Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Introducing Hospice of Peel

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

This week, I’m blogging about Hospice of Peel in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

In researching Hospice of Peel, I’ve learned a lot of new things. I’ve only really had one encounter with a hospice organization, and that was when my mother passed away. (You can read about my experience in yesterday’s blog post found here: http://serviceafol.blogspot.com/2009/05/mama-and-hospice-experience.html)

The most amazing thing I learned is that they provide their services for free. They do this because charging a fee would prevent many people from being able to take advantage of the care they offer.

Something else I learned is that they offer opportunities to volunteer. What a cool way to get involved and help out such a needed organization!

Here are some of the ways you can help:

- Do you have a talent for or experience in office work? If you can commit 4 hours a week (during regular office hours), Hospice of Peel is looking for volunteers to help their staff with data entry, filing, photocopying and other duties around the office. If you know Microsoft programs like Word, Excel or Access, they say that would be very beneficial.

- Would you rather be more of an occasional volunteer? You can still help. Hospice of Peel has a variety of events throughout the year. Can you help? Check out their Special Events page here: http://www.hospiceofpeel.com/2/funddev.php

My blog readers come from all over, so I realize many of you aren’t able to physically help Hospice of Peel by showing up at the door and volunteering. However, whether you live in Mississauga or not, there’s still something you can do.

Every organization needs financial help, and Hospice of Peel is no exception. The current financial crisis has hit every industry, every charity. Although they do get some financial help from the United Way of Peel and The Ministry of Health (which together cover approximately 50% of costs) the hospice still needs help to cover the remaining costs.

So, here’s your challenge today:

Find a way to help Hospice of Peel help their community. To do so, you can accept one or all of the following challenges:

Donate. Can you donate even $5.00? If so, please follow this link: http://www.hospiceofpeel.com/2/donations.php

Volunteer: Do you live in Mississagua? Can you spare 4 hours a week? Can you help out with special events? If so, please call Susan Endicott at (905) 712-8119 Ext. 224. She’s available Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. To contact her outside of those hours, or if you’d like more information, please email her at sendicott@hospiceofpeel.com

Share this blog post. Perhaps one of the greatest things about blogs, social media, email and all things Internet is the ability to share information far and wide in a very short amount of time. By linking to this post, forwarding the link in an email, retweeting it or posting it on your Facebook or other page, you can help me help Mickey help Hospice of Peel continue the great work they’re already doing. You – yes, you – can make a difference. If you can’t donate or volunteer, I encourage you to share this post.

Thank you for always remembering that…

Service is The Action Form of Love


Monday, May 18, 2009

Mama and the Hospice Experience

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

This week, I’m blogging about something many of us may never encounter. Frankly, until fairly recently, I didn’t think I’d get close enough to this program to really get to understand it.

I thought I would be lucky or blessed if our paths never crossed.

This week, I’m blogging about hospice.

You see, until about nine months ago, I thought hospice was only for people with a terminal illness. I presumed their function was to ease the sufferer’s pain and gently guide them from the transition from mortality to eternity.

Sometime around summer of 2008, my parents told me that mama’s doctor had set her up on in-home hospice. My initial reaction was one of alarm.

Why did mom need hospice, I asked? She wasn’t exactly healthy, but she didn’t have a terminal illness, either. True, she had been nearly homebound for several years, but that was because of her fibromyalgia and post-polio syndrome and age. She didn’t have cancer, had never had a stroke or a heart attack. I was flabbergasted that Dr. Jack would assign a hospice team to her.

Rachel, the hospice nurse, was a very kind, compassionate young lady. She was always gentle with mama and very understanding of all the questions my dad tossed at her. The one thing all of us wanted to know was why?

Why hospice? Why now?

To their credit, the doctor and Rachel patiently explained to us that hospice is not just a program for those expected to die right away. It’s also to help ensure people like mama are in a safe, secure and healthy environment.

Hospice doesn’t just help people die; it also to help people live.

Besides Rachel coming over and helping dad manage mama’s daily medications, there were others who came and helped her in other ways. One sweet young lady came three times a week to help mama get in and out of the shower. Others cooked and planned meals and helped with her physical therapy exercises.

According to the medical professionals who cared for mom, there are two phases to hospice care. The care mama received last year was the first phase – the phase that helped both my parents have a better quality of life.

The other phase, the part where hospice helps patient and family prepare for, accept and endure the death of their loved one came later for us.

Sometime just before Thanksgiving, 2008, dad called me on the phone. While we chatted he mentioned that, due to the family members enduring various financial difficulties, he was thinking of cancelling the family Christmas party. I told him I would go along with whatever the rest of the family decided. Later, he told me that mama had gotten quite upset with him.

He said that she heard him talking to me and my other siblings about not having the party and she burst into tears. When he asked what the matter was, she told him we had to have the Christmas party because this would likely be her last with us.

Now, I don’t know about you, and I’ll not try and make you believe as I do. But, I believe mama knew. She knew her time was at hand to shuffle off her mortal coil and join her other family members on the other side of the veil.

Two months later, in January of this year, I had forgotten all about that conversation. I kept feeling my cellphone vibrate in its holster. Ordinarily, I don’t answer my cell at work but the vibrating was so persistent I finally took a break to see who was trying to reach me.

It was my family.

Three siblings had been trying to call and text message me all day. When I finally called them back, I learned that mama was in the hospital, and they suspected a heart attack. They had run some tests that night and would have the results in the morning.

I was told that she should be okay, she looked and felt better, but they were keeping her overnight, just in case.

By the next day, things had taken a dramatic turn. Although it was confirmed that mama hadn’t suffered a heart attack, she somehow aspirated and began having a very difficult time breathing.

She had gotten worse, and had been moved to the Intensive Care Unit.

That morning, I called out from work and my wife dropped me off at the hospital front door. I went up to the ICU waiting room and found my siblings and dad sitting in the chairs against the wall. As I walked in, I remember thinking how strange it was to see dad and the kids all in one place, but without mama at his side.

Dad warned me that if I was going to go in and see her to be prepared. She didn’t look much like herself. She had tubes and wires and a respirator.

There wasn’t much more he could have done to warn me, and still it wasn’t enough.

When I went back through the ICU doors, I first went into the wrong room. There was a woman laying in a coma, and I thought, dad was right. That didn’t look like mom at all. A kind nurse came and directed me to the right room, but the sight wasn’t really any better. On the bed was my mama, but she sure didn’t look like her. The lady in the next room actually resembled her more.

Throughout the days my family and I spent there, most of us had the feeling that mama wouldn’t be going home with dad from this hospital trip. Some of us talked about it, but others pushed it back into the recesses of our minds, not wanting to acknowledge it.

From the first morning I was there until the fateful afternoon a week later, mama had been through some ups and downs. Sometimes we took hope that there was something the medical staff could fix, and other times, we thought she would die before the end of the day.

Throughout it all, dad stayed and hoped against hope he would be driving his wife of 61 years back home to recuperate. Though her prognosis indicated it would have taken six or more months just to get her back to the point she was before going to the hospital, dad was willing to make the sacrifice to stay by her side and care for her, even ignoring his own needs in the process.

For most of the day, he would stand at her bedside, crouched over; holding her limp hand while she slept, and while she was awake.

I think of anyone who didn’t want to believe it was the end, it was dad.

A couple of days before she died, my wife and I talked about what mom wanted. Did she want to keep fighting a losing battle, or did she want to just let go and go Home? That day, I went in and had a talk with her.

“Mama,” I said, “do you want to keep fighting?”

She looked at me with such love, I’m choking on tears now just writing about it. She managed a weak smile, and held up a shaky finger and said, “Maybe one more day.”

The next day, she went to sleep, and the nursing staff and chaplain helped dad to know it was time to let her go. I can only imagine how hard that was for him.

We made the decision to pull mama’s life support, and, as family spokesman, it was my responsibility to deliver that directive to mom’s doctor. Though I don’t feel the same way now, at that very moment, when I had to pick up the phone and let the ICU staff know, I felt like an executioner.

It was probably the worst day in my life, and I imagine, the toughest day dad and my siblings had ever experienced. We were sore and fatigued, emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. Though we had a full week for a wonderful family reunion, we all agree that it would have been much better under different circumstances.

And then, when our emotions just couldn’t get any rawer, Rachel showed up. While dad had told us he wanted to be with mama when she slipped away, he let Rachel take his place at her bedside.

We were all in the family waiting room when the life support was removed. We were spared having to watch her take her last breath and go Home.

Twenty or so minutes after the tubes, respirator and wires were removed, Rachel joined us in the waiting room. She was crying, and we knew.

She gently knelt down next to dad and told him mama was gone.

We all knew the news was coming. The day before she passed, my siblings and I were eating in the hospital cafeteria when my niece came down with a message from mom. She wanted us to finish our lunch, come back up to her room long enough to say a family prayer, and then she wanted us to close her door and let her go.

Still, knowing it was her time – knowing she was ready to go – it was a heartbreaking event. Not one of us wanted mama to leave, even though she’d spent the past several years in a damaged body with a slightly confused mind. On the other hand, we couldn’t bear the thought of her staying around just because we selfishly wanted our mom to be with us a little longer.

In retrospect, maybe mama knew something long before Thanksgiving. Maybe she told Dr. Jack something she didn’t share with us, and that’s why he ordered hospice. I really don’t have the answer, and it really doesn’t matter.

What does and did matter was that Rachel and the entire hospice team was there.

They were there to help mom and dad live, and they were there to help mom die. Most importantly, Rachel was there when we absolutely needed her the most.

All in all, mama’s death would have been so much harder to deal with if not for hospice.

So, your challenge today:

Find something you can do to help your local hospice team.

Can you donate money? They surely need and deserve every penny they can get.

Can you visit them and find out what they’re all about? Someday someone you love may need their services. I can tell you from our experience it was better to know what they were all about before the time came for mama to pass.

Do you know someone who works for a hospice? How about calling them and just telling them how brave you think they are for what they do?

I’ll leave it up to you and to your imagination to decide how you can serve.

Thank you for reading today’s post. Thank you for being willing to share it with others. Thank you for always remembering that…

Service is The Action Form of Love.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Nice Guys & Gals Finish First

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

I’m starting a new feature on the Operation Kindness blog (see it here: http://bit.ly/GGJkA)

Every Friday, rather than a service challenge from me, I’m going to profile someone who is trying to make a difference in the world. Your challenge, then, would be to do what you can to emulate them – to try and follow their lead and example.

So, today’s challenge is even simpler than most – and here it is:

Who do you know that’s kind, gentle, treats others with respect and is trying to make a positive difference in the world? I’d like you to think of who would be the perfect candidate for a Operation Kindness profile post and email all the details you can.

Here’s what I’d like to know about them:

Who are they? I really only need their first name and city and state.

What are they doing? Are they involved in a fundraiser or a charity? In your mind, what makes them kind and gentle? What makes them a nice guy or nice gal? Tell me, and be as detailed as you can. Is there a link to what they’re doing? Please send that, too.

Why do you think they should be profiled?

Where are they making a difference? Is it in their community alone or is it statewide? Nationwide? Globally?

I’m anxious to hear from you! First profile will be Friday, May 22!

To nominate, please email jameswhofheins@yahoo.com

And thanks for reading today! You are a service rockstar!

Service is the Action Form of Love


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Make 'em Smile (Part 2)

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Yesterday’s post was likely a difficult challenge for many.

It can be found here: http://bit.ly/HZg51

The challenge yesterday was to smile in the face of bad news.

Did you take the challenge? How did you feel? At the end of the day, did you find your mood a little lighter than on other days?

In today’s challenge, I’d like to take that one step further. It’s another small and simple challenge, but again, it may carry with it a degree of unexpected difficulty. But, if I know you, you’ll carry it off with a great attitude and succeed.

So, without further ado, here’s today’s challenge:

Make someone else smile. Really focus on this today, more than you did yesterday.

In yesterday’s post, I talked about many of the negative issues facing us. I don’t think I need to go over them again. Go to any news site and you can see for yourself what our country and world are facing. If your entire intake is news, you’re not likely to smile, and it may be difficult to make others smile, too.

Some may think that making others smile is a complex process. It really isn’t. Think of what makes you smile.

Do you smile when someone talks about your children and their accomplishments?

Do you smile when someone gives you a sincere compliment?

Do you smile when others smile and tell you to have a good day?

What makes you smile?

When you take a quick inventory of the triggers that bring your mouth muscles into that gleaming grin, transfer it. Use it on someone else.

Now, I want to ask you to be careful. Remember, these challenges are intended to be taken seriously but in sincerity, as well. Don’t give a fake compliment. Don’t patronize someone for the sake of the challenge.

Be real.

Be you.

Think of what makes you smile and then try it on someone you meet who you know really would benefit from an honest-to-goodness smile.

I know you can do it. People who take my service challenges are generally happy. No, I haven’t taken a survey, and I can’t prove it statistically. But I know this. Serving others has a profound effect on both the server and the one being served. Very often, it’s the one who serves who gains the most. They are happier because they know they’ve made a difference in someone’s life.

Happier equals smiling.

That’s how I know this challenge shouldn’t be difficult for you. You serve, therefore you are happy. You’re happy, therefore you smile. You smile; therefore, others will smile with you. Misery may love company, but so does joy.

Okay, you’ve read the challenge. Now, as soon as you have a moment, get up and go make someone smile. It doesn’t have to be the first person you encounter. You’ll know who it is. They’ll need your smile.

And you’ll give it to them.

And they’ll be happier because you made them smile.

Thank you for reading today’s post. I appreciate you more than you know.

Thank you also for sharing my words with others. I hope you forwarding, retweeting or passing this along makes someone else smile.

Always remember, Service is the Action Form of Love.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Make 'em Smile!

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Over the past year or so, we’ve had to endure bad (and sometimes worse) news.

We’ve seen the economy nosedive, taking jobs, homes and our retirement savings plans with it. Crime seems to always be above the fold, and the wars of the world sap our national energy and will.

We’ve also had a recent scare with a strain of flu never before seen. Regrettably, this has given some a feeling of superiority and they feel justified in spreading the fear of racism. Others have used the scare in unethical marketing practices. They seem to want to prosper on the fear they can create in others.

At times like this, it’s easy for any of us to feel down, if not downright depressed. Singly, there’s really not much we can do to reverse the negative trends we seem to have inherited. Collectively, however, there are things we can do to help each other through it.

One of the primary things we can do is to uplift one another. When someone is having a bad day, feeling the very natural doubts that come with overwhelmingly bad news, we can take on the responsibility to help them.

So, how can you help?

Your challenge today is likely one of the simplest I’ve ever posted.


That’s it.

When you’re faced with a problem, smile.

When a coworker or fellow student or even your spouse brings you bad news…


Smile when a frown or even tears are more appropriate. Smile when others want to bring you down with the latest headlines. Smile when your boss gives you more work. Smile when you get a bill in the mail.



That’s all there is to it.

I’m well aware that though this is simple, it’s not exactly easy.

Our very natural, human reaction to bad news is to curse and shake our fists at the heavens.

But today – just for today, I’m asking you to smile. Even if you don’t feel like it.

How is this related to serving others?

Our attitudes and emotions can be very infectious. If you smile in the face of stress, tension and negativity, chances are, those around you will feel a little lighter. They may not see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I promise you, your smiling today will have an effect on somebody.

And even if you can help just one person you with your smile, isn’t it worth the effort?

Thank you for taking time to come and read my blog today. I realize time is a precious commodity. Knowing you take time out of your day to come here, well, that makes me smile.

Thank you also for taking the time to pass the word. I appreciate knowing that you forward, repost, tweet, digg and stumble my words. I love the fact that you’re willing to share.

And, I’m especially grateful you remember that Service is The Action Form of Love.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Have you ever noticed that some people seem to thrive on raining on parades? No matter how good an idea someone has, they’re the ones who feel it’s their obligation to “bring a dose of reality” and count off all the reasons why something can’t be done.

Like predators in the wild, they seem to be able to sniff out someone with a dream or a goal, and when their prey is most vulnerable, they go in for the kill. No earnest hope for success, big or small, escapes their notice or their death grip.

We all know predators like this.

They’re in the workplace. They’re in our schools. They may even be in our home.

What can we do about them?

That’s today’s challenge.

Today, find someone with a dream, an innovative idea or a goal. Help protect them from the dream killer.

Encourage them.

Cheer them on.

Tell them reasons why they can do something, even in the face of someone telling them why they cannot.

It doesn’t take much to help a dreamer, but your encouragement may have to be doled out in proportion to the discouragement they’re also receiving.

This is a simple challenge. It will be easy for you to do. How do I know?

Because you have dreams, too. You know what it feels like to be told it can’t be done. You understand the pressure, the heartache and the hopeless feeling of a broken dream.

So, go.

Tell them it can be done.

Tell them you believe in them.

And then, watch them do it.

Thank you for reading today’s challenge. Thank you for being willing to share it with others, especially the dreamers and believers you know.

And thank you for remembering that Service is the Action Form of Love.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Help the Vulnerable

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Most of us are aware of the vulnerable among us. We know of those who have needs greater than our own, and we know that sometimes, those needs go unmet.

We work and live and play among the disabled, the poverty-stricken and the very old and very young. We see them in our neighborhoods, at the store, at school and at work. Some of them are in our social circles and some are not.

Regardless of our actual interaction with the less-advantaged, we know who they are and we often know their needs.

Can you help them?

That’s today’s challenge.

Find someone who is vulnerable. Talk to them. Assess their needs. Find out how they’re getting along. If they have a need that is going unfilled, see if you can fill it for them.

Don’t be pushy or make them feel like a service project. Be as private as you can. Be as respectful of their dignity as you would want someone to be of yours.

If you can fulfill the need by yourself, by all means, do it with their permission. If it’s something greater than you alone can do, ask their permission to involve someone else.

If permission is granted, do the best that you can. Do it with love and caring and understanding that many of us don’t like others helping us when we can do it ourselves.

Complete the task and see if there is anything else you may do for them.

And then, feel good about what you’ve done. Feel the joy and peace that comes with serving someone else.

Thank you for taking today’s challenge. I know some are easier than others, and this one just may fit into the difficult category for you.

Thank you also for being willing to pass it on. I appreciate you.

Remember always, Service is the Action Form of Love.


Friday, May 8, 2009

Mama's Day

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Mother’s Day – what does it mean to you?

Regardless of how we currently interact with our mothers, the fact remains that we all have one. Due to life’s disappointments, sometimes our relationships with our mothers degrade. It happens.

Even if that’s happened in your life, today’s challenge applies to you and to all of us.

Thank your mom today.

If you’re like me, and your mama has passed on, find another mother you cherish, love and respect and thank her.


You can do it!

Thanks for taking time to read today’s post. I appreciate you!

Thanks also for being willing to share this with others.

Service is the Action Form of Love


Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's The Difference?

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

Today’s challenge is pretty simple in concept, but even for me, more difficult to successfully achieve. It may take more than a few tries to get it down, and we may not even get it right today.

In the past, I’ve blogged about including others, being kind and judging people on their intentions rather than on their actions alone. Today, I’m going to sort of combine these three.

As you go throughout your day, I’d like you to take a look around. Really take inventory of the kinds of people you find yourself with on a day to day basis. When I do this, I see all sorts of people. I see people of different religions, different nationalities, different sizes and… well… a lot of different differences. In other words, I see a lot of people who are not just like me.

I need to make a confession here.

It wasn’t many years ago that I was an extremely judgmental person. If I saw someone who was overweight or slow or anything else I then considered to be less than perfect, I mocked them. I didn’t do it to their face, but I sure did it behind their back or in my mind. I wasn’t a very nice person.

How I got from being that mean-spirited jerk to who I’m trying to be today (I’m not perfect – but I’m still trying to improve), is a long story. If you really want to know, hang on for another year or two and you can read the book.

Since then, I’ve become rather close to some of the people I would earlier have mocked. And you know what I’ve learned? Once I let my guard down and stopped seeing them as failures according to Madison Avenue standards, I found them to be more like me than I would have ever wanted to allow before.

People are people. God’s children are God’s children.

It doesn’t matter if a person is Democrat, Republican or somewhere in between. It doesn’t matter if they are straight, gay, black, white, Asian, Hispanic, short, tall, fat or lean or any one of a dozen other labels we can place on them.

People are people.

God’s children are God’s children.

Now I can look back and ask myself, “What right did you have to judge these people?”

And the answer I would now give:

“Absolutely none.”

What about you?

Is there something different about you that makes others uncomfortable or uneasy?

How about someone in your family? Is there something about them that makes other people mock and ridicule?

It’s easy to say we don’t care how others treat us, but what about your family? What if your mother or your sister or your father or brother had a quirk that made mocking easy?

See, suddenly its not about you – it’s about someone you love. And watching someone close to you have to endure the meanness of others, well, that’s just crossing the line, isn’t it?

So, bearing that in mind, here’s today’s challenge:

Get to know someone who has a difference you find difficult to accept.

You don’t have to talk about your differences (in fact, sometimes, that’s not the best thing to do when you’re trying to build a bridge). You can start by having a very short, casual conversation and see where it goes from there. You’re not being asked to embrace everything about them, but try your very hardest to accept them as a person – as a fellow son or daughter of God.

I’m guessing, from my own experience here, that if you will try this challenge, regardless of how the other person responds, you will come away from the experience a better person. You will want to try harder to be more open to more people.

You will feel more confident about yourself.

And, if you continue trying to reach out to others, you will also begin to feel your heart softening – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Thank you for taking the time to read and accept today’s challenge. I appreciate you, for your strengths, for your weaknesses; for your similarities and for your differences.

Please feel free to pass this on.

And, remember, Service is the Action Form of Love


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

5 Fast Ways to Give Back

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

We’ve all been given much.

Whether we’re wealthy or poor, enjoy good health or fight illness and disease, almost every one of us has something to be grateful for.

Whatever problems life may hand us, we can be reasonably sure that we’ve been given blessings, too.

So, how can we give back?

Here are 5 small and simple ways you and I can give back to our giving world today – its today’s service challenge:

1. Gather 5 books you no longer read and donate them to a woman’s shelter, a homeless shelter, hospital or even to your local library.
2. Pick up a piece of trash and drop it into a trash receptacle. Of course, you don’t have to stop at one piece. If you see more litter, pick it up and dispose of it.
3. Do you have a board game your family doesn’t use anymore? How about taking it to your children’s hospital and donating it to them?
4. If you see a member of the military, thank them for their service. Whether or not you agree with the wars going on in the world, these brave men and women are still willing to lay down their life and preserve yours.
5. If you happen to see a firefighter or police officer, today, remember that these first responders are also willing to put their lives in danger to save your life and property. Take the time to say “thank you.”

What do you think? Can you do something to give back to your community today? I think you can, and I’m sure you will. That’s the kind of person you are. You realize that, despite your challenges and hardships, you’ve been given much and you too must give.

Thank you for taking today’s challenge. Thanks also for being willing to pass it on. I appreciate you for digging, stumbling, forwarding and retweeting.

I appreciate you!

Together we’re making a difference as we remember…

Service is the Action Form of Love.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Four Simple Ways to Uplift

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

For the past several months, we’ve been inundated with bad news. The economy has gone sour, taking with it the housing market, small businesses, and in too many cases, even the security of our jobs.

There used to be a time when a dedicated worker could work at the same company for decades and live in the same home for years.

There was a time when the mom and pop store on the corner was a neighborhood fixture that would always be there like a comforting friend and landmark.

This was a time of stability and assurance that all was well with the world.

Sadly, times have changed. There are events happening today that can really make us lose hope.

Is there anything we can do to make a difference in this world filled with bad news and ever-constant negativity?

Are there small and simple things you and I can do to help spread positivity and love?

I believe there are.

Here are 4 positive messages you can pass along to others in your path today. Your words may be different than mine, but the message can be the same:

1. You matter to me.
2. I believe in you.
3. You are a beautiful person,
4. Forgive yourself, and move on.

There will always be naysayers who find great pleasure in tearing others down. If they could get paid for being unkind, they would be rolling in the money. You know this, and I know this. They will always be with us, trying to undo the good we manage to accomplish. We may never be able to completely escape the negativity of the world, because it’s just so persuasive.

But we can make a difference, and it requires surprisingly little effort.

So, here’s today’s challenge:

Look at the four statements above. Think of someone in your life who needs to hear it, and then, tell them. It’s that simple.

It can be someone you work with, or someone you go to school with.

It can be the person who serves your breakfast or coffee in the morning.

It can be a fellow passenger on the train or bus or plane.

It can be someone in your family or even a family friend.

All you need to do is look around you at the people you see every day. You know someone who needs picking up.

Make a difference in their lives. Assure them all is not lost, despite the bleak outcome they may see in their world.

Can you do this?

Of course you can.

I know this because you come here to find ways to serve others in small and simple ways. I appreciate you for that. You matter. You’re the one who goes out every day and makes a positive difference in the world.

You are the one who serves and is willing to pass on my service challenges.

And you’re the one who remembers that…

Service is the Action Form of Love

James Hofheins

Friday, May 1, 2009

H1N1 - 3 Ways to help

Welcome to Service – The Action Form of Love

It’s Friday.

Many of us are worn out - not just from working, but also from the spreading news of the current H1N1 Flu scare (I’ve stopped calling it that “other” flu name because eating pork is not dangerous, according to the CDC).
So, since we all need a break, I’ve decided to make this a very small and simple challenge:

In light of the H1N1 Flu scare, here are three simple things you can do to serve others:

1. Don’t panic. Like a lit match in the dry weeds, panic spreads pretty quickly. Don’t post or spread rumors or theories. Stick with the facts.
2. Be realistic. I’ve heard a lot of people blaming everything from the government of the United States to illegal aliens for the current situation. It’s important to note that it would be wholly counterproductive for the US Government to do such a thing, and nearly every case of the flu I’ve heard of outside of Mexico was spread by non Mexicans who went there and brought it back.
3. Be kind. You’re going to encounter innuendo, rumors and divisiveness. Don’t ague. Walk away. Let it go (as hard as that is).

That’s it! Three simple ways to deal with the situation while helping others.

Thank you so much for being willing to read my blog post today. Go make a difference, and pass this on if you find it helpful.

And remember, Service is the Action Form of Love