Category Archives: Grace

The Power of Kindness

I’m thrilled to have a guest blogger today, Karen Cioffi.  Below is a reprint of a post from her site.  It’s a great reminder of the power of small acts of kindness. At the end of the post Karen is offering a great promotion for writers and those who are involved in marketing.

This article is a departure from my regular postings, but I read a touching story yesterday, sent from Hope Clark, in the Funds for Writers newsletter. It told the story of a freshman nerd who got bullied and a kind stranger who took action.

The gist of the story: Walking home from school one Friday, a boy noticed another boy (the nerd) carrying a load of books. Watching, he saw a group of kids deliberately knock him down. He felt sorry for the boy and instead of just walking by, he stopped and helped. The boys ended up becoming best friends.

Years later, after thriving and growing during high school, the nerd was giving the graduation speech. He revealed that the Friday he met his best friend, he planned to kill himself that weekend. That’s why he had all his books and belongings from school, to save his mom the grief of having to get them. His best friend, without ever knowing until then, had saved his life with a simple act of kindness and friendship.

This is not the only story about how a kind act actually saved someone’s life; there are many such true stories.

The point is: One small act of kindness can turn someone’s day around, can turn anger into calmness, can save a life.

And, that act of kindness can have a rippling affect. That high school nerd went on to become a doctor – who knows how many lives he saved or might save. But, the rippling effect doesn’t have to be in the form of a doctor, it can be another act of kindness, a smile, a helping hand to someone else.

I recently listened in on a webinar about breaking through your own stumbling blocks, no matter how deep rooted they are. One of the points delved into the fact that each of us is from an original source, most of us consider that source God. Since we’re all created by God, we are all basically one.

While this isn’t a great revelation, this philosophy has been around a while, it does remind us that we should do unto others as we’d have them do to us . . . since we are all one.

Would you prefer a kind word or an angry word, a smile or a frown, being brought down or encouraged, a slap or a kiss. You get the idea.

Our actions cause reactions in those we interact with – you just never know what that one simple act of kindness or friendliness will cultivate.

The world has many heroes, such as firefighters, those in the military, the police, rescuers, and so on, who risk their lives to help others and save lives. A kind word, an act of kindness, a friendly gesture, while not heroic and on a much smaller scale, has the same capability.

Years ago I listened to a speech about how during the gold rush people worked hard to search through dirt and rock to find gold. It brought out that we should do the same toward people. Rather than quickly finding fault, take the time and effort to search for the good in others. Search for the gold.


Karen Cioffi is a published author, freelance writer, and marketer, and to start the New Year with a BANG, from Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, 2012, she is offering all her writing and marketing e-books (purchased directly from her site/s using the Paypal SHOPPING CART) for a $1.19 each. And, this will include new titles added within that time period.  For a complete list of the available titles and links to more information:

For a complete list (with brief descriptions of each ebook) go to:


A Thanksgiving Tradition: three things of joy

Sometimes family traditions have a way of slipping through the cracks of everyday life. My family’s Thanksgiving tradition usually began at the beginning of November.  Each evening over dinner, we would all share three things we were thankful for and then tie one red bow for each thing.  Eventually these bows adorned our Christmas tree.  So on November 18th, I emailed my kids (they don’t live at home anymore) and husband with my three things for the day and asked them to do the same through the end of the month.

As a mom, I’m the one who usually gets the traditions rolling. I’ve come to learn that things don’t need to be perfect nor do we need to do everything the way we once did to find value in our traditions.  Traditions are about connections.  They can morph a little, but returning to our traditions brings us closer together.

For more info the “three things” tradition, check out my post

This week:  Review your traditions. Are there some that need to be nurtured?

Finding Grace

“If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.”  — Bernie Siegel, MD

My friend Joanne called and said, “Okay where’s the grace in this?”  She took her two cats to the vet because she thought they had a bladder infection and it turns out that they both have cancer.”  We had lunch a few days before and had been talking about finding the grace in struggles.  A friend of ours had been through a horrible experience that in the end brought her many unexpected blessings. 

 Joanne really didn’t want to know what the grace was, she was devastated. 

I said, “That’s really hard.”  There was not much else I could say at that moment. 

 After she hung, up I thought about her question.   How does one find the grace when you loose your job or home or loved one?  How do find the blessings when you’ve been given a life threatening medical diagnosis?  I don’t think we find the grace in the situation.  I think it finds us.  The best we can do is travel through our struggles with an open heart.  We need to get up each day and commit to move forward, and as we do this we keep our eyes and heart open and watch for grace to touch our lives.

 This Week:  Keep your heart open and notice the grace in your life.

Peace and Blessings,
Mary Jo