying for others. Even if they’re strangers. We all need God’s help..

You can either concentrate on one person, family or situation and pray for them throughout the day, or you can say short but earnest prayers for many different people or families or situations as you encounter them.

Have you ever been in heavy traffic, and seen a driver on the side of the road with a disabled car? You don’t know why – maybe they ran out of gas. Maybe their alternator failed them or a fan belt snapped.

All you know is they’re there, and because of time constraints or traffic, or maybe both, you just can’t help them.

You don’t know them, but you still feel bad. You wish there was something you could do.

There is.

You can say a prayer for them.

No, you don’t have to (nor should you) close your eyes while you’re driving – then you’ll also need help. But you can talk to God and ask Him to send help to the stranded motorist. You can ask that they be protected from harm and danger.

You can ask that they can have access to the same mercy you’ve been a recipient of.

It works in other situations, too.

What about the woman on the train who looks like she’s just got far too much to deal with?

What about the elderly couple struggling to get by?

What about the natural disaster victims you hear about on the news?

Do you think they would benefit from prayer?

How about someone you know dealing with a medical condition that seems hopeless or at least painful?

How about a co-worker who is trying to learn how to navigate office politics?

How about a single mom or dad struggling just to get by while keeping their sanity intact?

Could you pray for them?

Would you pray for them?

That is your challenge for today.

Pray for others.
Thank you for being willing to read and take this challenge. I’ll pray for you to be able to complete it and feel the peace and joy that only God, with His mercy and love can give you.

And, as always, I’m asking you to pass it on.