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When the Lesson Is Kindness

Leslie Tander

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As parents, we always worry about how well we are preparing our children for the world. Sometimes we are overly strict because we worry that if we’re not, our children won’t be able to deal with disappointment and responsibility as adults. As parents, we worry a lot about whether we are doing the right thing and making the right decisions for our children.

Hard Lessons

Brea Schmidt was at the carnival with her children one night. She already had her hands full, with her children being aged 5, 3 and 1, and she also works as a writer and photographer. 

That night her daughter was trying desperately to win a doll. She tried and tried, asking sweetly and politely for another dollar every time she lost. Finally, Brea said that they had to stop. She wasn’t trying to hurt her daughter’s feelings, but it was an exercise in frustration. She knew that you don’t always get what you want, and she was planning on discussing that with her poor child.

The Kindness of a Stranger

The 5-year-old girl was not being a gracious loser. Instead, she was sobbing, Probably already tired from her day having fun at the carnival, she couldn’t hide how sad she was that she hadn’t been able to win the cute little pink Princess Poppy doll. 

A stranger intervened at that point, wanting to help. Even though she couldn’t control the game of chance, she offered to make one more try to help the little girl win her prize. The lady told the little girl that she had a dollar and she was going to try to win for her.

She paid her dollar for the three tickets and sure enough opened a winning ticket. Immediately, she gave the child the prize. Even though she was exhausted, the child was elated from being able to have the doll she so treasured.

We Are A Community

Many people would object to having someone come up and interfere with a private moment, especially one so fraught with emotion. Brea Schmidt knew that some people might feel that way, but she looked at the lady’s gesture as an even better kind of lesson.

The lesson was simple kindness, and Brea’s daughter learned that night that she and her family weren’t alone in the world. When she was having a bad time, a total stranger came up and tried to make things better for her. She gave her own money just to make a stranger happy. And she was obviously glad to do it.

Open Hearts

When children are very young, they have trouble learning to share. Even those with brothers and sisters often feel threatened by the others, wanting their parents and playthings to themselves. Babies try to get all the attention and become more able to be generous as they get older.

Teaching our children to be so open and generous with their hearts is one of the hardest lessons. Brea’s little girl will never forget the kind stranger who gave her a lesson in kindness that night.

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Life

The Oldest Girl Scout Cookie Seller Still Selling

Leslie Tander

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Most people reaching the upper range of their 90s in time and years spend a lot of their waking hours focused on their memories as well as doing a lot of talking with remaining friends. And in one’s late 90s not a lot of one’s peers are left to talk to either. However, Ronnie Backenstoe is not your typical senior citizen. She never has been typical her whole life, and that goes back to well before the 1930s.

Her First Box of Cookies Was Sold 88 Years Ago

Ronnie as a young girl joined the Girl Scouts in 1932. The native of Lake George, New York, first earned her green suit and the right to wear at the impressionable age of 10, and she was hooked on the organization even before that. However, her mother wouldn’t let Ronnie join until she was a decade old, and the little girl counted down the days until her 10th birthday waiting anxiously. As soon as Ronnie’s birthday arrived, however, she was off to join the Scouts and the local troop.

Adulthood Didn’t Change Ronnie’s Dedication

And, just like generations of girl scouts after Ronnie’s initial year, she put on her uniform every spring and focused on selling as many Girl Scout cookies in her neighborhood. Ronnie’ dedication paid off; she shot up through the Scout ranks and merit badges quickly, and the dedication didn’t stop in her teen years. As an early adult, Ronnie also earned the extremely rare distinction of staying associated with the Girls Scouts as an active member, and she took on the role of the Camp Mosey Wood director, working with young scouts and staff in the Poconos Mountain area. From that notable position Ronnie was later promoted to a field director position which took her across the country for the Girl Scouts, visiting troops and facilities nationally as well as in other countries too.

Officially, Ronnie put in over 45 years of career service with the Girls Scouts. However, in 1976 it was time to hang up her official hat and ease into a more relaxed phase of life as a senior. It didn’t take long for her to feel the need to be involved again though. And, eventually, Ronnie starting finding ways to stay active with the Scouts again, even as a volunteer instead of paid employee. As Ronnie noted when asked, scouting is simply part of her life and living; it teaches lessons in living right.

Every Box of Girl Scout Cookies Makes a Difference

The world today is a very different place now versus what it was back in 1932 the first year Ronnie sold cookies to customers to support the Girl Scouts. However, believe it or not, Ronnie still goes out and sells cookies every year. Today the boxes are lot more than the 15 cents price she sold them for as a 10-year-old girl. However, the concept is still the same; support the Girl Scouts one little bit at a time. The aggregate effort eventually adds up to greater things. Back in 1932 when Ronnie sold her first cookies there were only three types available. Today there are now seven different flavors, but each one is labeled with the Girl Scouts logo that Ronnie stands behind as an example of Girl Scout dedication. And Ronnie is still going at the spritely age of 98. The cookies are a bit fresher however, produced every year by the Girl Scouts for waiting customers. And Ronnie is there to sell them every box she can to keep the Scouts going.

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Life

Man Sheds His Clothes and Jumps Into a Freezing Pond to Save a Dog

Leslie Tander

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A man has been commended for going above and beyond his call of duty. Ryan Arens risked his life to save the life of a dog while he was at work in Boseman, which is located in Montana.  

In January of 2019, Ryan was making UPS deliveries like he does almost every day. January is Bozeman’s coldest month of the year, and one day in that month was exceptionally different from any of the other days. Something terribly tragic almost happened that day when a dog fell through ice and landed in icy-cold water.

When the UPS delivery driver parked his truck in front of a house one workday, the sound of a dog desperately howling for help caught his attention. Ryan didn’t see the canine, but he could hear it loud and clear, and it sounded like it was in big trouble.

The sun had already started to go down, but he wasn’t about to walk away and ignore the dog’s cries. Because Ryan loves dogs and is the happy owner of a 14-year-old malamute shepherd mix, he couldn’t walk away.  

The sound of the howling canine seemed to be coming from a pond. Ryan searched for the hound, and when he found it, he saw that it was fighting for its life in frigid water surrounded by ice. The depth of the pond the dog was trapped in was no less than 16 feet, so he knew the animal was in grave danger if no one tried to help it.  

Although someone in a small boat attempted to help the dog, this kind soul had no success. After seeing the man’s failed efforts to bring the dog to safety, Ryan decided to remove all but his undergarments and swim to the dog and save it.

As soon as the canine was pulled out of the freezing water, Ryan took it to a house nearby where he and the homeowner bathed the pooch in a tub of warm water. The dog’s legs were so stiff from being in the cold pond so long, it couldn’t support itself without help. Ryan said he didn’t know how long the canine had been in the pond before he found it.

After Ryan rescued the dog, whose name he later found out is Sadie, he put on dry clothing and went back to work.

The following day, he was blown away when he saw Sadie at the house where his next delivery was to be made.

Ryan became a hero that day. Had he not come to rescue Sadie, this story would probably have not ended well. He proved his love for animals, and he proved how selfless and brave he is. He truly is admired for what he did.                           

Let this story warm the hearts of all you know by making people aware of it. This is an amazing story about an amazing man, a man Sadie was so lucky to have met that awful day. 

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Life

Failure Provides Opportunities To Succeed

Lea Lomas

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The fear of failure is failure itself and stops you from moving farther in your life, such as pursuing a relationship a job or anything that requires you to step forward.  No one prevents you from achieving your dreams of a better livelihood. The reason why the goal goes unfulfilled is that you undercut your efforts out of fear of failure. You have convinced yourself that making an effort is worthless and is thus not worth doing. But in fact, making an effort is essential to achieve your goal.  

Stop Bullying Yourself

The struggle may be as simple as filling out an application or applications seeking the job. Fear of failure has the same effect of bullying yourself by having concerns that you will nor be successful.  Failure may lead to the self-fulfilling prophecy of failing, which is a form of circular reasoning in that you know you will fail and then chose a course that leads to failure.  

You Are Your Worst Enemy.

Your fears may be directly be related to the thinking that you do not deserve to be successful. How do you overcome the fear of failure? The definition of failure is different, and it varies from person to person who has a) different red lines to cross that defines failure, b) different values, and c) different belief systems. So what may be a failure to you could be on the road to success for another. So what is failure? You could be so afraid of failing that you become immobilized to the point of depression. You may have had bad experiences as a child and received no positive feedback from your parents. At one time, you were traumatized in your life by failure and stopped trying to succeed. As a result, you become trapped in life’s struggle.

 Negative Mindsets

With these types of experiences, you may have set a death trap, or mindsets, requiring one to reset your life to a better path. The following mindsets set the trap.
•  You sabotage yourself through procrastination, excessive anxiety, or a failure to follow through to achieve your goals.
•  No self-confidence, coupled with low self-esteem, pondering on negative self-feedback that your life will not get better or that you lack the skills or the ability to succeed or it’s too late to be successful.
•  Perfectionism – You developed artificial high standards and cannot reach a level of perfection or willingness to try.

Breaking the Cycle of Fear

1. Fear of failure has the same effect of bullying yourself by having concerns that you will nor be successful, which leads to the self-fulfilling prophecy of failing, a form of circular reasoning in that you know you will fail and then chose a course that leads to failure.   
2.  Be your own best friend.  Love yourself, be your confidant, and not your worst enemy. Seeking external happiness, like a good relationship, may fatefully tie you to the failures of others that will not lead you to genuine fulfillment. It is up to you to change your own life.
3.  Whatever negative trait you may have should be viewed in the whole of a person that you are, so don’t be so hard on yourself or permit any other person’s negative view of yourself to define who you are.

Rational and Positive Thinking  

Failure is common and many times, precedes success. The most successful people have experienced palpable failure, such as Michael Jordan failed at basketball in high school. William Buffet was not academically qualified to be accepted at Harvard. Richard Branson does not have a high school diploma. The words “think positive” is not a mind game but a highly successful method of thinking that refuses to accept failure or treats failure as having another opportunity to succeed.

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