Be Benevolent. About 6 months ago I asked my Facebook friends to give me a word for my birthday, the first one to arrive was benevolent. While I knew the meaning of this word I felt compelled to look it up once I received it. It means well-meaning and kindly. Synonyms include; kind, compassionate and philanthropic. Many of us do not use this word on a daily basis, in fact it is more likely used to describe the charitable acts of a business or corporation rather than the act of an individual. Thank you to Lynn Marie Carter for giving me this word. I feel honored to have received such a humanitarian word.

We should all find something that we feel kind, compassionate and caring about and then find a way to do something about it. For example, Amelia Morchak founded a business which creates custom crocheted items. Amelia learned to crochet from her grandmother and she lovingly named the business MarjorieElle, after her. Items can be ordered on Etsy or on the MarjorieElle Facebook page. Anyone who has ordered from her knows that you can see the love she puts into each creation. The best part though is not that she is doing something she loves but that she found a way to make it benevolent by donating a portion of her profits to the Alzheimer’s Association, a loving and benevolent tribute to her grandmother. Amelia is setting an example for us all.

Anyone who knows me knows that I care about children. I’ve always believed that children are capable of much more than anyone gives them credit for so I strive to help others understand that. Mister Fred Rogers said, “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” I have always believed that if you let children play they will discover their own individuality. Each child is unique and has their own approach to learning, thus their own approach to playing. I am discouraged when adults focus on how many letters of the alphabet or numbers a young child can recite, what they really need is to learn to rejoice in the wonder of themselves and others as unique individuals. Let them play!

As I strive to be benevolent I will be telling stories of more words and of children who’ve found their uniqueness and used it to make a difference in their own world. I hope you will enjoy reading it all…

First blog post

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

Be kind. Bake some cookies. Then, share them with someone. It doesn’t matter what kind of cookies nor does it matter who you share them with. The simple act of baking cookies requires one to spend time doing something that many would consider menial. In fact it means you are willing to set aside the time to create something that you can share with someone else, a kind act.
A few years back there was a cookie exchange where I worked. I participated under duress. So I spent some time looking for the easiest recipe I could find, bought the necessary ingredients and baked them. It was agreed that each participant would make available to the others the recipe so I quickly typed it up to share. It was not a family recipe, it was not handed down from anyone, it was the simplest recipe I could find on the internet!
As we divided up the cookies to share a co-worker approached me excitedly and said “Where did you get this recipe? I can’t wait to make these for my son! He’s allergic to eggs and nuts and it’s so hard to find cookie recipes that don’t have those ingredients, thank you so much for sharing these!” I actually felt guilty that I hadn’t put more thought into the matter at that point because without even trying I’d made someone’s day. Since then I’ve shared the recipe many times and I will share it with all of you at the end of this blog.
Anyhow, the point is, homemade cookies always make anyone smile. So bake some up to share. You could share them with a child, a neighbor, a co-worker, a friend, a teacher, a mail carrier, a police officer, anyone, you choose! Invite someone to bake with you, it will be time well spent. Mom and I always baked together. She had a secret ingredient for cookies, it was a half teaspoon of water, that’s right water! You see Dad liked his cookies crispy because he liked to dunk them in his coffee and that half teaspoon of water did the trick. Try it! Or try the following recipe, let me know what your favorite go to recipe for cookies is, and who you like to share them with, make someone’s day!
Frosted Bonbons: Heat oven to 375 F. In a large bowl, mix 3 cups flour, 2/3cup powdered sugar, 1/4cup milk, 1tsp. vanilla until dough forms. Shape 1 inch ball of dough around chocolate chunk. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool. Make frosting: 1 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1.5Tbsp. milk. Dip tops of cookies into frosting and add sprinkles. Enjoy!