Archive for January, 2012

Bogart is Back in the Picture

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

1-17-12Getting back to Los Angeles and seeing some familiar sites made me feel as if I had only left yesterday, not three weeks ago. Bogart has once again was pampered, in my absence, by two friends in California, Hays and Cheryl. Bogart made it through the holidays without gaining a pound, I certainly can’t say that. He looked like a ┬ámillion bucks, he was obviously well cared for.
These past two days have been all about outfitting The Kindness Bicycle with new signs. The Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes begins this Saturday morning, with the tire dip in the Pacific Ocean, near the Santa Monica Pier. To say I am extremely excited would be a huge understatement…I am stratospherically excited. I think I just coined a new word.
The interest for this ride is so strong. Getting the message of who the real heroes are in our society, needs to reach everyone.
This ride will NOT be a point A to point B type of ride. The Kindness Bus will be my transportation to population centers where I will ride The Kindness Bicycle for as little as a day or as long as a couple of weeks. The entire ride is for five months, during which time I will ride a minimum of 4,000 miles.

Third of Five Quotes This Week (a reprint)

Monday, January 16th, 2012

kingphoto“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
1963 was a time in our nation’s history when there was much unrest in many of our cities, particularly the south. Many peaceful protests for freedoms started to become more physical. Some protests turned to riots. Our nation could have gone down a very frightening path. One seventeen minute speech changed all of that.
My favorite passage from the “I have a Dream” speech are the 19 words printed above. These beautiful words call for peace to a nation that could have taken that wrong path. These words are still very important today, not only for our nation but for the entire world as well.
In most of my in-classroom programs, I talk about what I like to call the “peaceful solutions” that Dr. King wanted for all people in our country to embrace. A new generation of children who need to know the importance of how differences can be settled by embracing peace in their own lives.
It has been nearly fifty years since these words have been spoken so eloquently. The short speech defused the “discontent” of the “sweltering summer” of 1963 in our country. These 19 words can also be used to defuse a disagreement between two individuals a well as creating “peaceful solutions” for nations around the world.

The 1%, the 99%, and the Individual

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

Kindness knows no boundaries. Geographic, political, religious, race, socio-economic, ethnicity, age or sex, whomever you are or no matter what group you represent, kindness is for you and for everyone else. I love the diverse melting pot of this planet. I love the prospect that someday we may all put aside our differences because of kindness. That day, I hope comes much sooner than later.
Kindness is truly up to the individual. It’s a choice. Being kind along socio-economic lines is a topic seldom addressed.
I was born into a very middle class family and in the first half of my life, I never felt like I was lacking anything. I spent the 2nd half of my life living among the top one thousandth of the 1% and felt the same. The past 3 years of living on The Kindness Bus, with nearly everything at a minimal level of habitation, I have found happiness I never knew existed.
During the two earlier lives I experienced, I know people who earn barely the poverty level of income and would literally give you the shirt off their back, I also know people of the same means who would never think to share a single cent with anyone. The greed was amazing to me, even at this level of income. I have also witnessed, first hand, people with stratospheric wealth who build wings on hospitals, give tirelessly to charities around the world and who help by donating tens of millions of dollars to fund research to find cures for diseases. I also know individuals with stratospheric wealth who seem to think only of themselves. The greed is amazing to me, especially at this level of income.
To me, there is no 1%, there is no 99%. There is only 100%. All of life’s choices are up to the individual, no matter the income.

Veterans Hospital, Breckville, Ohio

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

1-14-12With only two days left to my stay in the east before I head back to the west coast, I realized that I had precious, little time left to accomplish all of my goals. I have much to do in these couple of days. Yesterday I ventured out in the icy weather and visited the Veterans Hospital in Brecksville, Ohio. George, a proud decorated veteran was my VA connection. This facility which has been open for decades, is slated to be closed in late February. A skeleton crew is all that remains, but George was all I really needed today. He was instrumental in helping me to plan my Kindness Bicycle Ride for Heroes by giving me a booklet which gives specific details of every VA facility in the country and helping with other pertinent details.
Today I visited police and fire stations in Chagrin Falls and Gates Mills, a fire station in Mayfield Heights and a police station in Hunting Valley, Ohio. Matt a firefighter at the Mayfield station invited me in for a dinner and personnel at all the other facilities, where present, were pleased to learn of this ride. This ride, without a doubt, will be extremely impactful.

Fast Approaching

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Four weeks from Monday marks the beginning of One Million Acts Of Kindness Week. I am in need of the message of this week to spread around the globe. Please spread word of this week to everyone you possibly can. Have your friends and family forward the link to all of their friends and click on the One Million Acts Of Kindness Week box to access the simple form.
Thank you,

Millridge School

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

1-12-12I love Millridge School in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. I have visited this school four times and every time it seems to get better. Anita Davidson arranged for my visit today and organized nine classrooms of students to be treated to a presentation of “Where’s Bogart?” Every previous visit to this school included Bogart, except today’s.
Today, I updated the students on this summer’s Kindness Bicycle Tour and what Bogart did while I was pedaling cross country. While I talked, three very humorous photos of how Bogart enjoyed his summer vacation were projected on the screens in every classroom. Bogart, to the delight of the students, was shown in a swimming pool, sitting in a lounge chair and celebrating his birthday.
We also talked about Bogart’s book series and read his first book to all of the students. The students have been learning about writing books. They were excited to learn that some of the colorful letters they had written to Bogart from my previous visits were sent along with Bogart’s book to many publishers. These letters show the great interest in the Bogart book series.
Thank you Millridge School.

Love as a Verb

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

1-11-12Love, used as a verb in your life is when it is most powerful. Actions of an individual, when performed with love from the heart, can be moving for everyone involved.
In about five weeks, One Million Acts Of Kindness Weeks begins, as groups of people from across the world volunteer to help to make their part of their world a better place because of their actions. Please take the time to sign up to take part in this very important week. Make love a verb in your life.