Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Day 73 - Tell the story of the person you are named after.

Names usually communicate so much more than a simple tag or label of what to call you. Your name becomes the representation of who you are; who you are to your family, to your boss, to your friends, to the businessman in the office or the waitress at your table. Your name is a representation of YOU.

In the universe everything has been given a name. And, behind each name there resides a meaning. Parent's usually put a lot of time and effort into the decision of what to name their children and it's something that will stay with you (for the most part) for the rest of your life.

When my parents got the news of their first child, my brother, they made an agreement that if my father got to name their son, my mother would be able to choose the name of their first daughter. A year later, when news hit of my expectancy, my mother says she was excited to choose a name for me. Her first choice was Ashley, but when she came across the name Cynthia in a baby book she fell in love with it right away. My name, Cynthia, is a Greek origin which means Greek god. The name derives its meaning from Mount Kynthos and was the name of the Greek moon goddess. She loved the meaning of my name and the history of it, not to mention, she also adored the fact that a famous Roman poet Propertius used the name Cynthia in many of his love poetry which she thought was, in her words,"dreamy and romantic".

At a very young age, my mother found that it was hard for people to spell my name or pronounce it correctly so she decided to nickname me Cindee, spelling it differently than the normal Cindy name, because if you knew my mother, you’d know that she strives to be different and unique. The name Cindee quickly stuck, and now as an adult I can say not many people know me by my full name; I believe the only person who still calls me by my first name is my grandmother. I've asked my mother many times, why she didn't just name me Cindee if she intended to call me that all along, she just laughs and tells me that she still loves my full name and doesn't regret it one bit. As for me, either names are okay with me, but sometimes it will take me longer to look if you’re calling me by my first name, being that I’m not used to it. What about you, what's the story about your name? It’s nice to find out little things like the reason behind your name which one day you can tell your children or grandchildren. I’d love to hear the stories behind your name, so comment below!♥

Cynthia prima suis miserum me cepit ocellis,contactum nullis ante cupidinibus.
"Cynthia first captivated wretched me with her eyes,
I who had never before been touched by Cupid." (I.1.1-2)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

UPDATE on Day 68 - Give a homeless person a clean blanket.

As mentioned previously in my former deed, to give a homeless person a blanket; I signed up and was to attend an orientation for Miami Dade Rescue to feed and interact with the homeless individuals of South Florida.

When I initially signed up with the Miami Rescue Mission I really had no idea about the organization; the sole reason I chose them was because they are one of the biggest shelters in Miami, Florida that feed and take in any homeless person off of the street. Now for those of you who are wondering why I had to attend an orientation in the first place in order to feed the homeless, it’s because now a days organizations like to go over policies and guidelines of what you should wear when working with them as well as explain what to do in case of an emergency or with a particular situation.

Upon attending orientation today I learned a lot about this particular organization and how truly remarkable they are. The organization is a non-profit, faith-based group focused on ministry to the homeless and needy in South Florida with a slogan of "No One is Homeless"; it was founded in 1922 by a Christian couple whose goal was to feed as many hungry stomachs as possible. Now don't let the faith based part make you stray, they welcome anyone with helping hands of any faith or no faith at all.

Last year they provided over 343,286 bed nights and served nearly 859,883 meals to the homeless men, women and children of South Florida.

I originally began this deed so that I could give a homeless person a clean blanket; but this one deed has opened my eyes more than I could have ever imagined and moved me in so many ways. I am currently awaiting my background check because not only would I like to feed the homeless but I've decided I want to work with women and their children during specialty events such as birthday parties, self-esteem classes, career and hygiene workshops, etc.

I will also be getting involved with 'Operation Hope Tote' which is a drive they are currently having to fill as many little hope tote's as possible for the homeless. A Hope Tote is a small purple bag that can be filled with inexpensive, simple day to day items we take advantage of such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, soap or body wash, shampoo, deodorant, wash cloths, disposable razors, underwear, etc. These tote's are made to make the person feel better so that they can hopefully make better changes for themselves – such as getting involved with their education, work training, recovery and spiritual guidance.

If you are in the Miami or Broward area I urge you to get involved with this wonderful organization; not only will it change your life, but it will also, hopefully, change someone else’s life; like the men in the below video who graduated thanks to the Miami Rescue Mission. In addition, if you would like to donate or get involved with Operation Hope Tote, you can contact Melissa Singh, via-email at msingh@caringplace.org or via-telephone at (305) 572-2002; I will also be picking up items for donation so comment below and I would be more than happy to pick up anything you are willing to contribute.  

You also be a part of their Meal(s)-A-Month-Club by donating $2.00 a month. For as little as $2.00 you can provide a hot meal to the homeless and hungry; that's only $24.00 a year. For that small amount you're providing meals during the year for those that are in great need and who thanks to your help, might turn around their life, like so many have already done.  If you really think about it, in today’s society $24.00 doesn’t make a significant difference on your pocket book, but you’ll be making a big difference in someone’s life!!!

"I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." Mother Teresa♥

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Day 72 - Learn how to say thank you in other languages so you can thank people in their native tongues.

They say that one of the best phrases you can learn when traveling in another country is 'thank you'. Not only does it show your gratitude for a person's help, but also a certain level of respect in the fact that you're attempting to reach out in their local language.

There are many good reasons to learn another language or words in another language; one of the best reasons is that language learning is an example of "cognitive reserve", which is something that keeps the mind active in the same way puzzles and games do.  Scientists have found that one of the best methods of fending off the symptoms of dementia (a popular form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease) and brain damage is by building up your ‘cognitive reserve’.  People who live intellectually stimulating lives and who are better educated are somehow better protected against the factors that trigger mental decline.

Not to mention but the majority of the world does not speak English; in today’s society we are so isolated that we hardly realize this. More and more towns and cities in the United States are becoming diversified and we are coming into contact with more non-English speakers all of the time. So learning another language will benefit you in terms of business and personal relationships by being able to communicate with people in their language. This will set you apart and gain immediate respect and credibility.

Today I will be trying to memorize how to say ‘thank you’ in 5 different languages. I chose the following 5 languages because not only do I think they common languages spoken throughout, but they are also languages that have intrigued me.  

  1. French – Thank you in French is ‘Merci’ (pronounced mair-see)
  2. Swahili (language of Africa) – Thank you in Swahili is ‘Asante’ (pronounced ah-SAWN-tay)
  3. Hindi (language of India) – Thank you in Hindi is ‘Shukriya’ (pronounced shook-ri-ya
  4. Chinese – Thank you in Chinese is ‘Xiè Xiè’(pronounced shi-e shi-e)
  5. Italian – Thank you in Italian is ‘Grazie’ (pronounced gra-zee)
Although I cannot guarantee I will remember the above gratitude phrases, I will definitely make it a point to learn words in another language each time I travel and will also try to practice these five phrases on a weekly basis. You should do the same, try to memorize at least one ‘thank you’ phrase in another language today. We all know how important manners are and it’s a nice feeling when you show thankfulness to another person, especially in their native tongue.♥

"To have another language is to possess a second soul." - Charlemagne♥


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Day 71 - Visit a community garden.

I must say, out of all of the deeds I have completed thus far, this has got to be my favorite one. Mainly because, until today, I had no idea "community gardens" existed, let alone what a community garden was. Once I found out exactly what it was, I entirely fell in love with the concept. The image of communities getting together, gardening, laughing and sharing is a divine conception.

For those of you who are as clueless as I was, a community garden is basically a piece of land/property in your community that is owned by the city or privately, where you can grow your own food in small plots with the support of other gardeners and take home a share of what is produced. Some charge an annual fee to cover things like water, supplies, etc.  but the cost isn’t usually that ample.

The idea fascinated me and when I searched ‘Miami community gardens’ in Google I was shocked with the abundance of there being so many and I was yet to know they existed.  I would expect gardens like these to be located in places with diverse cultures such as New York City but definitely not Miami, I guess we are moving’ on up in diversity!

Today, I made a list of gardens nearest to me and left on my journey to see this magnificent concept in person.  The first couple of gardens I went to were closed and although I was disappointed I looked at them through the gates and was left in admiration. Not to mention, one of them was a in a gorgeous park that was a ‘hidden gem’, if it wasn’t for this deed I would had never known this park existed. As soon as I saw this park, I envisioned myself on a weekend afternoon, laying out in the park all day reading and definitely added it to my “favorite parks” list.

I couldn’t help but be discouraged on my way to the last park on my list because although I saw the gardens were beautiful, they were closed so I really couldn’t go in to get an up-close look. I really didn’t get why they were all closed, it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon with the sun shining, a hint of a breeze and bright blue clouds; the perfect day to spend outdoors gardening.  It took me a while to actually find the garden and I finally found it hidden in between apartment buildings on the beach and when I saw it I was left in amazement; it was small but lovely, the color burst from every plant, the gardeners working on their plots and kids running and playing – it was truly out of a movie.  I sat in the garden for about an hour admiring the plants, people, and reading my book, I knew I would be visiting again from how much I loved the serene atmosphere. I am extremely thankful for this Good Deed book and project, especially on days like today!

I insist you look up community gardens in your area, you will be shocked to see how many there are! You'll fall in love with the variety in age, culture, and the people's backgrounds in every garden you visit. Everyone has something unique and different to share, it's a lovely concept, one that I adore and I hope you'll love it too. Let me know your experiences and stories if you do visit a garden near you, I'd be delighted to hear them!!!♥

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow." - Audrey Hepburn♥

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Day 70 - Bring your coworker a coffee.

Research shows that 3 out of 5 American's spend more hours at work than they do at home. Work takes up a decent portion of our lives; and it feels like a second home to most people; spending the majority of our week with co-workers, a group of people that are not family.

Another interesting fact; the American Psychological Association says studies show that people who have a good peer support system at work may live longer than people who don't have such a support system.

In actuality, you don't have to be friends with your co-workers, but to make your day go by smoothly; it's wise to be on good terms with them. This doesn't particularly mean you have to spend time outside of the office with them. But while you're in the same working environment, being able to talk on a friendly or cordial basis is highly important. Even if you don't particularly care for a fellow employee, doing your part to keep the peace can go a long way towards showing true professionalism in your career.

I am pretty fortunate when it comes to my work situation. For the most part I get along with my co-workers and enjoy what I do (on a good day). Every morning I dread coming into the office and having to make myself a coffee. On special occasions I’ve come into work and the guards have an iced coffee sitting at my desk waiting for me and ready to drink. On those days I smile from ear to ear, that small simple gesture makes my entire day.

My co-workers love me doing this "good deed project" because they have reaped the benefits of my deeds such as today when I brought them a coffee from Starbucks. When they each walked into the office and saw they had a Starbucks coffee waiting for them, they had that same thankful, elated expression which I have on the days I receive coffee and it made my day to see that I too could give that feeling to someone.  

Today, make it a new beginning at your office, no matter what the circumstance is; don't hesitate to be friendly. Even if you're the new employee or maybe the one who's never had much to say, don't hesitate to smile and say hello. Also, bring them coffee; I assure you that nice simple gesture will make them overjoyed, and they will pay it forward by bringing you a little surprise in the future!♥

"No-one has become poor by giving." - Anne Frank

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Day 69 - Start a recycling program at your building, school, or home.

I personally have always encouraged others to ‘GO GREEN’; there are so many reasons why we should recycle, not to mention, society (for the most part) makes it so easy to do so in today's era, that there really shouldn't be a motive for why you don't recycle. In addition, recycling also has numerous environmental benefits such as it saves energy, conserves natural resources, saves wildlife & animals from becoming extinct, limits pollution, & supports several sectors of the economy to name a few.

The biggest concern for me is deforestation…

Did you know that 95% of forest areas in the US alone have been cut down, & over 50% worldwide? This is only going to get worse as regions of the world become more commercialized.

Forests cover 30% of the land area on our planet and they produce vital oxygen & provide homes for people & wildlife. Many of the world's most threatened & endangered animals live in forests. With the decrease in forest areas, wildlife that previously lived there have nowhere else to go & die as a result. Can you imagine being run out of your own home? It would be devastating & animals don't deserve it either! The National Geographic reports that rain forests could completely vanish in a 100 years at the current rate of deforestation; here are some astonishing facts:
  • 46-58 million square miles of forest are lost each year – that’s equivalent to 36 football fields EVERY MINUTE!
  • Around 17% of the Amazon forest has been lost in the last 50 years.
  • More than half of the world's timber & 72% of paper is consumed by 22% of the world's population.
  • Over 30 million trees are cut down every single day in the world.
  •  Over 5,000 products are made from trees.
  •  In the time it takes to read this article, an area of Brazil’s rain forest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed.
  •  It takes 200 years to grow a forest tree. It takes 20 minutes to cut it down!
Now that I have your attention, it’s easier than you think to start a recycling program in your office or school; to be honest I was a little concerned that this would be one of the more difficult deed’s to do. When I searched under Google “how to start a recycling program” I got so many results & most were easily attainable.  There are 4 simple steps to take:

1)      Designate a room in your office where you can place recycling bins; I designated the copy room and put a bin for paper as well as plastic which is what we mostly consume here.

2)     Contact your County Recycling Coordinator; by law your County is required to provide the opportunity to recycle at least 4 out of the 8 following materials: newspaper, glass, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, steel cans, cardboard, office paper & yard trash. Your local Recycling Coordinator will be able to provide you with specifics on what materials are accepted in the county program as well as a service provider’s contact information.

3)     Plan a meeting for everyone in your building or office to announce the program, teach everyone what goes in which bin, encourage & praise participation & follow-up via memo & newsletters as often as possible. Consistency is key to any successful program.
  • Today, I had an management meeting with all of our staff including security  & housekeeping advising them that beginning today we are to implement a RECYCLE POLICY with no excuses (I handed out memos of what items are recyclable). To encourage the new strategy, we will be doing a survey at the end of each month and the employee who has done the most recycling will get a $25.00 gift card to the restaurant and also a tenant of ours, The Cheesecake Factory.

Take action today as well & start a recycling program at your office, school or even at home. Trust me it’s easy and rewarding; start today to make a better future for your children tomorrow; and if you don’t plan on having children, at least save the poor little animals in forests throughout the world!! Don't know where to begin? Below are some links that will give you more information on where to start...

"Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it." - Mahatma Gandhi