WHAT DO YOU FIND BEAUTIFUL?



Recently I encountered a question on Fresh New England's blog, "What do you find beautiful?" As many of you probably know, I find tremendous beauty in nature, farms and naturally the fresh produce at the farmer's market. Being surrounded by such incredible beauty has inspired much thought for me about what I see as beautiful, and why.



I've had much time to think about that question prior to being asked. In a very profound way, I find those same magical feelings of inspiration and overwhelming admiration whenever I feel kindness from people. For me kindness, compassion and generosity are the some of the most beautiful things that I've ever 'witnessed' in my life. It's a beauty that is so powerful that it inspires me to be the most beautiful i.e. kind person that I can be everyday.



Because this is the season to be thankful, I thought it would be appropriate to share some ways for all of us to spread kindness, and help out in simple but meaningful ways, and at the same time remind ourselves of all the things that we can be grateful for. This year, more so than in any other year in recent memory, will be a slim one for many. We've all heard the stories of people losing their jobs, their homes, and worse yet, their hope.  I am among the 10.2% and growing population of unemployed, so I understand the stress and anxiety related.



What can we do?
  1. LEAD. There are many ways that each of us can help, the limits are only bounded by creativity and inspiration.  I found one notable example of a creative way to help from T.W. Barritt's blog Culinary Types on how one woman, Lydia Walshin who started  Drop In & Decorate, a party to bake and decorate cookies to donate to nonprofit agencies. The joy she must bring to people in need and times of despair is immeasurable and quite inspiring!
  2. GIVE. There are many ways to give this holiday season. Since I'm a food blogger and the upcoming holiday is Thanksgiving, it would only be natural to suggest the gift of food. Recently, Erin Lamberty of Attention Blog, reached out to inform me that  BJ's Wholesale Club, is collecting food donations at all of their Club locations until November 15th. As part of their charitable campaign, BJ's Charitable Foundation will donate the financial equivalent of one million meals to Feeding America's Food Bank network partners. Every little bit helps, so if you can please give.
  3. SHARE. If you know of other ways that each of us can help out, please let us know in your comments for this post: links to charities, stories of what you have done in the past, or creative/inspiring ideas of what you've heard would be very much appreciated. Also, please feel free to share this post with friends, and fellow bloggers to spread the word. Much like the positive chain reaction each of the aforementioned individuals have inspired, you too can continue to make an impact by writing, blogging and sharing. With your ideas and participation we can continue this powerful momentum to make the world a kinder and more beautiful place.






48 comments:

ChefDruck said...

I am so inspired by your post... first by the gorgeous pictures (so missing Central Park in fall) and second by your call to action.

I recently did an article on ways to do charitable projects as a family where I spoke to some foodbanks and social services organizations. They confirmed that the need has gone through the roof. I would suggest contacting your local food bank to see how you can help directly, in addition to the Costco initiative. Often just donating your afternoon, to help pack food up, is a huge gift and costs nothing.

Vanessa

HippieMom said...

I always think about Kindness. How humans can be so kind and yet sometimes it's not a natural act...


We have been taking care of a kid via http://www.allasone.org/

That is one of the ways we "practise" kindness.

Today we saved a kitten from the streets, he is sitting next to me as I am writing ;o)

A tiny act of kindness every day would fill any heart with joy.

(((Hugs ))

HippieMom said...

I always think about Kindness. How humans can be so kind and yet sometimes it's not a natural act...


We have been taking care of a kid via http://www.allasone.org/

That is one of the ways we "practise" kindness.

Today we saved a kitten from the streets, he is sitting next to me as I am writing ;o)

A tiny act of kindness every day would fill any heart with joy.

(((Hugs ))

Fresh Local and Best said...

Vanessa - volunteering is an excellent way to help!

HippieMom - Everyday presents us with opportunities to help, and I truly believe in what you say about how every tiny act of kindness fills our hearts.

:)

Chow and Chatter said...

this is a lovely post i am so blessed and so thankful to be able to travel its great to share and give back thought provoking for sure

love ya oh and the soup below looks amazing would you like me to feature it on the seafood blog i write for with a link back

food with style said...

i love your post, such sweet thoughts and ideas to ponder, thank you for reminding us kindness always matters~

3 hungry tummies said...

Beautifully written, it makes me appreciate everything around me a lot more. Thanks!!

Simply Life said...

Goodness I need to take photo lessons from you!

Margot said...

Great post Christine!

I think it means a lot to give as much as you can, may it be 10 minutes of your time, $10 for your pocket, or 10 kind words to strangers.

Last year, my boyfriend and I put together a pub crawl for his birthday in which we asked for a $20 donation for each person. The money went towards a spending spree at Toys 'R Us to donate to Toys for Tots at Christmas time. We both went into 2009 feeling a bit better about our contribution.

Divina Pe said...

Beautiful photos of nature and of course a great post to remind all of us to be thankful and to appreciate the little things we always take for granted. Thanks.

El said...

Christine, this is a wonderful post. All food banks are in urgent need right now so anything we can donate will be appreciated. There is also an organization in Boston that I'd like to point out called Community Servings - they provide meals to people with critical illness and right now are trying to raise money through the Pie in the Sky Project. People taking time out to help people who are sick - that's a beautiful thing.

http://www.pieinthesky.org

Carrie @ Cottage Cozy said...

What a wonderful post...there truly is so much beauty in the heart! Thanks for sharing all of your wisdom and practical ideas too. You are dear!

Stay Cozy, Carrie

Glad you enjoyed the popcorn tip!

HoustonWok said...

Hi FLB,
Thank you for the inspiring message and the wonderful pictures of central park! I am sorry to hear that you are unemployed, I will mention you in my prayers, hoping that you will catch a blessing and become gainfully employed soon.

The Cooking Photographer said...

I think these are important ideas, all of them. Once we all come together to work on these issues and help each other, many of our problems have a chance of being solved.

Thanks. Great post.

Laura

Pam said...

GREAT post! Love the photos and the message.

KennyT said...

Life is beautiful

Joanne said...

I love this post for many reasons. Firstly, it is so insightful. Thank you for reminding us of all we have to be thankful for. Secondly, the beautiful pictures of my beloved park. Gorgeous.

velva said...

What a beautiful post! Kindness is one of our most powerful human traits. I belong to a group of great girlfriends ( a/k/a The Girlfriend Club) and each month we gather together for fun and laughter. More importantly, we gather to select an opportunity to help women and children. This month we will be focused on putting our funds together and providng a micro-loan to help someone start a business through an organization called Kiva.org. Kiva is an organization that connects people through lending in an effort to alleviate poverty.

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a fantastic post, and beautiful pictures.

Heavenly Housewife said...

What a fantastic post, and beautiful pictures.

Dolce said...

This is a beautiful post with awsome pictures too... You are an inspiration!

The Peanut Butter Boy said...

Like the beans picture, are those cranberry ones? Always wanted to try them.

In terms of GIVING, you just reminded me of a fundraiser I did last year related to donating a nickel to feed the hungry for every comment left on my site. I need to do it again and get other bloggers involved!

Fresh Local and Best said...

Thanks for all of the inspiring ideas and sweet comments!

Peanut Butter - those are cranberry beans!

FoodFitnessFreshair said...

Great post. And I agree...to me, nature is one of the most beautiful parts of life. Nature just simply is, and this is what makes it so beautiful. It's free, it holds no worries or tension, it simply lives and "be's" in present life.

Diana Bauman said...

Christine - you are amazing! What a post! I want to first thank you for such a sweet comment on my blog, you made me cry, lol!! Your photos and thoughts on this post are contagious! I would love to be able to do something special for the holiday season, not sure what though?? I've recently joined up with Share Our Strength and we're hoping to do some sort of blog week to stop child hunger. The more people the better. If you're interested, let me know and I'll forward you any info I receive. I'm hoping to hear something soon!!

Besitos Amiga!!!

Diana

Katherine Aucoin said...

A timely and beautiful message. something i need to come back and read at least once a week.

Gorgeous photos too!

traveleatlove said...

What a beautiful post! Gorgeous photos, and even more beautiful ideas. Giving back makes me feel full. I volunteer every week at the MSPCA with animals and am running the Boston Marathon for The ALLY Foundation, an organization devoted to protecting people against sexual violence. I belong to Boston Cares and have had many great volunteer opportunities with them as well.
I think the blogging community has so much power to do good, and I hope to be able to spread positivity with mine!

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

What a wonderful post! I love the photos. My daughter and I did the Drop in and Decorate for Mother's Day, before she moved to the city. It was a great experience for both of us.
I made the soup from your blog, totally delicious, thanks for the recipe!

and this blog said...

this is such a wonder post, thanks for sharing.
giving during the holiday season is beautiful... since we are all so into food, worldvision.com has these gifts you can give a child, from chicken, and cows to goats and lambs... sometime is amazing how very little can be so much for someone else... =)

Debinhawaii said...

Such a beautiful post--very inspiring. I try to do one good act a day. Might be donating money or food or as imple as letting someone in ahead of me in line at the store, just one little thing to give back in some way.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

A thoughtful post. Thanks for writing this and making us stop to think in this crazy world we live in.

Romaine said...

Love the last photo of celery--at least I think that's what it is. You really do have a lot of beauty around you.

Mama Freemans' cafe' said...

I have found that the lean times are when we see ouselves for what we are.My husband and I experienced a time when he was out of a job due to a strike when our kids were small and it was xmas time.We rallied by taking any job we could get and going with less which ultimately was more. Our family became stronger and we learned that stuff is nothing. We are what is important.We learned how to take what we have and make due and enjoy.I get iritated when I hear the reatilers whining about sales. We should buy what we need and let the rest go.Too many people believe they need everything new and now. Yes that would be nice but it just deosnt work that way.I am thankful that i have a family that does not take things for granted and that less is truly more.

5 Star Foodie said...

Beautiful post, very inspirational, and just right for Thanksgiving!

Sarah said...

Lovely post, I too think that volunteering and food donations is so important. Last year we raised a large sum of money and gathered 10,000 toys for the needy families within our community in 2 weeks. It was amazing to see the looks on the families faces! So rewarding!

Mari at Once Upon a Plate said...

Brilliant post, dear one ~ proving once again that true beauty extends beyond the physical.

Your spirit is beautiful, kind and caring ~ it is very apparent as you/we deal with the current challenges. I appreciate your thoughts and inspiration.

We usually donate food and money but, especially in this economy, I feel we must dig deep and share more of what we have. Thank you for encouraging others.

A truly thoughtful and inspiring post. I like you!

xo~m

Sophie said...

What a great post this was!! You are so right!
I so love your lovely pictures!!

Very inspiring, my dear friend!

noble pig said...

The pictures are beautiful, and the words wonderful! Thank you.

girlichef said...

Beautifully said...and photographed :D

Laurie said...

You brought me to tears with this post. I believe we're only here on this planet to share the love and beauty and you did with such grace.

Thank you...

Nanny'76 said...

Hello Just wanted to let you read it from Italy and my compliments for the beautiful Bolg:))

biz319 said...

Loved this post! Just stumbled upon your blog for the first time today - it always amazes me that after reading food related blogs for years, and never coming across one until now!

Beautiful pictures!

the ungourmet said...

Kindness is a beautiful gift to give! Your post is lovely and thought provoking. Thanks!

Oh, and I love that last photo. It looks like celery???

John D. said...

Perfect post for this season or any season in fact.

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

Such a sweet and thought-provoking post! And gorgeous pictures too.

Lydia said...

Thanks for helping to spread the word about Drop In & Decorate. More than 30 cookies-for-donation events will be going on around the country in the next few weeks. Wouldn't it be fun if one of your readers decorated and donated the 10,000th cookie?

Miranda said...

I see many beauty in this world. My kids are absolutely the best site ever....

Dinners & Dreams said...

The pictures are really amazing,especially the second one.

Nisrine