At Aikido’Ka, all members perform community service. Indeed, we perform community service is part of our rank promotion criteria.
For instance, every student performs 50 acts of courtesy, kindness and respect as part of earning his or her first promotion. These can be little things — saying something kind or opening a door. The things is this: When we actually make a consistent effort to be kind, courteous and respectful (adults, as well as kids), the effort does something to our way of thinking. And that something it does is very positive. The effort makes us feel better about ourselves and our effect on people while simultaneously making other folks’ lives better.
I want to share with you the recent kindness efforts of one of our newer members, Carrie Ferrero. Carrie’s a teacher at Magnolia School. She is an absolutely delightful person, who we are thrilled to have at the dojo.
Carrie’s acts are exactly what we are looking to do — simple things that are sincerely kind, courteous and respectful. So, with Carrie’s permission, here are her acts of kindness, courtesy and respect:
- Called Mom just to say “I love you.” (Nice start, huh? This prompted me to call both of my parents!)
- Read an extra story to a child.
- Called someone to let him know I was running late.
- Comforted by son during a storm.
- Offer to recycle for shop owners.
- Waited for older gentleman to cross road. (Carrie explained that when he go to her car, he stopped in front of her and bowed in respect. She didn’t expect that and was very touched.)
- Let 2 people out in front of me in busy traffic.
- I sincerely thanked my husband for making coffee in the AM.
- Bought cherries from a local guy and gave a tip.
- Helped cousin clean and garden for guests.
- Talked and shared moment with stranger.
- Bought tomato plants for a friend and helped plant them.
- Gave two retiring teachers special thanks for their service.
- Wrote thank you notes to my support staff.
- Made it home on time for my Mom and Step-Dad’s birthday.
- Wrote a birthday card for my brother-in-law with love.
- Brought ice and iced tea for my support staff to say thank you.
- Gave 2 students graduation gifts for a successful year.
- Made 2 certificates for the leadership teachers to give their teachers.
- Moved my vehicle to make room for others to park and walked further.
- Refused to gossip about transfers and reassignments at work.
- Emailed my Grandma and Grandpa to say, “I love you.”
- Gave a student a compliment on their new braces and they smiled.
- Attended 8th grade graduation to support my students.
- Read aloud “Oh, the Places You Will Go” by Dr. Seuss to teachers and the 8th grade grads.
- Accepted a more challenging assignment for next year.
- Handled my journal in a respectful manner by keeping it safe. I sealed it in a zip-locked bag and washed hands first!
- Brought home sweet peas for family. Cleaned kitchen and organized pantry for family.
- Helped sister clean house for family visit. Vacuumed, dusted, swept, cleaned kitchen and guests kids’ rooms.
- Watered tomato plants for family.
- Offered to babysit for sister so that she could relax.
- Really listened to my partners in training. Excellent practice.
- Volunteered to count in Japanese in training.
- Cleaned up recycling for family.
- Worked on application for Dad.
- Offered to help Mom move.
- Sincerely thanked Sempai Asia for class.
- Gave yearbook with staff signatures to retired custodian.
- Cleaned out trash from classroom for school custodian.
- Spent time with son.
- Picked up bubble syrup for family.
- Brought home boxes for Mom to pack her things in.
- Made a meal for entire family.
- Prepared for Father’s Day.
- Brought lunch from home for son.
- Donated toys and clothes to thrift store.
- Made lunch for 4 hungry kids. Let 4 strangers go in front of me at the grocery store.
- Bought groceries and flowers for sister and family.
- Brought Dad free composting bin that he had been asking for months to have. Spent time with Dad, listening.
- Took care of sick husband. Brought him a “feel-better balloon.”
Here are Carrie’s thoughts on the process of journaling her acts of kindness, courtesy and respect:
“Realized that this notebook was challenging me to reflect on my thoughts and actions on a daily basis. Nice. Helped me focus on bringing positive energy, not only to myself, but those around me through respectful action. Helped me to differentiate the intention behind my actions — being more conscious of why/purpose behind my actions. I want to continue journaling acts of kindness, because I enjoy the process.”