Teenagers often get a bad rap these days, so when I see one who is doing amazing inspiring things it warms my heart…and it makes me want to shout it from the rooftops!
So when I heard about the wonderful Facebook page that Samantha Manns set up in memory of her beloved “Jinjey’s life” I just had to share it with you.
Virginia Booth must have been an inspiring woman, because when she died at the age of 89 earlier this year her teenage grandaughter decided she wanted to do something special to honour her memory.
Being a huge fan of random acts of kindness and paying it forward myself I was deeply touched when I saw that Samantha has committed to doing 89 kind acts in honour of Jinjey’s memory and the 89 years she spent sharing kindness with others…and wants to inspire others to do the same.
A few of highlights from the acts performed so far:
Act 23; Wednesday, June 26, 2013: (It’s a LONG one, but I hope you’ll read it!) What do a sketchpad; pastel chalks; hand sanitizer; a washcloth shaped like a soccer ball; some grow-in-water miniatures of a castle, crown, and wand; a card with a United States Dollar; a wall cling that says, “Once upon a time, there was a princess…”; a necklace; and a bike helmet all have in common? They’re all on their way to Europe! I have been talking back and forth with a young lady from England who has just entered inpatient treatment for Anorexia Nervosa. For anyone who is not familiar with the disorder, those who suffer from Anorexia will characteristically starve themselves to a dangerously low weight. Anorexia effects both men and woman, young and old, rich and poor, traumatized and privileged, across all nations and countries. Anorexia Nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness; one in five people who suffer the disorder will die, either due to complications from malnutrition or suicide. As we were talking, it came about that she was feeling very lonely and wished someone would send her a card or a letter, so I asked for the address to mail her something. She said, “I’ve never gotten anything from America before,” and gave me the address of the clinic, along with her information on how to get it to her. Attached to each gift is a note, along with huge numbers saying, “OPEN ME FIRST”, “I COME SECOND,” and so one and so forth. The helmet is first. The note on it reads: “Brace yourself! The road to recovery isn’t always smooth sailing! But I know you can do it!” Next, the growing toys: “Sometimes in life, it is perfectly acceptable to imagine your own safe place or fairy tale land. Here are some tools to get you started!” After that is the soccer ball: “Remember, life is all about having a BALL!” Then comes the hand sanitizer: “Being clean on the outside can make you feel better on the inside. That, and it’s good to smell nice!” Fifth is the wall cling: “Because one day, Anorexia will be just once upon a time.” Next is the card with the dollar bill. The dollar is just a momento from America But in the card, it says that the pastel chalks and the paper pad (specifically for pastel chalks) are to help her express herself. I talked about how art has really helped me in my recovery process, and how it’s important to find beauty in everything we see. I also included instructions for the necklace. The necklace was a gift to me from a lady when I first started 89 Acts of Kindness. It says on it, “I can inspire.” It has a heart pendant on it, too. Her instructions are to wear it as long as she needs it, but I would like for her to one day pass it on to someone who inspires her, and give them the same instructions. She has inspired me with her courage and her strength, and I feel the need to give this to her above all of the silly other things I put in there. It’s good to laugh! But I really hope that this can give her another push in the right direction. I will post a follow up when she receives the package!
Act One; Tuesday, February 19, 2012: I went through the McDonald’s drive-through and placed my order, then continued to the first window like normal. I paid for the woman behind me, too When I watched her reaction upon receiving her paper instead of a receipt with a cost on it; she started to cry and smiled huge! It made me very happy to see her reaction
Act 19; Sunday, May 12, 2013: Wow! What a day! I can honestly say that today has been one of the best days of my life!!! Delivering 89 roses to the staff, patients, and visitors at both the OSU Medical Center and the Adena Medical Center was such an uplifting experience! It took nearly three hours (plus one hour of driving), but the time really seemed to fly. One of my favorite patients looked, sounded, and acted exactly like Jinjey. I asked her if she wanted a rose and she said, “Oh, honey, I’d love one, but I don’t have anything to put it in.” I then told her, “I’ll be right back,” and snuck off to the nurses’ station where a nurse gave me a large plastic container to put the rose in with some water in it. The patient was so thrilled! Another woman looked at me and said, “This is the first Mother’s Day rose I’ve gotten in years,” smiling at me, alone in her room. She’d not had any visitors for her stay, either, and said that this act of kindness certainly brightened her day! On another floor, some little children came up to me and wanted to know if they could have a rose for their mom, who was having surgery. Of course I said yes! I didn’t get to see her reaction, but I’m sure she loved it! One nurse asked if she could have four roses: one for her, one for her mom, and two for the Jesus statuette she had in her home to honor her grandmothers. A few people asked me, “Who are you with?” I just responded, “… Myself,” chuckled, and told them about the 89 Acts of Kindness. The reaction was the same all across the board: “Wow! That’s so nice of you to think of other people as a way to remember your great-grandma!” But if there’s one thing the acts thus far have taught me, it’s that I’m really no different than anyone else. I’m a little under 1/4 of the way through the acts, and I’ve got to say that I have already learned so much about myself, humanity, and what it means to be a truly caring person. It’s not about how much money you can give, nor is it about how much time or sympathy you offer. True kindness is recognizing the human in everyone, and offering your humanity, your heart, and your most caring self to them. Whether you are holding the door open for someone or paying for their dinner; helping an old lady cross the street or paying for her groceries; playing with puppies at the local shelter or giving 89 roses away to people stuck in hospitals on Mother’s Day; no matter what you are doing, if you are operating from a position of pure, true kindness, you’ll find that the happiness you provide for them WILL rub off on you, and you will learn more and more about yourself with every act you do
So today I would like you to join me in acknowledging and celebrating Samantha for her beautiful tribute to Jinjey, and also to acknowledge the incredible example that Virginia Booth lived which inspired Samanthat to honour her in this way. I hope their example inspires many others….
As you know, I would love to acknowledge, honour and celebrate the women and men who have inspired you as well. So if there is someone that you believe should feature as a Fabulous Friday Female (or Fellow!), then send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with 3 simple details:
- Who is your Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow? (Her / his name and location in the world)
- Why is she / he a Fabulous Friday Female / Fellow to YOU? (How do you know her / him? What does she / he do? In what way is she / he inspiring?)
- A photo or link to a picture of her / him online (if there is a reason that you would prefer not to include a photo, just let me know)
So help me to share with all of our lovely ladies the real women and men who inspire YOU.
…and remember, as always, to Stay Fabulous too!