Best and Worst

Over the past few weeks, I feel like I’ve seen the some of the best and worst of humanity.

So, L’s teething necklace got left behind when JD took L to Michigan. His mom mailed the necklace back to us, and as L’s teething symptoms worsened, I anxiously awaited its arrival, but after 5 days of finding nothing but junk and bills in our mailbox, I started to get a feeling that we might not see the necklace again. Sure enough, the envelope arrived on a Monday, a full week after it had been mailed. As I grabbed the envelope out of the mailbox, I noticed it felt… thinner than it should have. I wasn’t too surprised to see there was a hole in the corner of the envelope and the necklace was gone.

I wanted to believe that it was an accident, that maybe the envelope had been ripped inadvertently and the necklace fell out, but my gut feeling is that it was stolen. My guess is that someone who works for USPS felt that there was some kind of jewelry in the envelope and wanted to see if it was something valuable (for the record, I paid $20 for it, but the return on that investment was a happy child and precious, uninterrupted sleep, and you can’t put a price on that).

Part of the reason I’m assuming it was stolen is that this actually happened to me before. A friend’s daughter made me a bracelet one time (again, nothing expensive, just plastic beads), and when the envelope arrived, there was a small hole in the corner and the bracelet was gone (suspiciously familiar to the teething necklace incident). Not surprisingly, the drawing and other things she sent were still in the envelope.

I wanted to be the “bigger person” and send positive vibes to whoever took it- so that they may find themselves in a circumstance where they don’t feel the need to rummage through other people’s mail, but for most of the evening, I couldn’t get past how angry I was. Who did this person think they were? That they could take something that belonged to me? Something that helped ease my daughter’s discomfort? Something that had little monetary value but was important to our family?

This person is no better than the person who broke into my car to steal my friend’s wrapped wedding present (I’m sure those wine glasses have a TON of street value), or the person who broke into my parents’ house and stole my mom’s favorite turquoise ring (among other things, but I mention the ring because the ring didn’t have much value, my mom just really liked it and it’s pretty much irreplaceable). Here’s the part where I wish those people find themselves in a better circumstance someday, so that they don’t feel the need to violate people’s personal space and property.

I ordered another necklace, but of course it was going to take time to ship, so after a few more nights of a miserable, inconsolable child, I decided that I needed to get a necklace for her ASAP.

It was a long shot, but I reached out to mamas in a local Facebook group asking if anyone had an amber bead necklace they weren’t currently using and were willing to let me (a stranger) borrow. I quickly got several responses, 3 of which were offers to let me borrow a necklace.

This kind of brings me back to my Pay It Forward post, because the gesture was so small, but it was so nice to know that there were people out there willing to help someone they don’t know, who are willing to trust a stranger with their belonging, and who would take time out of their day to arrange drop off/pickup.

I’m so, so grateful because the necklace really did make a difference (refer back to my Teething Remedies post for other ideas, but this further demonstrates how great the amber necklaces are). Without the necklace, L was waking up several times at night in misery. The night before I borrowed the necklace, JD sat on the couch with her till 3am before she fell asleep, because it was the absolute only thing that would calm her down. The night we got the necklace, she woke up briefly at 12, then slept through the night. The night after that?  12 hours of uninterrupted sleep.  Ladies and gentlemen, that was a HUGE victory. I felt like I won the teething lottery.

I guess the lesson here is that there’s always going to be bad in the world.  Fortunately, there is good to counteract that.  Accept the bad, but focus on the good.

Also, magic hippie beads work miracles.

Thursday Tip- Pay It Forward

One time a couple of years ago, a stranger in front of me at the Starbucks drive-thru paid for my coffee.  Not only did it make my day, but it moved something in me.  What a simple, kind act that cost the stranger no time and only a few bucks, but filled my heart with joy.

We make a living by what we get, but we-2 copy

I have taken that lesson with me, and when the mood strikes, I’ll pay for the coffee for the person behind me.  My hope is that they’ll be inspired to pay it forward too, and that each of us can find our own way to spread love and joy into the world.  

We make a living by what we get, but we-2

Why not…

Keep a bottle of water and a granola bar in your car for the next homeless person you see? (I know some people don’t like giving money)

Let someone cut in front of you at the grocery check out?

Compliment someone you don’t know who’s wearing a cool piece of jewelry or has a nice haircut?

Wait longer than you normally would to hold the door for someone behind you?

Leave an anonymous note on a co-worker’s desk, letting them know something you admire about them?

Give an extra generous tip to someone who went above and beyond in the service industry?

Move that stray shopping cart into the cart corral?

Take coffee or a muffin to your child’s teacher or babysitter? (I just thought of this one- I need to do this for L’s babysitter!)

… and those are very basic ideas.  For more inspiration, visit The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.  Cool stuff!

Do you have an idea or do you have experience with giving or receiving random acts of kindness?  I would LOVE if you would comment with an idea/inspiration!  If I get enough ideas, I’ll make another post about it (fellow bloggers, this means I would link to your blog, hint-hint).

We make a living by what we get, but we copy