Erin's Journals

Monday, January 29, 2024

Just a thought… Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. [H. Jackson Brown Jr.]

Sometimes, especially on a wintry Monday, you need a story that’ll warm your heart. Well, have I got one for you today!

I’m a big believer in random acts of kindness: putting things out there and never expecting a return, but secretly hoping that karma will be kind down the road. This past week I was witness to such an act that I have to share with you.

During our Jan. 15 Facebook live event, Lisa Brandt and I were given two $100 gift certificates from one of our two sponsors, We announced the winners’ names two days later in Episode 56, and waited to hear from them.

Very shortly thereafter we heard from Liz. Now Liz has had a very tough year: last year her husband suffered a life-altering health event and is now in assisted living. As anyone who is a caregiver, a loving spouse and/or both well knows, the stresses and heartache are a lot to take on – especially if you’re in your mid-80s, like Liz is. She was teary and elated to have won the gc. She said she’s been longing for an enVy pillow since we’ve been talking about them on our podcast, but thought it a little more than she could afford. The gc meant she could.

But that’s not the end of the story. A week ago today I received an email from Gracefully and Frankly listener Shirley. She read Liz’s story in my journal that day and wanted to top up the gc so that Liz could get whatever she wanted. After thanking Shirley for her vast kindness, I wrote to Liz and said, “I hope you’re sitting down…” and when Liz wrote back, she’d been crying with joy. Although she’d already ordered one, she and Shirley made some arrangements and let’s just say that both women were extremely pleased with the outcome.

As you can guess, so were Lisa and I. Lisa remarked, “This is better than radio – I mean, you get to connect good people, hear their stories – it feels amazing!” And she’s right. But back in my pre-podcasting days, we got to give away sums of money and trips (none of them our own) and to hear of people’s gratitude.

At Christmas we read letters from folks who wanted to gift other deserving people with trips from the radio station and we listened in as the winners told the recipients about their windfall. That was the best. We felt as if we were making dreams come true (when in reality it was the hard work of our sales and promotions departments).

In a way, a $100 voucher and Shirley’s added generosity did that here, too. Liz felt loved and cared for, and as she said, “For at least one day, I wasn’t thinking about assisted care.” How wonderful of Shirley and beautiful of Kathy and Kim to donate the gifts!

But there’s one more note in this sweet song to share: our other winner Karen has a daughter going for her doctorate who has trouble sleeping because of a jaw issue (TMJ). The pillow will definitely help her with that, Karen said.

Look, this wasn’t meant to be an ad for a pillow company and its two women at the helm. It’s a reminder that there are good people everywhere – like the guy who reached out to help my sister move a trailer out of her garage in the Okanagan when fires were bearing down last summer. He didn’t want a penny and was happy to assist in her hour of need.

Don’t let the people who drain you or take you for granted fool you; there are still those out there who will appreciate any gesture – even a call or a thought. Last week at the grocery store checkout, I let a man in a wheelchair go ahead of me since I had a full basket and he had only one item on his lap. The man, coincidentally, was also named Davis (I heard the cashier say it when she accepted his loyalty card). Then I watched as he gave back his only purchase: a steak he thought was $12, thanks to the big red sticker on it, was actually that price per pound. I caught the cashier’s eye and mouthed that I’d buy it. She bagged it and gave it to him; he waved and said to me, “Thank you. God bless you.”

And do you know, just hearing someone being grateful for something I’d done meant more to me than anything else could have. And karma? I just told the lady checking out my purchases that I was hoping my family would have a smooth travel day, and they did.

Oftentimes all we want is to be seen and appreciated. To feel like someone knows our hearts, and that we want to make their lives better. It sure beats receiving.

But you probably already know it.

Rob WhiteheadMonday, January 29, 2024