Tuesday, June 25

Kindness by Small and Simple Means

If you are struggling today, here is a little motivation for you:

I love this quote from The Hobbit (which you do not need to be familiar with to like it, too), as said by Gandalf the Grey: "Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I've found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love." 

Such true words! I love that quote because it reminds me of a similar one by poet, William Wordsworth: "The best portion of a good man's life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love." 

It is a good idea to try going about our day seeking to help people. We may not feel like we can do much, but "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise" (Alma 37:6). Very often, the kind things we do go unnoticed by others. It can be frustrating to feel unappreciated, but we must remember that God sees every act we perform and He knows the true intent of our hearts. Honest acts of kindness seek no reward. 

Do not be discouraged when the good things you do for others go unnoticed. The most important person of all notices them and He will bless you for your efforts when repayment is not your goal. 

I really enjoy this motivating quote by Marjorie Pay Hinckley--it has helped motivate me to action when I feel lazy or unenthusiastic about something: "Think about your particular assignment at this time in your life...our assignments are varied and they change from time to time. Don't take them lightly. Give them your full heart and energy. Do them with enthusiasm. Do whatever you have to do this week with your whole heart and soul. To do less than this will leave you with an empty feeling." 

Last, I liked a story that our bishop of the BYU Married 4th Ward (Bishop Call) told us a couple of Sundays ago at church. It has a message similar to Marjorie Hinckley's quote. There is no way my version will do it justice, but I'll try. Basically, he told us of a married couple that went to this restaurant that was rumored to have amazing steak. As the couple ordered, their waiter replied with "Done!" after each item. He not question the couple's order, he just responded enthusiastically, "Done!" When the food arrived, it was delicious and exactly what the couple had ordered. Very pleased with this experience, the husband decided to implement the waiter's willing attitude at home with his children. The children joke that this waiter ruined their lives because their father expected them to respond to their responsibilities and jobs with a "done" attitude. If they were given a task, their father wanted them to get up and do it, not wait or complain or postpone the work. After a few years, the family wanted to return to the restaurant so that they could once again see the waiter who had "ruined" the kids' lives. Once there, they requested the waiter, describing what he had done the previous time. The host said he thought he knew who they were referring to, and seated them. Sure enough, the same waiter came to wait on them. Only this time, when the family ordered, the waiter responded after each item: "Happily." The father was a little disappointed that the waiter had changed the phrase, but upon pondering further he realized that "happily" was an upgrade! He didn't just intend to get things done but to do so willingly and happily. 

I like this story because it encourages us to do the things we must do with joyful willingness. We should not complain or procrastinate or do a job halfheartedly. When you have a task, do it HAPPILY!
It has been a long, warm day here in Provo and I am more than ready for Dalin to come home from work so I can spend some much-needed time with him. My father-in-law sent out an email to the family today with a link to some beautifully restored historic pictures (most are from the early 1900s). I love history and I thought I would share the link with anyone who is interested, so here it is: 
http://photosilke.blogspot.com/2013/03/historic-pictures-restored.html.  The photos are very clear and detailed, and personally give me a sense of curiosity and interest in our country's history when I look at them. I hope someone else enjoys them as much as I did! Here are a few of my favorite ones from the link:
Look how many people! And look at their swimsuits in 1904! Crazy. 
1921 Home Economics Class. Look at how cute all the girls are.
Dramatic change in swimwear in 1922. 
St. Paul, 1908. So interesting!
P.S. I think it would be really cool if someone took the time to re-visit the places in the photos and take a new picture from the precise location to compare it 100 years later! Someone who has the time, means, and talent should really go do that... ;)

If you have any thoughts to add, share them with me by commenting below!

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