Happy Friday, my people! It’s a mere six days before Thanksgiving and I have lots to be thankful for this year, including the fact that my 5-year-old’s reading proficiency is amazing more and more every day (Harvard and Duke, our applications will be in the mail shortly.)
Wanted to start Good News Friday this week with a pretty unusual but great wedding proposal story.
A man named Max Allegretti met the woman of his dreams, Jillian Hanson, the way we all meet our loves: when they were teammates at a dodgeball tournament in college (It’s true: If you save someone from a flying object smacking into their skull, they are legally obligated to go out with you.)
Allegretti and Hanson fell in love and their relationship endured through the usual ups and downs, but suffered a huge down a few years ago when Hanson was diagnosed with breast cancer.
But like a good boyfriend, Allegretti stood by her side, and a little more than a year ago, on the day of Hanson’s last chemo treatment, Allegretti proposed to her, right there on a bed at Memorial Sloan Kettering hospital in Monmouth, N.J.
The video is awesome, especially when the nurses all get excited when Max proposes.
The two got married on Oct. 18, and love really does triumph over all.
**Next up today, a feel-good story combining music and animals, but no don’t worry, it’s not about a porcupine who plays a killer saxophone.
From Upworthy.com: Martin Agee has played his violin all over the world, at some of the most prestigious venues with some of the most venerated orchestras, but he readily admits that his favorite gig is playing for his furry friends at the local ASPCA shelter.
“I’ll never forget my first day,” he said to Medium. “Many of these dogs have been traumatized. Here they enter a process of recovery. We’re being kind to them. Some days, I have to hold back the tears. The dogs I play for, it’s at different stages of their recovery, have been injured and/or neglected.”
This is a very cool idea, and having someone as talented as Agee play for the pooches must be very soothing to them.
The power of music extends to all living creatures.
**Finally, wanted to bring a little attention to a wonderful initiative my good friend Catherine Pearlman wrote about on her blog this week. I’ve written about Catherine on here before; she donated a kidney to a total stranger a few months back, an act of generosity that still boggles my mind.
This week Catherine kicked off an initiative she’s calling Stranger Kindness, asking friends, colleagues and just good people of the world to try do as many acts of stranger kindnesses as they can between now and Valentine’s Day.
From Catherine’s heartfelt post:
During the holiday season, we all tend to give a lot to our family, our friends, maybe our neighbors and our coworkers. That’s all good. But the thing is there are lots of people who don’t enjoy this time of year. It’s expensive. It can be extraordinarily lonely. It is often stressful with all the shopping and parties and planning. And there tends to be more depression and anxiety than other times of the year.
There is so much we can all do to help others as we would help our inner circle. And maybe doing it for a stranger will make that act more meaningful. With the holidays approaching, I’m ready to get back into giving business. I want to see if you will join me.
For the next three months let’s make the world a better place by being nice to strangers. I mean make an actual concerted effort every day to do something nice for someone outside of your friends and family. Go big or small. Spend money or don’t. All you have to do is find ways every day to do something nice for a stranger until Valentine’s day.
Why stretch this giving thing way past the holidays? Because lots of people help out during the Thanksgiving to Christmas stretch. But often people feel more alone in the dark days of January and February. Valentine’s day stinks for a large portion of the country. So, let’s do this all the way until the promise of Spring is upon us.
As Catherine goes on to say, this could be acts as simple as putting money in a stranger’s parking meter, or paying for their coffee in line. Helping someone else costs so little, but often means so much.
She’s asking people to use the hashtag #strangerkindness when they do something nice, so if you can, please do.