Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Birthdays & "Be Kind"

Birthdays always put a smile on your face. Especially if you are a kid--what a jubilant day! Your day! But even as an adult, and even as those numbers get bigger, it's that special day all of your own. It's a day of a little bit extra attention, a tad more novelty, and maybe even a surprise or two. If you are on Facebook, you know that they give out birthday notification for your FB friends, and it's touching to see all those people from every corner of your life who took a minute or two out of their day to wish you well. Love or hate Facebook, it's the one thing that they do really well.

I recently had a birthday, and it certainly was the novelty of the day that made it. The kindergarten and the second grade class that spontaneously broke into song when I walked in their doors. The well-wishes from colleagues and kids alike as I walked down the hall (having heard my name in the list of birthdays du jour). My daughter joining us at my son's soccer game with a bouquet of flowers. Birthday cards and gifts that were unexpected. Trips made in the few weeks before and after that were loosely tied to myur birthday to be special visits with special people. I think it's the novelty and the adventures that were missed most during the 18-20 months of the pandemic, where days rolled into each other with a very "Groundhog's Day" movie of each day being on solitary retreat. 

One of the many surprises along the way came from a dear friend of mine who sent me Ellen DeGeneres' "Be Kind" box. The arrival on my doorstep was a good surprise as it was, but I really loved the sentiment that Ellen put into the concept of the box of goodies that came my way. She's been long known for her charitable works and in 2016 she was the recipient of the People's Choice Award for Philanthropy. She was quoted as saying, "It is a little strange to actually to get an award for being nice and generous and kind, which is what we are all supposed to do with one another. That is the point of being human." 

"Be kind" has become her trademark and motto over the years. Approximately 3 years ago, Ellen created her Be Kind Subscription box. I got the Fall 2021 box from my friend. Yes, it's a lovely gift, but the elements in side and the meaning behind them are some of the most beautiful part. I found myself reading the booklet of the box's content and my heart filling up with the humanity and charitable association that backed everything. It had me diving into websites to learn more about these amazing brands that are affiliated with the contents of this Be Kind box:

  • A bottle of ZenWTR -- where the bottle is made from "100% recycled, certified ocean-bound plastic" in order to reduce marine debris. 1% of their sales go to preventing ocean pollution & promoting recycling campaigns. 
  • Earrings from The Sanctuary Project -- Their mission is to provide jobs and job training to women who have not only endured but survived trafficking, violence/abuse, and additiction. 100% of their sales are reinvested in this mission.
  • An organic cotton zippered small pouch from Terra Thread -- Created by the father and daughter team Via and Vizan Girl to create environmentally friendly, fair-trade, carbon-neutral products, where the purchase supports Feeding America. The collaboration with Ellen's Be Kind Box this season will provide 460,000 meals to American who struggle with hunger.
  • Exfoliating bath body scrubber from Daily Concepts -- An organic, vegan, biodegradable soy-based bath scrubber that tells you when it's time to replace when the label text fades. This company supports LAVA MAEX which provides Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area homeless folks with mobile showers.
  • Laundry detergent sheets from Miracle Brand -- Zero waste laundry detergent
  • Self care items like the Modern Monet paint by number kit and Rose Quartz bracelet (the stone of compassion, peace, and unconditional love) from Charged Wellness (where you can opt into a donation to their monthly for a discount on your purchase). Both of these companies hold balance, creativity, self-renewal, and rejuvenation central to their mission.

With the holidays swiftly approaching, it may be worth considering checking out a Be Kind box or longer term subscription for your friends or your family....or visiting one of the affiliated companies included here. Next season for Winter there'll be a new box. Might be an interesting quarterly check in to see what good you can do for you (or a loved one) and our world. What a great way to "Be Kind" indeed!

Be Kind box from, Birthday image created at

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