I took the “Thankful November” challenge last year, and started a Random Acts of Kindness Project that expanded into the months that followed. I received so much joy from doing Random Acts of Kindness, that I found myself addicted to the concept of helping people. From acts of kindness as simple as a smile or opening a door for an unsuspecting soul, I became enthralled in how much joy my heart received in showing kindness to total strangers. So when November came around this year, it took on a whole new awareness as I had just recently lost my 14½ year old dog to heart disease. As I sit here on the 8th day of December I am thankful for many things, but the one thing that stands apart from everything else is the love this dog had, and how dogs love “Unconditionally”. So I took refuge in seeking out my love for other people and I engaged in an “Unconditional Love Project” of my own.

 Maggie my West Highland Terrier had a heart that was so pure. If only we all could love as deeply and as long as our dogs love us. A dog’s love for us is so parallel to the love of Jesus, that it’s no wonder God sent dogs here to take care of us as well. After all, God spelled backward spells Dog!

 I come into my empty house now, and it brings great sadness to know that Maggie is no longer there waiting for me to arrive. Her happy, wagging tail and self are no longer a greeter at my door, yet I know she is in a far better place, running and jumping in Heaven while being pain free. If only for a minute we could love that hard on people around us, the world would be a much better place.

 We take so much for granted in our busy lives, going about our daily routines hardly noticing little things that come into our days. As I look at my house and the emptiness, and I wonder how often I passed Maggie by as I unappreciatively went on my way to my next appointment. How often do we miss the moment where we can touch the heart of others who we simply pass by in the moment? The people that need a hug, or a reassuring word, or simply a smile that assures them they are indeed worth looking in the eye in the moment letting them know we care.

 If only we could be like Jesus and our animals, and love one another without a care of knowing the background of this person or if they might hurt our hearts for loving them or even caring?

Do you greet the grocery checkout guy/girl even if they say nothing to you? Most times I get annoyed if the checkout person says nothing – but the other day was different. Everyone has a story to tell yet we seldom ask each other or engage in simple conversation. As I was checking out at the grocery store, I put my groceries on the conveyor and I decided to take a different approach. I said “Hi Joe” first. I asked him how his day was, and he looked up at me with a big grin and said “It’s better now”! He said his day was better now because I took the time to ask. He said “everyone is too busy to ever ask”. I looked at him, told him “I was glad I did – and then I told him to pay if forward to everyone he meets so they too can see his beautiful smile!”  Blessings come in all forms – mine came from a young man named Joe!

I will continue the Unconditional Love Project on a daily basis. I will seek out those that look down and out and try to transform their lives by a simple act of kindness that may turn their world around for the good. You never know who you will meet in the moment, someone that could have their life transformed by a simple gesture of kindness, someone that could in turn change another life around causing a “Ripple Effect” of kindness that could quite possibly change the world.



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