Monthly Archives: December 2012

The Choices We Make

Lately I have been in awe of little acts of kindness from random strangers. Maybe it’s just the holidays, but it seems that wherever I turn, someone is there to help. I guess that’s why tonight, when I was walking home from yet another random act of kindness, I was surprised to witness a disgusting act of hate that I can’t stop thinking about.

I was walking towards the metro station when I heard a homeless woman yelling at a young black security guard. He turned to walk away and then she yelled the most disgusting, obscene, unforgivable word that has ever been written in the English language.

As I walked closer, I could see the man’s body literally reel back. It was as if this woman’s hate had sunk a hook into his back. He turned around and said “What did you just call me?” And she responded with the word, again.

Surprised by her answer, he turned and asked me if I had heard what the woman had said. Looking into this man’s eyes, I could see that the real question was not if I had heard it, but if I believed it.

Shocked by the situation, I told him that I heard it and was disgusted by it. I told him what was obvious, that she was mentally ill, what she had said was unforgivable and wrong, and that he was bigger and better than her words.

By now a friend of this man’s had joined us and gave the man his support. The man turned to us and said “I am better than that” and walked to a corner where he put his face against a wall.

As I was turning to leave, his friend called after me and asked me what my name was. As we exchanged names, a powerful recognition came between us. Looking into each other’s eyes we saw that good people in this world still existed and that love was more powerful than hate.

This interaction, though brief, was proof that we are all interconnected and we all have a choice to make. We can choose to let hate ruin and divide us, or turn it into something that makes us stronger and more powerful. We can also let hate stick with us, or simply realize “we are better” and move on.

The Top 8 Gifts of All Time …..

Happy Holidays friends! I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted but I wanted to take a moment to introduce you to some of my favorite small business owners (and their amazing wares).

So without further ado, I give you my top eight favorite holiday gift makers of all time. Enjoy! ….

1.) Changes Jewelery – Handmade crystal necklaces

ImageMy good friend Ashley is one of the most stylish and hard working people I know. These gorgeous crystal necklaces are handmade and will make the perfect gift for someone special.

2.) Artsy Lydia – Embroidered Paper Goods

ImageI’ve known Lydia since tenth grade and can safely say that she is one of the most artistic people I’ve ever met. Lydia puts her all into what she does and will jump (and loop) through hoops to make sure your gifts are both practical and unique.

3.) Wayward Broad Studio – ‘Femme-forward’ art and illustrations

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Who doesn’t love a strong lady? Although I’ve only known Heidi for a few months, she is definitely one of the strongest (and sweetest) people I’ve ever met. I absolutely love her artwork and recommend that you head on over to her page and check out the awesome prints, postcards, and flasks!

4.) myRegeneration

ImageSara is part librarian – part eco-queen and has a heart the size of the sun. She made me this adorable utensil holder for my birthday and it’s one of the cutest (and most useful) things I own. This is the perfect gift for someone who cares about the environment and wants to look good doing it. You can check out Sara’s wares here.

5.) Bear Hat Studio

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I met Melissa years ago while I was living in Providence, RI. Melissa is a beautiful and talented artist, who loves to hang out with her dog and make food for all of her friends. Her paintings are gorgeous and full of life and I realllllly hope she decides to publish a book about them one day!

This painting is from her ‘protective ghosts’ series. You can check out more of Melissa’s gorgeous paintings here.

6.) Greer’s Jewels of Hope

ImageI first learned about Greer’s business when I was going through my very first (and hopefully last) cancer scare. My doctor recommended a very painful procedure and I was searching the internet for answers.

This is a gift for anyone who lost someone from cancer or who is dealing with a battle of their own. You can learn more about Greer’s business here.

7.) Spak Bros. Pizza

ImageAt the end of the day who doesn’t want a Steak & Cheese hoagie or a basket of seitan wings? Get yourself a gift certificate that keeps on giving and enjoy as many delicious homemade cheddar and potato pierogies as you can buy.

This is the perfect gift for someone who loves hockey, turtles, pinball, and pizza. They even have vegan pizza and are committed to providing local and sustainable food whenever possible. Get yours today here.

And finally …

8.) Lots of love and laughter …

ImageIf you’re broke as a joke and can’t afford to buy stuff this year, give the only gift we all have; unending love and lots of laughter.

To the rest of you who do have money, you should buy stuff from my friends.

There I said it.

Happy Holidays! ❤

PS – Please share your favorite small businesses in the comment section below. I am currently shopping for gifts and would love some suggestions! 🙂