Appreciating the Little Things from Editor Bob

How are you doing?

Last week I spoke about being true to yourself and how we have to take care of ourselves. I was wondering the other day too, how we’ve isolated ourselves more and more in the recent times. I mean there’s so much of technological wonders that helps us be close to people that we love but we’re still creating shells around us. What happened to random acts of kindness and charity?

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  World Kindness Day [Nov 13]

Berka, Donna, Fred and I had an impromptu brunch on Sunday. We had a fabulous time. I wanted Fred and Berka to meet properly before Fred takes off to D.C. Anyway, I love watching people, especially when my friends of different spheres meet. And what happened that day was magical. The magic of seeing people click is just phenomenal. We met in Brooklyn, the Fort Greene area where they have fabulous restaurants. The weather was fabulous, I think Fall is my absolute favorite weather.

Donna started talking about how it’s empowering to hear Fred’s story and how he’s trying to make change happen even when he’s an elderly gentleman. “Age has nothing to do with it Donna,” said Fred, “I’ve seen you making change and creating ripples even as a busy single mom raising two kids all by yourself,” complimented Fred to Donna. Of course at this point I had to play the devil’s advocate and said, “Well, I don’t know about you guys but lately I feel like people are becoming hardened and cynical because of what’s happening to the economy. People are thinking a lot about just themselves but not about others.”

“That’s where influential people like you come in, Bob,” reprimanded Fred, “It is your generation that has to hold the flag now. We can turn this whole thing around and do good for the people at large.” Berka was brimming with inspiration from Fred. “That’s right, in tough times like these, it’s best when we’re supporting each other instead of bickering over our differences. I think showing kindness to everyone would make it easier to go through any sort of difficulty.” Then I started thinking more about my friends and my neighbor, Mrs. Bradley. They’ve always seem to be there, almost magically appearing when I need them. Even totally opposite people like Jeffrey and Rick helping each other out is amazing to me. And you know what, you don’t have to be friends to show kindness, you can be complete strangers and show that you care. I know, that’s hard to understand when you hear that from someone living in New York but random acts of kindness do happen in this hard concrete jungle too. Read on and you’ll discover what happened to Steve…

Pickle Appreciation Day [Nov 14]

I think I told you people that Berka is a fabulous cook. She has that natural ability to judge how to vary the amount of salt according to the volume of food without using measuring tools! That, to the ignorant foodie that I am, is a quality that great cooks are born with. You can teach people how to make different cuisines and present them in a way that is totally palatable, but no one can teach you this instinct to ‘know’ how to adjust the ingredients according to the volume of food. Her way of presenting the dish is superb as well. She often tells me, “Ya know Bob, food is something that attracts and appeals to the maximum number of sense organs. It must appeal to the eye, the nose, the tongue equally well. Otherwise the food is not complete.” She forgot to mention the stomach, especially mine!

So true, don’t you think? To prove her point, she got me some homemade mango pickle. It looked great, it smelled delicious and it tasted like something I’ve never had before. I’m not used to having mangoes so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was so taken in by the taste of the pickle I kept back some to nibble at it later on when I order Indian food. But I was wrong in my planning, I should’ve hid the small jar. As soon as Adrian saw it, he was on it. Before I had a chance to stop him or whatever, he was drowned in the ecstatic taste of the pickle. I can’t believe he finished almost all of it somehow. “Where did you get this fella? This is g-o-o-d!” He proclaimed. “Really, thanks for telling me,” I wanted to say sarcastically but I kept quiet. When he’s already gobbled it, let him enjoy it. When he came to know that Berka made it, he was so surprised. Through an open mouth, the words toppled out: “She can cook this good?” I was fed up and didn’t want to entertain him. I left him with the small jar and went off to sleep.

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  Friendship: Making New Bonds

Steve walked in late last week, but he was not cranky that day as he usually is when he has no choice but to come in late. He greeted everyone on his way to the cubicle and had a smile on his face. I saw the stark difference his demeanor immediately. Something must’ve happened with him – maybe he met an old friend or found an easy solution to a complex tech problem. I decided to ask him at the right time. But I didn’t have to wait long. He saw that I was sipping coffee and not doing anything important, he rolled into my cubicle with his chair. Not another UFO, I desperately hoped, clutching my coffee mug.

“Well Bob,” he began, “something happened in the morning.” There it goes! I leaned forward. “I was walking toward the office today when I saw a lady trying to push a baby stroller on the sidewalk. She had a dog on a leash in one hand and she was having a lot of difficulty in maneuvering the stroller on to the sidewalk because the dog wasn’t staying steady, he was running around and the leash was caught up all around her. I helped her to untangle herself and she was very glad and thankful. We exchanged a few words and I helped her push the stroller while she handled the dog. We were going the same way so we walked together for a couple of blocks. It was great talking to her. We connected immediately as friends and exchanged our digits,” Steve was ecstatic about it and I could see that in his eyes. “Maybe I should give her a call sometime. What do ya say?” He asked with wide innocent eyes. I looked at him and smiled. “Um, ya sure, it’s good to make friends just randomly,” I answered, not knowing exactly what to say. “You really think it’s a good idea?” He asked again.

Steve making friends with strangers when he hardly finds time to say ‘Hi’ to us! Good for him! He needs a break from all these lifeless technological stuff he spends his life with. I nodded immediately. “Definitely Steve,” I assured him, “it’s always a good idea to make new friends and connect with people.” Steve liked what I said and I could tell that from the expression on his face. Since we are friends I have observed that he could never mask his feelings, good or bad. That’s what I like about him, he has an honest heart. I’m sure this honesty will do a world of good to him. As of now, let’s wish him the very best with his new friend. He was just fascinated and happy by the fact that he can make a friend just by helping out a stranger. See, New York isn’t such a heartless city after all, random acts of kindness do happen here.

Appreciating Your Colleagues

Have you ever heard the saying, “Human resource is the most important resource in an office?” No, it’s not a Zen quote or anything. I’ve heard some suits talk about it. I’ve been thinking a lot about the people who are laid off and feeling the pressures of the financial crisis. I’ve also been thinking about the colleagues that I have in this office. Donna is a big support for me, I go to her when I’m stuck with something and she’d point out something I haven’t thought of before. Steve’s another buddy of mine in the office who helps me out with my dumbness in technical matters. There’s a bunch of other people who are creative and fun to work with that makes it worthwhile to get up in the morning and come into the office. The best part is, they may not be interacting with you on a regular basis but you know that they are there for you when you need encouragement and support. Knowing that helps me a lot especially in times like these, and I think that they know that they can count on me too.

I was discussing this with Steve and Donna too, of how important it is to have moral support in the office. They agreed with me that it is important to have good colleagues around you since you spend the maximum part of your day at work and get to meet them daily. Studies show that there is a rising trend of people being friends at workplaces than anywhere else. Add to it the pleasure and comfort of working with a friend. If you want to know more about my views on office friendship, check out my blog.

To refresh the discussion we started this edition with, here’s a Zen quote by Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” How are you handling things in your office? Share your stories.

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Until next time,

Editor, 123Greetings

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14 thoughts on “Appreciating the Little Things from Editor Bob

  1. Dear Editor,
    Thanks for your lovely newsletter, i do appreciate all that you have written, its
    so wonderful and beautiful, i have a special
    request, I hope you can send me more of birthday greetings or special friends greetings
    cards.I used to sent them out to all my friends,but lately i have not receive any of those cards anymore.
    Thanks you all the best to you!!
    Have a wonderful blessed weekend!!!
    Deborah Lim

  2. hey Bob, frogot to tell you that i like your what’s up card.. you know the card that has a golden retriever in it..

    have a very blessing day.
    your pal.
    opps pel pal! oppps pen pal!

    that’s right! ok, i got it!

  3. to bob
    read ur letter,it was wounderful and thoughtful.I appreciate the ideas you shared ang gave us all new thought.God bless u

  4. how many people, so many stories and life is so short to realize everything….
    everybody wants to be loved and understood and it’s so important to trust yourself and someone you love
    when all words are said no needs to care about them only feelings remain and warm

  5. I appreciate the sentiments of this message. It’s always a good thing to be reminded of the bigger picture. So many people are roughing it just to make ends meet. Your message encourages me to get in touch with family/friends to check in and see if they are doing alright or need anything…even just a greeting. It’s often that I’ve had a friend tell me, “I was just thinking of you!” It feels good to me and them when we connect even if just for a few minutes. Thanks, Bob!

  6. i love reading your letters and am gradually increasing my knowledge and i find interest in reading about friendship and life. keep messaging me. thanks a lot

  7. I live in the land of paradise, where surrounding with beautiful waves, from Atlantic to Pacific ocean. I have seen pearls inside the shells often, and never knew what they were made out of until now.

    I work in the library cleaning book shelves, never knew how to read well, and never believed that someone could read from morning till dawn, but now i do believe there are..more than i could imagine…

    So dear Bob,

    do you read from morning till dawn or dawn till moring? and Do you write all day long?

    Have a very pleasant life!

  8. Hey there,, mister Bob,
    I really appreciate your newsy letters. This last one touched a sore spot for me. I am a senior, born =
    1933. and I remember how it was in those days.Everyone was involved in the “” WAR EFFORT””. Seems to me they were bonded together. Naybor looked out for naybor. Friends were real friends. After the WAR they were still friends and stayed in contact with each other. Things were hard to get,so people shared. Evenings were spent playing games and listening to Bing Crobsy records. No TV or PC s. None of the fancy Hi Tech gadgets available as nowdays. In my obsevation and opinion, people have become more greedy, rude and obnoxious. Sadens me to see this happen. People now are in their own cocoons.
    It so nice to hear how you and your friends are coping with life in the Big City. I look forward to hear from you . Thanks and keep up the good work. Tom sr…

  9. I agree with what you say about colleagues.If you are spending 2-3 years in a workplace, it is worthwhile if you can have a good time doing your job.Even though Iam surrounded by 2-3 honest people sitting in front of me, it is tough when they won’t even exchange simple pleasantaries;It does not even have to go till discussing issues or going out on an office trip.Sometimes you are not dealing with difficult colleagues with insecure personalities, but you are everyday facing honest people who won’t go a step to be nice to people surrounding thier place.I still want to wish them Happy Holidays and all the nice things they have done to me!

  10. Bob,
    Enjoyed your “Little things” editorial. However, my wife LOVES mangos and I’d sure appreciate the recipe for the mango pickles. I would love to surprise her with a few bottles as a “Brighten the winter” gift.
    Would it be possible to send me the recipe. I’ll bet you have had tons of requests.
    Thanks in advance,
    Dick Amen

  11. hey boB,

    Bob have you ever wonder why “honest people” who won’t go a step and be nice to others?

    Maybe you should help some of yr readers to understand WHY, Bob!!! i once believe that one day you will win a “Noble Price”….. and that day, forget me not to share!

    Happy Thanksgiving, boB! and to your family and loved ones too.
    good night!

  12. Hey Bob,
    I love winning,so let me know if I will get a Noble prize for this:- Never judge your colleague by one character trait alone such as Ego or Honesty.
    If you can appreciate a person as a whole by taking all other things into consideration such as pride,prejudice,determination, energy, sense of action,pure,audacity in yourself and others;Life is more beautiful as you see it in yourself and in others too…)

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