26 actes de gentillesse
Monday, December 24, 2012
Thank you very much for the warm holiday greetings. Wishing everyone much joy, surrounded by the things you love this time of year: family, friends, cats, dogs, birds... or solitude. Whatever brings you peace! See you in several days for the next edition. (Photo taken at Domaine Rouge-Bleu, our home from June 2007-Sept 2012. We now live near Bandol. No snow in either city, at this time!)
26 actes de gentillesse
: 26 acts of kindness
Audio File: listen to Jean-Marc: Download MP3 or Wav file
En mémoire des victimes de la tuerie de Newtown, certaines personnes ont décidé de faire 26 actes de gentillesse. In memory of the victims of the Newtown massacre, certain people have decided to do 26 acts of kindness.
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE... by Kristin Espinasse
26 actes de gentillesse
I first heard about it on my friend Ann's blog. Then Gwyn referred to the same idea. Responding to my Christmas tree story, she wrote:
...in trying to resolve the tragic events of last week, i saw the following story. people all over the world are doing 26 random acts of kindness--one for each of the people who lost their lives at the school...
I had just finished reading Gwyn's words when, there, in my box-springed refuge, I stirred. I got up and left my bed.
My boots flew on so quickly and, next I knew, keys in hand, I was headed out of the house. Flying down the dirt road in my little car, I felt as high as a super hero fueled by desire... le désir d'aider quelqu'un. But who? How? And would it require superhuman strength?
One look at my hands, which gripped the steering wheel as I sped out of our driveway, reminded me of my weaknesses. My fingers were beginning to be covered with itchy red patches. The neighbor's mimosa was blooming and with each new bud my skin reacted with yet another swelling plaque. Et qu'est-ce que ça gratte!
I forgot about my itchy, mere mortal status the moment I arrived in town, and saw a man struggling with his wheelchair. How quickly the chance to practice an act of kindness had arrived! I parked my car and hurried towards the man, when a pang of doubt slowed my steps: "What if your compassionate gesture is taken as an insult?" Come to think of it... just how did another's dignity factor into things?
The doubt was fleeting and I rushed up to the man-on-wheels. "Je peux vous aider?"
"Non," he grumbled, looking past me. "I need somebody stronger!" I watched him point to the guy behind me, who intervened. With his attention focused on the other, I disappeared into the crowd at the farmers' market.
And then, on my way home from town, I spotted a woman struggling with her market purchases. The heavy bags were slowing her down, so much so that she had to stop to rest.
I pulled my car over to the curb and lowered the driver's window: "Bonjour Madame! Je vous amène chez vous?"
I saw an ever-so-slight scowl, which I took to be a look of discomfort. The women shook her head non, she didn't need my help! Worse, my would-be kind gesture seemed to interrupt her momentum, as she pushed off, resuming her encombered journey.
I put-putted home. Gone was the superhuman energy I'd felt on beginning this kindness journey.
Only that's when I spotted the granny in the gumball-size car! It was one of those voitures sans permis, the itty-bitty cars you see here in France, the ones that anyone can drive, without a license. Granny's gumball was stalled by the side of the road. As chance would have it, it was stalled 10 meters from my mailbox!
I stopped my car at the end of our driveway and unhooked my seatbelt. Finally, the chance to help someone in need! I looked over at the unfortunate one and saw how her jaw quivered as she tried again and again to start the engine of her voiturette. What a horrible feeling that must be, to be stuck on the side of the road. But never fear! Help is near!!
I bounded out of my car, only, as I reached the end of the driveway, Granny sped off! I guessed the gumball unstalled....
Dragging my feet into the house, I almost tripped over Braise. Dégage! I shouted. My dog ran off, sensing my sour, defeated mood.
In the kitchen, I went to get a glass of water when I noticed a sinkfull of dishes... and breakfast plates that were still out on the table! Why doesn't anybody help around here?!
When my husband unwittingly arrived into the kitchen, a smile on his lip-puckered face, a kiss was the last thing on my mind. And oh, I had a mind! A mind to let out all my frustrations, and who better to let it all out on than my family!
And there it hit me. It is so easy to set out to be kind to a stranger. What is more difficult is to practice la gentillesse on a close one. How motivated I am when it comes to practicing patience on a stranger. But I have so little tolerance for any slackness on the part of my immediate family.
And there I'd set out to participate in 26 actes de gentillesse! But with three failed attempts at helping a stranger, I was slacking as much as my family with their breakfast plates.
My fingers began to itch and the sore state of my body infiltrated my mind where a battle raged: I'm tired. I'm hungry. I'm itchy! This is not a convenient time for me to be kind!
Finally a little whisper could be heard above the protests... Sinon maintenant, quand? If not now, when?
And who better to practice kindness on... than a husband, a teenager, a dog? From there, such acts can be extended outward, like the best helping hand.
Comments welcome here. It is such a pleasure to read your words, after struggling to write my own!
Ann Curry came up with the idea for "26 Acts of Kindness". Some are making it "27 Acts", keeping in mind the shooter's mother. To comment, click here.
le désir d'aider quelqu'un = the desire to help someone
et qu'est-ce que ça gratte! = and boy does it itch!
je peux vous aider? = Can I help you?
non = no
bonjour madame = hello, Mrs.
je vous amène chez vous? = Can I bring you to your house?
la voiture sans permis = a special car that can be driven without a driver's license
la voiturette = mini car
dégage! = beat it!
la gentillesse = kindness
sinon maintenant, quand? = If not now, when?
Kristi and Jean-Marc (it is my husband's voice you hear in most of the sound recordings at French Word-A-Day :-)
SHARE THIS SITE
Enjoy these words and photos? Thanks for sharing French Word-A-Day with friends, classmates, teachers and family members--anyone who loves France!
A Message from Kristi: Ongoing support from readers like you keeps me writing and publishing this free language journal week after week. If you find value in this website and would like to keep it going strong, I kindly ask for your support by making a donation today. Thank you very much for being a part of this community and helping me to maintain this site and its newsletter.
Ways to contribute:
1. Paypal or credit card
2. A bank transfer via Zelle, a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase my book for a friend, and so help spread the French word.
For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety
Great reminder, Kristen, especially during the stress of the holidays. Have a wonderful Christmas in your new home!
Posted by: Avad Fan | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
What a great story! And so true. We are often so much nicer to acquaintances and strangers than those around us. May the peace and joy of Christmas be with you and your family all year round.
Posted by: Petra Douma | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:45 PM
Great story and so nice this time of year. I would go a step further and in addition to the 27 Acts of Kindness, either make it 28 or say an extra prayer for the shooter as well. He was obviously a tormented soul and I read that he was bullied through the years. We never know what someone is going through and I think he also needs some prayers. It is just a shame that he did not get the help that he so desperately needed in his life. I have been praying for all the victims of this terrible tragedy.
I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas! I am enjoying spending time with Tara before she leaves for her semester in France! It was so nice picking my son up from the airport last night and hearing all the strangers thanking him for his service to our country! I got a bit teary-eyed and felt so proud!
Posted by: Eileen - Charlottesville, VA | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:54 PM
Your stories always have a moral and make me pause. Merry Christmas Kristi! Have a wonderful Christmas Eve with your loving family.
Posted by: Marika Ujvari | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:55 PM
i know how difficult the day to day life can be. but as a woman who lost her husband three years ago, at the age of 56 (he was a 9/11 first responder and developed brain cancer ten years later as a result of his heroic efforts on that day), i would say KISS YOUR HUSBAND EVERY CHANCE YOU HAVE.
happy new year to you all.
Posted by: janet | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Posted by: Ronni Ebbers | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Dear Kristi, You may count the words from your heart that you send our way throughout the world today as an act of kindness!! Thank you for sharing your life and your dear family, and for helping all of us look more closely at our our intentions day to day. I was drawn to your blog to help prepare for our first trip to Provence (St. Remy) next May, but, instead of just learning a little of the French language, I feel that I've seen into the heart of people in France, which is the same as our own hearts. Thank you for your generosity and kindness, which make the world a better place. And, yes, it is true, kindness begins at home!
Posted by: Pennie Vandenbroek | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:28 PM
Joyeux Noel! I love your river cruise picture.
All the best to you and yours.
Posted by: Jan | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Hi Kristin, Have a wonderful Christmas. Yep, simple acts of kindness, in unheroic situations often yield the most growth. xoxo
Posted by: mary | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Warm Winter Holiday Wishes to All!
Sandy (in soon to be snowy Cleveland)
Posted by: Sandy Lewis | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:42 PM
hi, I enjoy your posts, and yes, do remember, not everyone wants your 'acts of kindness'. The best way is to start at home, and on yourself! (your itchy hands!)
The tragedy in Connecticut is so sad! If only one of those teachers had a concealed carry permit....
Taking away guns from law abiding citizens only helps the criminals, because they are outside of the law.
Merry Christmas! To all of you!
I have lived in Europe long ago, and fondly remember France....
Posted by: Sherry Langevin | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 02:54 PM
I had the same thoughts and actions a few days ago. Your words speak to my exact conclusion. I will be printing this beautiful post so that the lesson doesn't float off as a passing whim.
Happy Christmas to you, your family and to all of these fellow posters.
Posted by: Karen Whitcome | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:05 PM
why stop at 26, 27 or 28....maybe if we all act with kindness on a daily basis our children will learn from the beginning and these types of incidents will slowly disappear from our society....and, yes, it is the hardest sometimes to be kind and gentle to our family, our husbands, our children...as though, they can take our wrath....oy! thank you for this story and all of them. you are a gift and you keep me positive that some day I will speak French.
Posted by: Kate Sirkin | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:12 PM
You are so right. As the old saying goes, "charity begins at home." Wishing you and your family (human and amimal) a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy, and prosperous NewYear!
Posted by: Vee | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Loved the post, Kristi.
Posted by: Tom from Detroit | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Oh so true Kristin-thank you for that wonderful reminder!!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Posted by: Becky | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Joyeux Noel and especially peace on earth.
Posted by: Sue J. | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Figurez-vous que ces petites histoires constitutent une acte de gentillesse toute l'annee!
Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and may 2013 be a kinder, gentler year.
Posted by: jeri | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Merry Christmas, Kristi. Just what I needed early this Christmas Eve.
Posted by: Cathi Burgoyne | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:47 PM
You should count your blog today as an act of kindness for it has motivated me to do more for others. Merry Christmas!
Posted by: Debbie Houston | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM
THANK YOU HONEY FOR THIS LOVELY POST...
I felt something familiar when my eyes landed on your first photo - you little stinker, how have you kept that great snow photo from me all this time. Priceless! You must frame that for a 'photo gallery' in your house somewhere...here I am again telling you what to do.
I agree with your friends, the photo of you and JM is just the best - frame that one too!!!
Your message today reminds me of me years ago when I ran out the door to do the same thing when I first became a Christian 33 years ago....I tried to help an old woman across the street and she pushed me away yelling "Get away from me" like I was a robber. The good news is that now we are aware and on the lookout always to step up with a helping hand. Fear of rejection is a real feeling that we deal with daily - right now I am in the mist of this senario - my fear has now robbed me of over a week of my peaceful life. Never sell yourself short for having the courage to step forth and embrace life - I'll be so happy when I finally take that step with an opportunilty that has been laid before me. Thanks Honey for todays message, I think your words have helped me - taken my perspective off MYSELF.
XOXO - MOM
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Thanks for this post. As usual, you share with such open-ness. I am, as is everyone, saddened by the horrific shooting in Newtown, Ct. I felt so gloomy about everything, but then Patience Salgado, the Kindness Girl put out an idea and it gave me the opportunity to do something and doing something is always helpful. As per her idea, I made up little blank books from some old topographical maps that I had and, using my sewing machine, sewed along one edge. I paired them with some crayons, tied them with a ribbon, and put the packets in a little basket. The sign read "Take one in honor of Emilie. She liked to draw." I placed the basket at our local donut shop. The packets were taken and today, I'll place more packets in the basket. You can see a photo of the basket on my blog. Let's keep kindness going!
Posted by: Mim (Richmond, VA) | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Happy, happy, Merry, merry
I am with Eileen, 28 acts of kindness. Why leave out a very troubled young man!
Posted by: Jennie | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Je voudrais essayer ma broken Francais. Vous avez faites un mille actes de gentillesse avec cette French Word a Day. Merci beaucoup, Joyeux Noel, Kristin, Jean Marc, Smokey, Braise, et le jeunesse d'Espinasse. ton fan, Winn
Posted by: Winn Gregory | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Merry Christmas, Kristin, J-M, Max, Jackie, Braise, and Smokey!! As for being "short" with those close to you, it always seems easier to take it out on those dearest to you. My wife always brings me up short when she'd say "Would you talk that way to the people at work?"
Posted by: Bill in St. Paul | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Merry Christmas Kristin ànd to your family. Love this post and a great reminder how not to take loved ones around us for granted.
Posted by: Fwei | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:24 PM
The intention to do good also constitutes an act of kindness, even when our efforts are rejected as in the instances you describe, Kristin. Wishing Joyeux Noel and many blessings to your family and all your readers during this holy time.
Kathryn in San Antonio
Posted by: Kathryn S. Winslow | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:43 PM
However, remember that a simple smile is always welcome & always brightens a day.
& thankyou.....as you stopped me in my tracks before fussing at my family for the messes around the house.
Peace & joy to your home during this special time of year.....we all strive for that don't we?!
Posted by: Kay | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Someone once told me that if you do something for 3 weeks it will become a habit. If we try to do one kind act a day for a month, perhaps it will be a more of a habit, rather than "eating the elephant" all at once, I do love this idea as a memorial to the lost lives. This wounded world needs healing that can only come about thru love, kindness, and forgiveness. "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."
Posted by: Janet smajstrla | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 04:58 PM
What a wonderful message (and outlook on things). Your word-a-day messages are the bright points in my work day, a little breath of fresh, French air, but today's message was especially touching and uplifting.
Thank you for this contribution to me and so many others. Best wishes to you and your family for a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.
Posted by: Dave Domingue | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM
This reminds me of something my mother once told me. "We suffer those we scarcely know, we please the fleeting guest, and deal full many a thoughtless blow to those we love the best."
She also told me that we shouldn't save the best china, the best anything for guests. We should use them for our loved ones.
Posted by: Rosalinda Roll | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM
you are so sweet and so human. May the best of all come to you and your beautiful family.
Your devoted reader.........
Bill in Hollis,OK
Posted by: bill motley | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Sometimes when we try too hard things just don't come out the way we want them to. I think the idea of the 27 acts of kindness is a good one and I've always liked Ann Curry's compassionate reporting, but as you said these things can start in small ways at home. Perhaps we can start at our own front door.
Edie from Savannah
Posted by: edith schmidt | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Oh, Kristin, what a lovely post to find this morning. Just EXACTLY what I needed. So, there was one act of kindness, and so many others have been blessed as well. Sometimes our acts of kindness so awfully wrong, but if no one else, God knows our hearts.
yesterday I had the huge desire to give gifts to our neighbors. Well, the brownies with cherries in them, were unbaked in the middle and the card I sent with them, had the gentleman's name wrong and I felt so deflated, but then I was encouraged, that I did what I could. it's never enough, but God makes up the difference. Just love the picture. Would like to frame that one myself. It is snowing beautifully here this morning in Utah.
Rosalinda, I want to memorize that saying. I need it often. God Bless to one and all and have a wonderful Merry Christmas.
Posted by: Jean Creighton | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM
I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the number should be 28. What the world needs now (recalling a beautiful song...) is love, forgiveness and compassion. Lifting our spirits out of grief and pain into something strong and beautiful is paramount. Thanks Kristin for your blog! It's been a real bright spot for me this year. Wishing you, your family, and everyone a very happy and peaceful Noël.
Posted by: Linda, Port Townsend WA | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:17 PM
De l'Afrique du Sud, mes meilleurs voeux. For this reader every post is gentillesse
Posted by: Mike Young | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I add my thanks, Kristin, and my thought also that 28 acts of kindness will include a reminder that there are others, lonely, bullied, perhaps, and fear-filled. Let an act of kindness reach them and bring them hope.
Your story was beautiful!
Posted by: Kate O'Kula | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:25 PM
My thanks, as well, Kristin. I agree with Kathryn that the intent to do a kind thing is indeed an act of kindness. Some people have a difficult time accepting help and don't understand that kindness searches for someone to accept it.
Joyeux Noël à toute la famille...et une bonne année à suivre!
Posted by: Cheryl in STL | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Salut tout le monde,
Joyeux Noël et une bonne année
Posted by: Herm in Phoenix | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Your comments hit a rather raw nerve....I am one who finds it so easy to help a stranger...no history, so easy and then you walk away. But a family member...how will they respond, what if they scowl or grumble, well after your story, I guess I'll just have to find out.
Posted by: Louise Tramontano | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 06:40 PM
.. Dristin... Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee! The photo of your and your husband is so lovely... you are both blessed with great looks! Just remember 'charity and kindness' begin at home, and you can never go wrong... on the other hand, sometimes' no good deed goes unpunished'! May the New Year bring you the best of health for you and your family and happiness and good fortune! Cheers, Judi Dunn, Tallahassee, Fl.
Posted by: judi dunn | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 06:45 PM
MERRY CHRISTMAS,our dear Kristi,to you and your beautiful family!
Your story today (once again) filled me with smiles and a continuing wish to try to help others,beginning with those at home. Like you, sometimes my efforts are thwarted; the time I made dinner for an ill and eldery neighbor, only to be told (before they even asked what it was)they were allergic. Or when we sent a huge choclate bar to a chocolate crazy (unamed)family member, only to be told he no longer ate choclate....(!!!) Sigh. God sees all and knows our hearts. In His name we must try to never forget kindness and charity.
Most importantly of all, keep praying, especially for the ones who need help most.
The Evil One roams the earth,trying to devour whomever he may. Our blessed Saviour protects us!
Joyeux Noel a tout!!
Love, Natalia XO
Posted by: Natalia | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Joyeux Noel to you all; Kristin & family & all her readers. May your holiday be filled with peace, love & joy & many acts of random kindness. Thanks you for the reminder in today's post, Kristin, we so often forget those close to us and take them for granted. We also need to be kinder to ourselves as that is where it all starts.
Posted by: Susan Carter (Westminster, CA) | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 07:15 PM
Hello, Kristin. I was wondering if you could help me with something. I am planning on attending a school that teaches teaching English as a second language. There are 3 sites in France. (My goal is to eventually teach in France or French Polynesia.) The cities are Paris, Mountpellier or Nice. Which do you think would be the best? I would be attending in January or February. I have done about 60 lessons of Pimsleur's French series, but I am definitely not fluent. I will be receiving assistance in obtaining housing, but one of the options is to live with a French family. Do you or any who read this link have any advice to offer me?
I appreciated hearing of the kindness of the French people who are honoring the children that died in Connecticut. I also sympathize with the French people who recently lost three children in an Arab terrorist attack on their Jewish school in France. When terror touches small children, we realize that our lives must be dedicated to love and peace, in both big and little ways.
Posted by: Dianne Vergos | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 07:36 PM
I would like to add my thank you for the lovely story and good reminder to be kind to those you love. Consider this story your act of kindness to the many, many fans here at French Word a Day. My thanks also to Rosalinda Roll for the beautiful poem. I'm going to write it out and post it on the wall of my art studio where I can see it every day. Merry Christmas and hugs to Braise and Smokey, the sweet darlings of your family. Affectionately, Lee Mears, Bradenton, FL
Posted by: Lee Mears | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Wonderful message. Thank you.
May you as a family, and each of you as individuals, enjoy every blessing of Christmas and the season.
Posted by: s. | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
I took your advice and wisdom to heart today and jumped out of my bed just after reading your post - quick shower and then jumped on the bus to find the perfect little present for someone who has just recently come into my life.
As Kristi has already heard me moan about this incident I will now share it with all of you. Two weeks ago I had jumped on the bus to go downtown in search of a nice lady I had met at the artist supply store, she had invited me to join her to paint. I reoginzed her from a few years back and knew that I would fit right in and be comfortable painting with her. As I roamed up and down the cobbled stone streets in downtown Puerto Vallarta I couldn't seem to find her little studio - I saw an open door and looked in and called to the woman at the back asking if she spoke English and if she could help me. A lovely woman just a few years older than I appeared, she was American or Canadian, she came out into the street and we tried to figure out where that ladies studio could be. She even walked across the little cobble-stone path and asked a neighbor if they knew of anyone. Finally I thought to introduce myself as I was leaving and also asked her name. She said, ' My naame is ******** ***** ******.
At that very moment I realized I was standing in front of my biggest idol in all my life of visiting art galleries all over the world !!!! I started studdering & gushing nonsense as she took my arm and invited me into her home. After a wonderful conversation she said, why don't you forget about that other studio and just come here and paint with me...we would have so much fun. Of course I need to come over and see your work so I will know where you are coming from."
I floated on air all the way back to my little condo - the next day the fears and nervousness set in as I gathered all of my paintings together for her to see. Could I actually let someone see what I had been painting here for the past 15 years.....I have always kept my painting secret - for my eyes only - I couldn't deal with someones's critique *(sp?) . Needless to say I am my own worst critic. This is probably where Kristi gets all of her fears and phobia's, from me.
Well I got on that bus today - thanks to your post today Kristi - and spent some time with my new friend sharing my fears with her. She laughed and shared some of her personal fears regarding her own life and said we would work through this together.
It looks like I will begin my first formal painting lessons in my life in about a week - the beginning of what could be the most important step I have ever taken with my brushes ... today was an act of kindness towards myself, I'm glad I stepped up to the plate and did it...I seem to be filled with butterflies again instead of dread.
Thank you Kristi !!!
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
It is so true, what you wrote, Kristin. I'm often unaware that I always try to be patient and nice to strangers and "neglect" my own family members until my own husband asks me the question...
And at times, my act of kindness was mistaken for an act of insult too, which made me kinda nervous to offer help to handicapped people.
I am visiting in Maryland and it is snowing now, on Christmas day, so beautiful outside the window.
Posted by: Millie | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Thinking of you and wish you and your family a lovely Christmas Eve and happy holidays to follow. Your story today reminds us of the saying: "Charity Begins at Home". Thank you for inspiring us, your faithful readers. Amicalement, Cynthia P.S. Jules, I am excited for you...I send you my very best wishes in your new adventure!
Posted by: Cynthia Lewis from Salisbury MD | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Your story is just what I needed, Kristin. Merci.
Joyeux Noel a vous et votre famille.
Posted by: Debby Montague | Monday, December 24, 2012 at 10:41 PM
For Dianne: Please stay with a family if possible; you will learn so much. For a winter visit, I'd recommend Nice or Montpellier. Meanwhile, soak in every French language experience you can find. http://www.tv5.org/
http://www.dailyfrenchpod.com/ http://www.francebleu.fr/ I'm sure some of the others have additional sites. Check your public library for CD language learning sets. They may even subscribe to Mango language learning service--ask!
Posted by: Mara in Wisconsin | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 01:07 AM
Joyeux Noel à vous et votre famille!
Posted by: Dana | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 01:17 AM
funny post at first as you described your hopeful attempts. The lesson you share is so true Kristi! I have been trying to be more patient with my family under the reasoning that it is the holidays which should not make a difference but it has helped me keep some comments to myself. so like Ann Curry to think of something so kind and so like you to keep it going- wonderful, wonderful! Also, I woke up with an itchy rash on my arm, so I was happy to learn the appropriate phrase. Merci!
Posted by: Melanie | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 02:16 AM
I wish there was a "like" button under the comments! There are so many wonderful things said here......in addition to your postings, Kristin.....which are always brilliant! Happy Christmas to all!
Posted by: Maureen | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 06:34 AM
Thank you so much for your acts of kindness and for reminding me to be kind to those closest to me. I am so grateful for the fact that you share with all of us. Happy Holidays to you and your family. You bring joy into my life. Frances in Napa
Posted by: Frances Anamosa | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 06:50 AM
The responses to your post say to me that your thoughts and resolve already have rippled out, influenced, and uplifted more people and acts than can be measured or really known about.
You have spilled out and spread kindness.
Now I need to "go and do likewise"-- as Christ said.
Merry Christmas to you and yours, including your family of readers.
Gordon in Arizona
Posted by: Gordon Lyman | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 05:23 PM
Don't we all have days like that! Curious how we are often more kind to strangers than to our own family. Why are we so quick to snap at our loved ones, yet give acquaintances and even strangers our patience and benefit of the doubt? Maybe it's because we know our family will be there as a captive audience, unable to flee our thoughtless words and actions. Strangers, on the other hand, are liable to tell us what they really think and leave us to our own selfishness. Bravo, Kristi, for showing us the first of the 26 acts of kindness.
Posted by: Sandy Maberly | Tuesday, December 25, 2012 at 07:54 PM
Thank you so much for this message at Christmas. I love reading your posts, and this one is a treasure. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family. I will try to remember to be grateful for those I love and the opportunity to be a blessing to them!
Posted by: Mary Catherine Pace | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 02:22 AM
Glad to know the 26 acts of kindness in memory of Newlown has made its way around the globe!
Posted by: Patricia | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 03:48 AM
Kristi; I am touched to know that Ann Curry's comment about Random acts of kindness has impacted people around the world. I live in Ann's home town, watched her grow up and make her way in the world and follow her on her Facebook page. Your personal experiences in attempting to put it into practice should tell us all that just being aware of other folk's struggles will help us make helping others a habit wedemonstrate every day. Those to whom you offered help may have declined it but just your offering will not be forgotten. Just know that you touched their lives by offering.
Posted by: Lorraine Whitten | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 12:57 PM
You're such a lovely human being, Kristin. So often your writing catches me right where I am.
I love my family so much and yet I have let my irritation from a long work day or a difficult commute foul my coming-home mood and spill out in less than kindness to those I love. This post inspires me to be ever more aware of being considerate and helpful to my family!
Posted by: Catherine | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 06:39 PM
For Mara in Wisconsin, Thank you. I appreciate your advice. I will post when everything is settled. Dianne
Posted by: Dianne Vergos | Wednesday, December 26, 2012 at 07:19 PM
A belated joyeux noel and and early bonne année. I had heard of Ann Curry's challenge. I take it to be more about opening your eyes and heart to being kind than ticking off kindness until you've reached the goal. It's a good reminder because we do often rush through our day instead of stopping to make someone's day better. If your heart is open to it, opportunities will come.
Posted by: Julie Farrar | Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 09:42 PM
Thank you Kristi, for reminding us of a very important truth, kindness begins at home. Whether it be in the form of patience,or washing a sinkful of dishes for a certain family member.I remember one dark rainy night ,I saw a mother with her 2 young children walking on the sidewalk with a grocery basket full of food. Told hubby to stop and offer her a ride home.She accepted. The next morning we found her purse in the back seat with a few hundred dollars in the wallet,which I had opened to look for a phone # . We returned her purse with everything intact.I couldn't return her purse quick enough. I was feeling her panic.It all worked out.Thanks again for your story with a moral.
Posted by: mary paulson | Friday, December 28, 2012 at 06:28 PM
On my March to learn French this website and it's delivery via Google as the French word of the day is the last attempt learning French the disciplined approach each day please keep up the good work
Posted by: arthur breaux | Friday, December 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Bonjour, Madame = Hello, ma'am;
je vous amene chez vous? = can I take you home?
Do you suffer from SAD? I do, but it should start to go away now. At least today I finally turned on my computer, after a week!
Posted by: Zoe Willet | Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Merci pour this post...so special and also funny! It reminded me of the homily I was privileged to hear on Christmas eve at a small Spanish style church in beautiful Palm Springs, CA. He reminded us that with each kindness and help we offer, it is as if we are offering it to Christ. I was being so careful as I climbed the jetway in Dallas on my way home to VA, lest I fall. At that moment the lady with white hair in front of me went down suddenly. I dropped both bags that were in my hands and reached down to help her. She seemed shaken but OK. Her husband had been walking ahead of her so I was relieved that she was not alone. These chances aider are always there and a smile can work wonders, along w/a friendly word or two. Bonne annee Kristen, Jean Marc, Jackie, and Max. Annette Heath
Posted by: Annette Heath | Saturday, December 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Just finally had a chance to catch up and Loved Jules's story and want to hear more about her new friend!! While working this month; very stressful; took a break and went with a friend to a cafeteria; was ready to pay for our lunch and the man behind us asked if he could pay for our meals; was surprised at first but then realized what a gesture of kindness it was!
Posted by: Devra Long | Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 03:22 AM
Since my return, I am just now catching up with email, laundry, ETC... and I just found this missive. I'm hoping your Noel was wonderful and that the great warm feeling you get when you give, was yours this special day. :-)
Happy New Year! - Judi
Posted by: Judi Boeye Miller, Lake Balboa, CA | Thursday, January 03, 2013 at 06:17 AM
I so enjoy your blog and find it refreshing in many ways.
It's wonderful to pick up vocabulary through your experience and yes, your idea of performing acts of kindness is a true gift of goodness.
How easy it is to neglect those closest to us, but being kind every day
makes a better world. As Voltaire said: "Il faut cultiver notre jardin."
and that means starting with our families, for sure.
May all that kindness come back to you and your family.
Janet in CT 2/20/13
Posted by: Janet MacKenzie | Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 10:53 PM
26 actes de gentillesse - French Word-A-Day
Posted by: zixiutang-capsule.com | Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 04:10 PM