Thursday, February 17, 2011

Have Faith in Humanity

Yesterday afternoon, as I was taking soda cans and assorted other recyclable material to our bin, I looked at our neighbor's house and for no apparent reason I remembered that I had ordered candles from their oldest daughter, as part of some school fund raiser. There was no rhyme or reason to this memory... I had placed this order last October, $20 for 2 candles, cash upon order.

The memory evoked the same exact feeling that I had when I placed the order... I may never see these candles or the money ever again. I say this because I asked if she needed the money up front or when she returned with my order. Not that it was a big deal, it's only $20. But when I asked, she paused for a moment, looked at her friend, and replied "I need the money now."

As you can guess, I didn't ever get those candles... never saw my neighbor's daughter outside playing. I figured they probably needed the money more than I needed the money. Her father, a construction worker, had been in and out of jobs many times over the past months. Her mother works 2 jobs. And they are outstanding people, and great neighbors.

So I seldom gave the $20 any thoughts, other than to hope it did them some good. Maybe they used it for bills, or to buy some additional groceries. That's probably what happened, in these tough economic times, they decided they should feed their 3 children instead of placing the orders for candles. A difficult decision to make, but who could blame them?

Anyway, last night my smarter half and I were sitting down to watch The Good Wife, which we had recorded the previous evening, when the doorbell rang. Smarter Half got up and looked out the window to see who might be at our door, and stated, "It's a kid."

Usually that meant that the neighbor kids wanted to play with our dog, or maybe looking to do some simple chores for us in exchange for cash. So Smarter Half opened the door and went outside to talk with "the kid." After a few minutes she returned... and handed me a $20 bill.

Yes, the $20 from the candle order. The story neighbor girl gave was that she was ill on the day she was to turn in the order form. Interesting story, given the amount of time since I placed the order. Even more interesting is how I felt about it... it was as if I'd just won $20 from a scratch-off ticket!

Even though I given neighbor girl this money several months ago, if felt like karma was looking out for me. I'd assumed that I had given my neighbors this money without looking for something in return, and there was karma, rearing her beautiful head.

I do understand that it is very likely that neighbor girl's parents asked her to return the money when they found it. Once again, I repeat, they are wonderful people, and I'm lucky to have them next door.

But back to the point. Have faith in humanity... do something selfless... make today a better day than yesterday and then do it again tomorrow. And each evening ask yourself "What am I going to do tomorrow to make the world a better place to be?" (with apologies to Harry Chapin for borrowing the title of one of my favorite songs)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Updated Program... and we're delighted

Hi everyone. I'll get right to the point. We unveiled our greatly improved "Quit Smoking" program this week. Yes, the link takes you right to the page that describes what and how our program will help you become and remain a non-smoker.

See, that's the important part... remain. And it's the hardest part. So we looked deeply into our old quit smoking program, found a few weak spots, and dramatically improved not only the program, but with it, your ability to finally kick that nasty smoking habit.

If you're like most smokers, you've quit at least a few dozen times. Use the patches, or gum, or some big pharma product... all with little success. We've got the answer. We'll even tell you right here what the answer ready?  Here it is:

You're not addicted only to nicotine, you're addicted to smoking. Therefore, you have to beat the nicotine addiction and the smoking addiction at the same time! If you're interested in learning more, check out our program and FAQ page by using the Quit Smoking NOW link.