I'm not going to post about a random act of kindness I performed, or I'm going to perform. I think it's self-serving. And it's also un-Biblical (Matthew 6:1-4).
But there's no such restriction in posting about being the recipient of such gifts.
The first one that comes to mind ... goes back to December. I was visiting a FedEx Kinkos to pick up a copy job and as I was entering, was noticing a woman hauling many large packages onto a cart and heading back and forth into the store. I paused for a few moments to hold the door open for her and continued to hold it until she'd managed to finish getting everything into the store. I was a little puzzled when she paused right at the end and dived into her car to retrieve something ... but then was surprised as she handed me a small gift bag with a packet of hot cocoa and some holiday candies. It was a sweet gesture (no pun intended).
Working in Flint, Michigan, I'm stuck in the middle of the water crisis that's all over the news. And while there's a lot of horrible things about this situation (which I'll avoid going into), the good thing I am seeing is people on the ground working to make things better --- collecting and distributing bottled water and water filters to families most affected by the situation. This is going to be with us for a very long time, mind you ... but it is encouraging to see people getting past the finger-pointing and rolling up their sleeves to do something about the situation.
Blackberries. I'm a sucker for sweets like that. I've never had black currants or grapes, so ... black olives would have to fall to the bottom of the list.
The last thing I need in my life right now is more guilt about things I'm not doing, or that I "only" have a few more years to do.
Gosh ... this is hard for me, for some reason. I can think of films that had winter scenes in them, but none really where winter plays an integral part in the plot. Maybe The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe? Technically, that might qualify as a "Christmas flick", but ti's about as close as I can come to one.
This morning? Thinking about my professional (lack of) prospects tends to discourage me. And there's nothing I can do about it except buckle down and get back to work.
It's not Biblical, but the one I tend to use the most is this one from Voltaire: "The perfect is the enemy of the good."
Even when I'm discouraged about my professional prospects, sometimes it's possible to have a good day. My algorithms class yesterday was one of those days --- students engaged with the material, asking questions ahead of my pacing, students bringing up valuable side topics, and so on. It's a good day when I can't get through my lecture notes because I keep having to answer too many questions.