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The Quiet Ones

Persevering tenderheartedness outweighs glowing charisma over time, every time.

In college I was nearly as much an outcast as I was in High School, but there were times when people gravitated towards me. Typically when they felt their life was at their lowest. When all their buddies were only hanging around to poke fun of their mistakes.

I expelled onlookers, cleaned their vomit, bought them medicine. At times, inconspicuously undid brash pranks and destroyed harsh notes before they could have the chance to know of them so these people would never know the pain such artifacts cause. I’m not sure what compelled me other than a real, personal understanding through experiencing cruelty and unkindness from many of my peers and superiors, even though at times it was deserved.

I urge everyone to show this kindness to others. Pay it forward when it hurts you the most and when the recipient either can’t see it or is in too sick of a state to even thank you for it.

And when they deject you on every other front and consistently pick you last for their team. Remember that they are victims of the very peer pressure they create, and live their lives in that wretched illusion. Those who choose reality – who live kindness, meekness and charity through trial after trial will eventually get great rewards.

It’s only the heart that can be broken – that sheds a tear at the pain of others, rather than becoming harsh and indignant – that is truly whole. And it’s only the whole heart that can experience the full delight of love that life allows. These are the people you see happily married 50+ years. These are the people who are loyal, dependable and honest. We are also the quiet ones. The wallflowers. The often ignored. Most business have little use for our reserved behavior, but we are the glue that holds people together through sweat and tears and blood. Though ignored, without the cohesiveness we bring, there would be no loyalty anywhere. Business would lack sincerity and humanity.

Our lives are are a reminder to others that they are also human, and as much as they might hate us for that reminder and wish to rise above that “weakness”. We see what they call a weakness as the greatest strength of all.

You can learn more about us, our strengths and what makes us tick by reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Reducing Halloween Sugar for Kids

Ahhh Halloween. Candy candy candy! It surpasses Christmas and Thanksgiving combined in empty calories being passed around. At least the pies and cookies over the holidays have some nutritional value, but the candy over Halloween has replaced the rice crispies and candy apples of yesteryear.

Speaking of Yesteryear, the whole don’t-trust-your-neighbor-because-they’re-psychopathic-needle-hiding-maniacs just got way out of hand in the 1980’s despite the fact that any such incident was never reported. As a result, candy took over the more natural harvest foods of Halloween – cookies, cakes and candy apples wrapped in colorful cellophane and handed out by loving hands throughout the neighborhood.

Parents across the nation cringe with every chomp of a Jolly Rancher, every sticky chew of Laffy Taffy and, though they may appreciate the toothbrushes and floss that were handed out by the dentist down the block, it doesn’t tone down the sugar induced hyperactive blast or the moody downhill slide that happens soon after.

Last year I tried something out that was incredibly successful in reducing the sugar intake to a minimum while pleasing my kids. I bought a ton of little trinkets and toys and separated them into two piles – little toys and better toys – and a cashbox full of dollar bills, quarters, dimes and pennies.

Then I wrote up a chart and opened shop. The kids traded in their candy voluntarily. If they wanted to keep the candy, that was fine, but bigger and better prizes awaited those who traded, and I made the points diminish slightly percentage-wise to encourage higher trades. For example, 2 points would get you a penny while 45 (instead of 50) got you a quarter. The candy-to-point chart was also designed with the children’s allergies in mind to offset how bummed they get when someone hands them a wheat product. Suddenly, that bag of pretzels is a coveted treat because it’s worth a quarter!

Let me know if you find the idea (and the chart) useful. Thanks!

Trading in Candy