The Appreciation Factor

All things Appreciation: Things to appreciate and the Ways we look at, Show and Think about Appreciation.


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Thankful Thursdays the April 27th Edition

There have been unfortunately several days this month, where I’ve been a bit uncertain, the path rocky, and unknown. However, as I’ve navigated my way towards what will hopefully surely can be only better days ahead, stories like these always lift me up and inspire me. They also reignite the gratitude I have for those around me and for those who support me. Thanks for stopping by for this issue of:

 

Thankful Thursdays

Stories, People, Companies, and Videos that move me and which exemplify appreciation, kindness, or those making a difference in our world. 

 

Boston Marathon

source: ABC/WCVB

In New England, April is synonymous with the Boston Marathon. Everyone shows their hometown spirit and they are extra friendly to visitors.  Patience abounds.

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Thankful Thursdays the March 30th Edition

Squeaking in a Thankful Thursdays edition. Thankful Thursdays Logo
With so much activity on the world-wide web and social media these days it’s great to see that kindness, positive words, and ways to show appreciation are still out there.  

I know that a couple of these stories happened a little while ago, but truly when you think about it, when is showing appreciation, gratitude or kindness EVER out of date?  Maybe one will inspire someone for next year.

So without further ado… Here are some great links I’ve found that support Thankful Thursdays – stories, people, companies, and videos that move me and which exemplify appreciation, or those making a difference in our world.

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Random Acts of Kindness Week 2017

This week is Random Acts of Kindness (RAOK) Week (2/12 – 2/18).  It all leads up to National Random Acts of Kindness Day on Friday, February 17th. However don’t forget about the 18th!  

 

While not confirmed, it’s believed that Random Acts of Kindness originated when Anne Herbert wrote, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” on a place mat in a Sausalito, CA restaurant in 1982 or 1983.   Later when Random Acts of Kindness, True Stories of Acts of Kindness, was published in 1993,  it set off a chain reaction of support.  Americans were inspired to take part after TV, radio and newspapers broadcast/published segments and articles on the subject.  

 

To me, practicing RAOKs is akin to showing appreciation. You’re appreciating those around you by letting them know how much they mean to you – even strangers to whom you may be wordlessly saying, “Hey. I see you! We’re in this together. Here’s something nice for you.”  So I try to practice carrying out random acts weekly, but I am always up for focusing my efforts on a greater scale when this week focused on kindness comes along .
You may feel overwhelmed by the task I propose, and are saying, “What can I do?” or “I’ve never done anything like this before.”  Never fear I have a few ideas for you.

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The Appreciation Factor’s Turns 5!

5th-anniversary

Today is the The Appreciation Factor’s 5th Anniversary!  

Wow! Who knew when I started this blog in 2012 that I would still be here 5 years later. Well….I’d hoped I’d still be here, but you know best intentions and all of that. Here we are, 80+ posts later.

When I started out, I knew that I wanted to create a blog about a topic I was passionate about, so it started with talking about the importance of writing Thank you notes. However, I wasn’t sure that there would be enough content around just writing about thank you notes and I decided to expand it to “sharing appreciation,” but truly it became the overarching topic of appreciation.  I also knew that to some degree I couldn’t worry about whether others disagreed with me or not.  As I’ve stated in the “about me” page, I primarily write to share my passion about appreciation and gratitude, but I also want to offer a point of view that you may not have considered, or tips to help you share your appreciation.

I’ve been really happy to find ways to expand on my “how to write”/”why write thank you notes” posts to cover Things I Appreciate, like Día de los Muertosfall, beach etiquette, my fitness quest (still going strong by the way!), New Jersey and many more. You may have also seen two posts where I was fortunate to partner with others.  The first as a guest blogger on The Cutie Life, and more recently where I featured etiquette coach, Janet Parnes.  Both were extremely rewarding and I’m in talks with other bloggers and professionals to do more!

Two other additions to the blog that have become favorites of mine are Thankful Thursdays where I curate stories and/or videos that I feel exemplify appreciation, have moved me, or talk about people making a difference; and the second where I write about showing appreciation, especially in the form of Random Acts of Kindness (ROAKs) and promoting Giving Tuesday.  Both I are causes anyone can do, and both help make the world a better place.
The Future

I hope to continue to share some fresh posts on the topics above, and come up with new ones. Part of the challenge fun about having a blog is that you can come up with new features, approaches or even a new direction.  I hope you’ll continue to come along for the ride as I go into my 5th year, as well as share my posts with others, on your blogs or via Social Media, or not… as I’m content to have you simply read and enjoy them.  I’m appreciative of all of my followers, and really at the end of the day, if I’ve made you think about something in a new way, or supported a viewpoint you already have, then I’ve already done what I’d hoped to do.

 

Content/Compensation Free:

One additional thing that I wanted to clarify.  At times I will promote a brand, site, product etc.  At this time, The Appreciation Factor is not written for financial gain. I write it to support my passion for all things appreciation and writing.  I am not paid, nor do I receive any products to talk about. Candidly I have considered this option and I’m not against this approach as I’ve thought about a post/partnering with a paper company or another service that promoted appreciation, gratitude and thanks yous, but to date, I have not.  Should this ever change, I will absolutely let you know, and be very clear about it in the post.
What this means: Unless I state otherwise, all opinions are mine and I’m not compensated for any links or clicks you make on The Appreciation Factor.  Feel free click without worry and the ability to see that related content on a separate tab. (A pet peeve of mine are posts that take me away from the content I’m reading just to sell me something. Perhaps that’s how one is “supposed to do it”, but it’s just not for me.) I hope this encourages you to click, read, and share to your heart’s content.

 

Please, please, please don’t hesitate to also share your ideas. While I’m always searching the internet and news for stories and topics, I may miss something. Let me know if you see something you think I should share or a topic I should cover. I love hearing from my followers.

 

Best wishes, and many thanks to each of you. Here’s to 5 more years! (Hey I can dream can’t I?)

K

 


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Appreciation… What’s In it for Me

Did you know that today, January 31st, marks The Appreciation Factor’s 4th Anniversary? Hard to believe that I reached this goal – sometimes harder to believe that I’ve published over 70 posts on the subject. While passionate about appreciation, ensuring fresh content and keeping you my followers interested and more importantly providing content that may make you pause and think about something in a new way, that pursuit can sometimes be challenging.

I recently started a new job which took me away from the blog, and I’m sorry if I’ve seemed MIA. Still you were never far from my mind as I would think – “OH I need write a post!” The next thought, “What should I write about?” It was a struggle this past month for sure.

No less passionate, about appreciation, I wondered, what could I write about and of course today, in the wee hours of the am, it came to me – how appreciation can fit into your life… or Appreciation, what’s in it for me?

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“Thankful Thursday” – Well at this point, it’s really “Friday Favorites”

Perhaps in needing some inspiration myself this week, I wanted to share 4 links that have moved me or which have inspired me to share my appreciation of them.  Each is a reminders that kindness is out there and can is making a difference. I’m even considering making this kind of share a periodic feature called “Thankful Thursday” but as it’s Friday – Friday Favorites??

 

Post-It Notes on LockersEveryone is Special

I came across this great article and video written by James Armstrong of the Global News that was right up my alley.  Random Acts of Kindness-type notes were being created for EVERY student in this school (and I’m sure many others) in support of “Say My Name Canada.”
The program creator Glen Marais, challenged students to be kind for 30 days starting on January 30, 2015.  Several of the students felt that everyone should be made to feel special and took to writing and affixing uplifting, positive messages on each and every locker.  The goal: Communicate that Bullying is Unacceptable.   It was meant to conclude with Pink Shirt Day (see pink inset) on February 25th but per the program has been well received it at this school it continues on.

david-shepherd-and-travis-price2

Photo credit: CKNW

In 2007, David Shepherd and Travis Price of Nova Scotia  stood up for a boy who was bullied simply because he wore a pink shirt on the first day of school.  How did they do it? The second day of school, they both wore pink shirts and distributed pink shirts to all of the boys in their high school.   The pink shirts have gone on to symbolize that “we will not tolerate bullying anywhere” and has Pink Shirt Day has been celebrated annually in Canada ever since.  Visit the Pink Shirt Day site here

In 2012, the United Nations declared official Anti-bullying day as May 4th.  It’s celebrated in the US, Australia and the UK.

 

Coca-Cola – A Coke and a Smile continues in a more meaningful way

Unless you live under a rock, hate football or use commercials for food breaks, I’m sure you’ve seen the “Make it Happy” Coke ad that played during the Superbowl.  I’ve been waiting to be able to talk about this. I LOVED THIS AD.  While some may say, “well what can it really do?” I found it very unexpected. At first I couldn’t understand why a Coke would be promoting cyber bullying and hatred… but then the twist.  I loved the idea of a product we’ve seen marketed to bring “a smile” could be used to make that smile last.  My favorite vignette, the boy on the bus.

It may be only an ad, but if the 1000’s of visitors and pledges on their www.gomakeithappy.com site is any indication, maybe Coke’s ideas and taking these small steps (pledges) can make a difference.  It would be nice wouldn’t it? I’d definitely like to see a change both in bullying and in the nasty, negative comments online.   Let’s see if we can create a positive ripple effect. I hope my followers and their friends (pass it on) will pledge how we’ll “make it happy.”  As I say on Twitter: #smallactbigchange.
What will you do “to make it happy?”

video source: YouTube/Coca-Cola

 

Across the Globe – We see how Random Acts of Kindness bring us more than monetary gifts

I’ve watched this Thai Insurance video over and over again since seeing it first on a blog (which I cannot locate anymore to credit as the source. – Sorry if it was on yours!) I did find it on YouTube. Sure it’s a commercial, but I love watching how small things like helping a women with her cart, started to make her day, and encouraged her to give something back (watch for the extra rice!), as well as the touching end with little girl.  It illustrated, at least for me, how my small acts of kindness can create such deep and ongoing positive changes, many of which I may never see.
Were you moved?

video source: YouTube/Thai Insurance

 

 

New Yorker’s aren’t as uncaring as some stereotypes may make us think! (I already knew this but… in case you didn’t)

source: Fortunate Cup Coffee Cafe/Relephantmatters

And finally, I found this great post on Relephantmatters that shared a different way of paying for a stranger’s coffee.
For the month of February, customers of  the Fortunate Cup Coffee Cafe in Saratoga Springs, NY  have been encouraged to leave their change or make a donation to something they were calling “Suspended Receipts.”  The collected funds would be used to pay it forward by contributing to, or paying for, someone else’s cup of coffee.  This is a new spin on, “I’m also covering the person’s purchase behind me,” don’t you think?

As of  February 1st, …. all the do gooders [sic] who can spare change for a random act of kindness [leave it as a suspended receipt]. This month we will provide customers with the opportunity to suspend receipts to provide a complimentary drink or meal for a stranger…. It’s our way of showing customer appreciation and connecting strangers through genuine care for our community.

It gets better!  They’ve also promised to continue accepting donations after February which later may be used to buy meals or provide other assistance for those less fortunate and/or those who may need temporary assistance.

Think of how much one single cup, or a few dollars to help with a bill if a family member is ill could improve someones day?  Go New Yorker’s! Go Fortunate Cup Coffee Cafe!

 

Were you inspired by any of this or nah… it wasn’t enough, it won’t do much?

What would inspire you?  Send your ideas/links for future a Thankful Thursdays feature