the greatest gift is an act of kindness

During the holidays we are all challenged with what to buy for our friends, family and co-workers. Holidays have become known for “giving” and that is a good thing. But maybe we have gotten away from what it means to really “give” someone something. More often than not, we give someone something they really don’t need or want. And some would say, “It’s the thought that counts.” But giving uneeded or unwanted material items is just a waste. A waste of time and the energy it took to make and transport that item. Don’t get me wrong. I am hoping the shops and stores have a great holiday sales season. This column or another like it will not change the fact that people will be shopping, buying and wrapping millions of holiday offerings. Our economy is in need of a healthy sales season. But let’s not limit ourselves to material giving. And let’s not limit ourselves to giving only during the holidays. To me the greatest gift of all is an “act of kindness.” If every person on this planet did just one random act of kindness each and every day, we would see an amazing reversal from negative to positive. When you open the door for someone, or shovel our elderly neighbor’s walk, or rake their leaves without being asked … it leaves an impression on their hearts and minds that will be passed along. And the pass-along value of an act of kindness could be the very “renewable energy” we need to get our planet back on it’s emotional and moral axis. We are out of balance. Mostly due to fear. But nothing a little kindness couldn’t remedy. Oh, J.B., your being too idealistic some will say when reading these words. But I like to live by some simple truths: if something isn’t working, try something else. So if thinking only about #1 is not working, then how about thinking about someone before yourself. Religions have been built on this premise. And yet we seem to have gotten away from such a simple idea. Put someone else first. Perform a random act of kindness. This alone could help heal pain, heartache, depression and loneliness. And the holidays are a good time to begin. But its only a beginning. Make this our mantra for each and every day. Giving is not always just a thought that counts. It is the deed as well. That’s why it’s called a random act of kindness. Not a random thought of kindness. So this holiday season make someone smile by smiling at them first. Make a list of 10 acts of kindness you want to perform in the next 30 days and make someone’s holiday a time they will really remember. You will be amazed at what will begin to happen in the world. We can do much more for each other than we ever dreamed possible. And about those holiday gifts, give something healthy, free trade, recycled, reused, handmade, local, natural or organic… and most of all something someone really needs or wants. And make sure you remember the food banks, clothing charities and others in need! Giving from the heart is the greatest gift of all.


Congrats to our Arts Editor Michelle “Mike” Ochonicky, who was chosen to create the Missouri State Ornament that will hang on the White House Christmas Tree. See story page 29. (Her ornament appears on this month’s cover as well.)


Our next Natural Living Expo is set for February 27 and we begin sending out registration forms December 27 so call soon if you want o be an exhibitor. 314-962-7748.


We welcome Alicia Martin our new bookkeeper and say goodbye to Kathy Wright who gave us some great years of service. We also welcome my daughter Natalie Lester who will serve as our Social Media Editor as you can now find us on Facebook!


Happy Holidays,                   J.B. Lester; Publisher