Never Suppress a Generous Thought

Dear Ceanray,

The other day at school I paid for my lunch with two five dollar bills. The total of my food was $9.10, so this wasn’t unusual. What was unusual was what happened after the women at the cash register asked me if I had a dime. I was sure I did – I always have an abundance of change in my wallet – so I told her I would check and see.

My hands were full with my food, so it was difficult for me to maneuver what I was holding in order to open my wallet. When I finally did reach it, there was no need – the girl in line behind me had given the cashier a dime. I was completely taken aback by her act of kindness. I found a dime in my wallet, and tried to repay her with it, but she insisted that I keep it.

Even now as I type this, I can’t get over how kind that simple act was. It didn’t take much effort on her part, but her humility in refusing my dime (worth only ten cents, but still) struck me as incredibly generous. In an age where bad news seems to be everywhere, it is amazing to experience positivity.

One of my favourite quotes is, “Never suppress a generous thought.” I love this quote because of the simple reminder it gives, and also because it highlights the unfortunate fact that sometimes we do suppress our generous thoughts.

If the girl in line behind me in my school cafeteria had suppressed the generous thought she had, the consequences wouldn’t have been dire. I would have found my dime, paid with it, and been on my merry way. However, the fact that the stakes weren’t high and she still acted on her generous thought says a lot about her character.

Our world can be very cruel, but every so often we are touched by kindness and our faith is restored. Because of that one girl’s simple action, I am inspired to act on my own generous thoughts and be that person for someone else. If we don’t suppress our kind thoughts, we can create a ripple of positivity.
Sherina

 

Dear Sherina,

I love that quote,  “Never suppress a generous thought”. This is important for us to remember, especially given the events of this past week. When I heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris, my first reaction was anger. The people who lost their lives were innocent, all they wanted to do was to enjoy a concert or get a bite to eat. They were not soldiers, nor high-ranking government officials. What did they do to deserve this?

After hearing about Paris, I then saw the news about a suicide bomber in Lebanon and yesterday, the hostage situation in Mali. With everything that’s going on in the world, it’s important not to lose hope, and to acknowledge the brighter side of humanity.

In everyday life, simple acts of kindness are underrated and, more often than not, cost nothing. Don’t underestimate the power of asking someone how their day was, or how work went. If someone looks sad or unhappy, asking if they’re feeling okay can make a difference – even if they don’t want to share what’s causing their sadness –  it’s reassuring to know someone cares.

I’m a firm believer in leaving the world a better place than it was when you got here, whether that means volunteering at your local animal shelter, food bank or senior’s home. It could also mean getting involved in the issues you’re passionate about. Even the smallest impact on another person’s life can make a profound impact.

Ceanray

Double Liebster Award!

The fabletters is excited to announce that we have been nominated for not just one, but TWO Liebster Awards! Thank you so much, Karen and Carol! We are making this an open nomination, so if you are reading this then congratulations; you’ve just been nominated for the Liebster Award!

The rules are simple: thank the person who nominated you, answer their questions, make some questions of your own, and nominate more people to answer your questions. Our questions are at the bottom, so if you’d like to accept our open nomination head on there to find them!

Without further ado, here are Sherina (S) and Ceanray (C)’s answers:

Questions from Carol:

What is your favorite word, and why?

S: My favourite word is meraki, which means “to do something with your soul, creativity, or love; when you leave a piece of yourself in your word”. To me this word is the essence of why I love expressing myself through writing!

C: My favourite word is papillon, which means “butterfly” in French. French is my second language and I remember finding the word papillon absolutely intriguing when it was the word of the day in kindergarten.

Favorite music, and why?

S: Taylor Swift! Throughout the years she has made music for all emotions; happy, sad, hopeful, hopeless. Whatever my mood, I can always match it to a T-Swift song.

C: It depends on what I feel like listening to. I would have to say that Adele and Ed Sheeran wind up on my playlists more often than not. I love any song with a meaningful story behind it.

What is the one thing you could not live without?

S: My family and friends.

C: My family and friends as Sherina said, but I also couldn’t live without books.

Why did you name your blog like that?

S: We decided to name this blog the fabletters because the premise is that we write letters… and we like to think they’re fab! 😉

C: I’d like to add that this was not our first idea for a blog name! We also considered the ‘honest letters’ – however the name was taken and we decided it was a bit presumptuous.

What do you think is your secret superpower?

S: Expressing myself with words.

C: A menacing look that earned me the nickname “Condescendray” in elementary school.

Morning person: yes or no?

S: nope!

C: It depends. I love mornings on days I don’t have to wake up early for school!

Favorite memory of childhood

S: All of it? I had an amazing childhood. Memories that stick out right now are family boat trips and staying at the cottage.

C: That’s a tough question. I’d have to say spending my summers at the lake and getting gold honours at my first dance competition.

What is one thing you really hate to do?

S: I honestly can’t think of anything! I guess I hate brushing knots out of my hair?

C: Vacuuming. If someday I become gloriously rich I shall hire a personal vaccumer. I enjoy cleaning, so their sole job would be to operate that ghastly beast.

Tea or coffee?

S: Neither! I don’t like hot drinks, except occasionally hot chocolate.

C: Tea all the way!

Best advice you have ever receive?

S: “Enjoy what you can, endure what you must” (Thanks, Grandma!)

C: “Everything happens for a reason, if even you don’t understand why at the time.”

Questions from Karen:

What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?

S: Knowing that it is the only way to achieve my dreams.

C: Knowing that I don’t want to regret not pushing myself when I’m older and look back on this period in my life.

Choose one life changing moment. What would it be and why?

S: Switching high schools two years ago was life changing for me, because I left my comfort zone and ended up getting involved in a lot of things that brought me happiness.

C: Quitting dance. It was hard, but at the end of the day I realized that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Do you prefer paperback, hardcover, tablets, or e-readers? Tell me why! 😀

S: I’m not super picky so long as it’s a good book, but if I had the choice I think I’d pick paperback. Sometimes hardcover books are difficult to hold; I always end up playing Candy Crush when I read on my tablet; and I find reading on e-readers isn’t the same experience as reading an actual book.

C: I would have to go with hardcover, only because I’m not very good at taking care of my books and hardcovers are a little more durable than paperback. For the comfort factor, I’d have to go with paperback because they’re easier to hold in one hand.

If you could go back in time, what is one moment you would tell the “younger” you to avoid?

S: There’s nothing I would want to avoid in my life; without my mistakes I wouldn’t be who I am today! One thing, though, that I may tell my younger self to avoid is being scared to get off the chairlift while skiing… because once I didn’t get off it and went right around.

C: I would tell my younger self to stop caring so much about what other people think. It saddens me to think of what I missed out on because I didn’t want to make myself look bad.

What is your all time favorite song?

S: We Are Unbreakable by Hedley

C: Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go by Wham!

You only get one meal to eat on a Friday. Would you eat healthy or go all in?

S: If it was just for one Friday, I’d go all in; if it was for every Friday I’d make it healthy.

C: I’d have to say healthy, I’m not known for my self control when it comes to junk food.

Who do you look up to and how did they make an impact?

S: I look up to my younger sister because she inspires me to be myself!

C: I look up to my parents because they’ve worked so hard to provide me with everything I need and support my ambitions.

What has blogging done for you?

S: It has given me a platform to share my writing, and beyond that it has introduced me to new people, perspectives, and opportunities. Blogging has also made me more aware and critical of what is happening in the world around me because everything is potential blog material!

C: Blogging has definitely pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me to see things from different angles. Writing with such a talented writer is such a pleasure because we get to bounce ideas off of each other and explore different thought processes.

Do you have any favorite activities besides blogging? Please share! 🙂

S: Writing in general, reading, dancing, playing the piano, baking, and scrapbooking!

C: Reading, writing, running, cooking and playing rugby!

Describe your best childhood moment. Do you miss it?

S: The childhood moments I described in a different answer were family boat trips and trips to the cottage. I don’t miss them only because I know I still make amazing memories now and I made the most of those moments in my childhood!

C: It’s tricky to pick just one moment. My childhood shaped who I am today but no, I don’t miss it.

Our questions:

  1. What languages do you speak?
  2. Name the worst movie you’ve ever seen.
  3. Do you prefer a small or large group of friends?
  4. If you could fix just one of the world’s problems, which one would it be and why?
  5. Why did you start your blog?
  6. What post are you most proud of?
  7. What is your favourite kind of weather?
  8. If you could say something that was heard by the whole world, what would you say?
  9. In your opinion, can money buy happiness?

On Keeping a Positive Perspective

Dear Ceanray,

“We can’t see the world through someone else’s eyes,” explains Laura Oliver in her writing advice book The Story Within as she is describing an essay by Scott Russell Sanders in which he tries to show his son constellations in the sky and realizes he can only point to the stars, but his son can’t see the constellation from his fathers eyes.

"You can't make someone see the world through your eyes."

“You can’t make someone see the world through your eyes.”

I have experienced this so many times, as I’m sure you have too – trying to help a friend see the bright side, only to realize that as hard as you try your words can’t make someone else see the world from your eyes.

You and I are pretty optimistic people – we see on the bright side most of the time, and generally speaking we are fairly happy. So it’s incredibly frustrating to encounter people who pessimistic and upset and not be able to help them, because they can’t see things through your eyes. That doesn’t stop us from trying, though.

I like to think that this blog is a way of us exuding positivity into the world. Even though we often blog about topics that cause unhappiness – gender inequality, racism – we try to keep an optimistic perspective, one of hope that things will get better and that the world will be changed for the better.

We can’t make people see the world through our eyes – maybe we can make them see it through our words, instead. A few positive words can be enough to spark an entire movement of change; let’s keep sparking the movement!

Sherina


Dear Sherina,

I agree, although we often write about topics that can be disheartening; we are both optimistic. In order to spread positivity we must first find it within ourselves to be positive, unhappiness is crippling and destructive in all aspects of life.

I used to be a very unhappy person, and it took me awhile to realize that there is much more to be happy about than to be sad about. Take pleasure in finding the little things that brighten your day – before long, you’ll find yourself lighting up someone else’s day as well.

Although it can be disenchanting to be confronted with adversity that may affect what you want to achieve, consider this; can you imagine what our world would be like if the pioneers of the women’s suffrage movement had given up every time they were told that women would never be able to vote? Can you imagine what would’ve happened if Martin Luther King Jr. had decided that people of colour would never be equal to whites in America, so what’s the point in trying?

I thought I’d share with you one of my absolute favourite quotes by Anna Quindlen; After all those years as a woman hearing ‘not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not this enough, not that enough,’ almost overnight I woke up one morning and thought, ‘I’m enough’.

iamenough

You are enough, and we are all enough. Let’s continue to spread positivity!

Ceanray