2008-02-01 - Mardi Gras
This coming Tuesday, many people will observe "Mardi Gras," which translated from French, means Fat Tuesday. It's a day when, in anticipation of the solemn and self-sacrificial time of Lent, people let loose and enjoy all the things they will soon be giving up - chocolate, meat, parties etc.
Whether you celebrate the traditional Mardi Gras way or not, I challenge you this year to start a new tradition, the celebration of a different type of Mardi Gras. Indulge yourself - in your kindness to others. Seek opportunities to commit acts of kindness - let people out in traffic (but be careful if it's larger than a 2-lane road), switch places with the person behind you in line at a store, share your umbrella with someone who is caught without one, turn on the sports show your husband wants to watch without being asked, or the Jane Austen movie your wife prefers. Defend someone who is mocked.
Have a Mardi Gras of patience. Be lavish about it. See how many times in a day, that you can respond patiently. Don't blow your horn when someone cuts you off in traffic; pray for them instead. Don't respond in kind, when someone says something rude to you (this one's difficult, I know!). Instead, smile at them and pray for them, as well. Call someone that you know is lonely, or write a note to someone who is going through a rough time.
These ideas are just a start. In other words, go all out in trying to live by the "Golden Rule," treating others as you want to be treated yourself.