And a Happy Friday to you on a freezing cold day in New York. So many good holiday stories and videos out there to help me forget/not think about the un-ending series of awful choices for the next Cabinet. I mean, as my friend Dave helpfully pointed out to me in a text Thursday night, Trump has nominated an anti-justice Attorney General, an anti-education Education secretary, an anti-environment guy to lead the EPA (who literally has spent years suing the EPA!) and an anti-labor person to be Labor Secretary! Hard to do.
Anyway, lots of good news stories this week. Let’s start with this one, which seems to be kind of an annual event: An NYPD officer named Frank Rendina saw a homeless man he knew named Ron Brown digging through a garbage can at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan last Friday.
The two men have known each other for a while, and cross paths about twice a month, the 32-year-old cop said.
Rendina asked Brown what he was doing, and Brown said his diabetes was bad and he couldn’t afford to pay for the diabetic socks his doctor said he needed.
Rendina said he’d buy them for Brown and give them to him the next time he saw him, which was a few days later.
“It makes me feel great,” Brown said about Rendina’s special gift, which was handed over to him inside Grand Central Terminal. “Someone thinks of me like a person, a human. Not everyone thinks of people like that these days.”
Every little bit of kindness helps these days.
**Next up, every once in a while a foreign commercial sneaks up on me and blows me away while making me reach for the tissue box.
This holiday ad from an online auction site in Poland called Allegro starts off slowly, with a man trying to learn English, and you don’t know exactly where it’s going, but it’s compelling. And then the last 15 seconds… just so freaking beautiful.
Such a well-done ad that’ll make you smile.
**Finally today, this is a story from Upworthy.com that starts with tragedy but ends with hope and happiness. A woman named Joanne Cacciatore suffered a tragedy in July, 1994 when her daughter was born stillborn. It was the worst day of Joanne’s life, she says.
Joanne grieved for months, and on what would’ve been her daughter Cheyenne’s first Christmas, Jaonne took the money she would have spent on presents and bought a bunch of toys for underprivileged kids through a local charity.
“And in that moment [Cheyenne] was very much alive, because my love for her continued, and I was able to enact that love in the world,” she told Yahoo! News.
That’s when she first became aware of the immense healing power of giving. From there, she started The Kindness Project. It asks grieving parents to do good deeds in their communities in memory of a lost child, or friend, or parent, or spouse.
They then leave behind a small note card so the recipient can channel their gratitude toward the deceased and know that person’s life and death continues to matter.
Really just a terrific idea. Losing a loved one, especially a child, is unspeakably horrible, but by at least turning such a catastrophic event around and doing something kind in their memory, you’re making the world a slightly better place.
“While these good deeds do not eradicate grief, nor should they do so,” Cacciatore wrote, “They do provide a means through which the mourner can redirect painful emotions into feelings of love and compassion and hope.”