It’s Amazing How Much Kindness You Can Find When You’re Looking

“I’ve learned that with this type of heartbreak comes doubt and the ability to forget about the blessings that do surround you,” said Stephanie. “This page will serve as a reminder to all that life is beautiful.”

That’s what Stephanie wrote in an email to her friends and family about her new website. She started her site to honor the memory of her beautiful son, Rylan. He passed away from an infection on his twelfth day of life. He would have been six months old this week.

Stephanie’s website is a place to write about acts of kindness. It’s a place to write about something someone did for you. Or about something you did for someone else. It’s a place to make sure that no kindness goes unnoticed. For as Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Nobel Peace Prize winner, once said, “Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course.”

The website, Rylan’s Kindness Site, is just starting out. It is small but beautiful:

Noah, a little boy, left this message on the website: “I was at recess and noticed a boy sitting by himself so I went over to him and asked him if he wanted to play. We played four square together.”

Dalia “brought over our old kitchen set to a young couple starting out in their first house – they told us they were meeting this afternoon with the social worker to become foster parents – they are paying forward far more than a junky set of table and chairs!”

“Kindness is neither vague nor indefinable. It is as tangible as a chair,” Stephanie wrote in her initial email to her friends and loved ones. “It’s amazing how much kindness you can find when you’re looking.”

To participate in Stephanie’s project in honor of her son, visit Rylan’s Kindness Page. 

Let’s Cut the Crap: Kissing Goodie Bags Goodbye

Enough. 
Enough with stale Tootsie Rolls and broken bird whistles. 
Enough with half-opened Hershey’s Kisses and misshapen Slinkys. 
Enough with erasers that crumble and rubber ducks that emit fumes. 
Enough with the plastic. 
Enough with the small. 
Enough with the cheap. 
Enough with the crap. 
Sometimes nothing is better than something.
So goodbye goodie bags. 
I’m over you.
And I want to know: who’s with me?

I know my friend, writer Nina Badzin, is with me. Or I’m with her. She wrote about party favors last year in Brain, Child Magazine: “Why in the name of all that’s sensible are we parents perpetuating this worthless tradition of handing out junk at the end of a party?”
Why indeed?
We no longer smoke on airplanes or perm our hair or let people drive with open Budweisers. So why in the world are we still giving out bags filled with sh%t to thank kids for coming to our children’s birthday parties?
Thank them for coming? Because why?
Because decades ago some overachiever decided that throwing a party, serving cake, and entertaining a horde of loud, sticky children wasn’t enough?
No! The party is more than enough! I’m putting my foot down. (And then I’m picking my foot back up. And then I’m putting it back down again. I’m actually stomping my foot because I feel really strongly about this.)
Unless there’s a need to rid the world of all its old Jolly Ranchers, there is no possible explanation for why we’re still giving out goodie bags.
Enough with the stuff.
Let’s cut the crap.
So goodbye goodie bags.
I don’t want to get them.
And I don’t want to give them.
A few years ago, at the end of a birthday party that I had thrown for my son, a little boy came to find me. His mom watched.
I thought he was going to thank me.
Silly me.
He wasn’t.
He was asking for his party favor.
He was demanding it, actually.
He held out his hand.
Part of me wanted to reprimand him. Part of me wanted to high-five his outstretched hand. I did neither.
But looking back on it, since I hate goodie bags so incredibly much, I know exactly what I should have done. 
I should have given him two.
[Blows noisemaker] This rant now appears on the Huffington Post. Thanks!

Let’s Cut the Crap: Kissing Goodie Bags Goodbye

Enough. 

Enough with stale Tootsie Rolls and broken bird whistles. 

Enough with half-opened Hershey’s Kisses and misshapen Slinkys. 

Enough with erasers that crumble and rubber ducks that emit fumes. 

Enough with the plastic. 

Enough with the small. 

Enough with the cheap. 

Enough with the crap. 

Sometimes nothing is better than something.

So goodbye goodie bags. 

I’m over you.

And I want to know: who’s with me?

I know my friend, writer Nina Badzin, is with me. Or I’m with her. She wrote about party favors last year in Brain, Child Magazine: “Why in the name of all that’s sensible are we parents perpetuating this worthless tradition of handing out junk at the end of a party?”

Why indeed?

We no longer smoke on airplanes or perm our hair or let people drive with open Budweisers. So why in the world are we still giving out bags filled with sh%t to thank kids for coming to our children’s birthday parties?

Thank them for coming? Because why?

Because decades ago some overachiever decided that throwing a party, serving cake, and entertaining a horde of loud, sticky children wasn’t enough?

No! The party is more than enough! I’m putting my foot down. (And then I’m picking my foot back up. And then I’m putting it back down again. I’m actually stomping my foot because I feel really strongly about this.)

Unless there’s a need to rid the world of all its old Jolly Ranchers, there is no possible explanation for why we’re still giving out goodie bags.

Enough with the stuff.

Let’s cut the crap.

So goodbye goodie bags.

I don’t want to get them.

And I don’t want to give them.

A few years ago, at the end of a birthday party that I had thrown for my son, a little boy came to find me. His mom watched.

I thought he was going to thank me.

Silly me.

He wasn’t.

He was asking for his party favor.

He was demanding it, actually.

He held out his hand.

Part of me wanted to reprimand him. Part of me wanted to high-five his outstretched hand. I did neither.

But looking back on it, since I hate goodie bags so incredibly much, I know exactly what I should have done.

I should have given him two.

[Blows noisemaker] This rant now appears on the Huffington Post. Thanks!