Pick Me Ups

A friendly picker upper for the perfect stranger.

Neighbours August 2, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 7:03 pm
Tags: ,

Location: Meadowvale at Sheppard E. bus shelter

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you doing today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

What do you think about neighbours. They can be friendly people who sometimes drop by for a quick chat but otherwise keep to themselves or they can be annoying people who rev their motorcycles at 2:00am and don’t keep their lawns cut. I’m sure you’ve experienced both ends of this spectrum. Bur definitely more often that not, these days most people don’t know their neighbours well at all. That’s probably not the greatest thing because social scientists tell us that we rely on these kinds of social networks in times of need. Take for example your home is on fire, who’s going to help you before the firefighters? Your neighbours. Not only that but human interaction tends to make people happy. So getting to know your neighbours is not only good for the individual but also the whole community. So by all means, let’s get to know their stories. Let’s get to know our neighbours. Let’s improve our communities.

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper

 

Charity and Volunteerism July 18, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Quotes — neepaparikh @ 9:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

Location: Silverstar Blvd Plaza

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

“Lots of people think they are charitable if they give away their old clothes and things they don’t want. It isn’t charity to give away things you want to get rid of and it isn’t a sacrifice to do things you don’t mind doing.” – Mrytle Reed, author

This quote has got me thinking about the way people approach volunteering and the non-profit sector especially in light of new social media and the ability to ‘click’ for a cause. Should people be reaching some sort of threshold of commitment and/or understanding before endorsing an idea or cause? Have social networking users created another meaningless activity out of joining groups and supporting causes using tools like facebook?

Let’s extend this issue to the world outside of social networks. Many people have good intentions when it comes to the non-profit sector but lack an understanding and/or commitment to the task. Especially in the younger, adolescent, student generation, notions of volunteerism and donation have become the norm. Peer pressure to donate money to a cause runs high in lecture halls as jars are passed around by friends. Everyone believes their cause is the most important so it becomes impossible not to dig into your pockets for some change.

Student or adolescent caring and volunteering is also telling of the passive role that we take when it comes to involvement in the non-profit sector. Consider the most common roles that adolescents take in volunteering. Usually, this involves anything from setting up and manning booths to helping organize small-scale fundraising and awareness events. Undoubtedly, these are all necessary roles for any successful group or event but, one must also note the lack of engagement of the larger population. This lack of engagement has implications for the sustainability of the projects being presented. In my opinion, these non-committal roles that adolescent student volunteers are often engaged in actually hinders the development of leadership skills and other character building opportunities that are offered by participating more actively. That isn’t to say I won’t be going back to playing those same non-committal roles, just that I hope to participate more actively. What do you think?

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Tips for Success July 17, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 10:41 am
Tags: , ,

Location: Malvern Medical Center

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you doing today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

Analyst Richard St. John conducted over 500 interviews of people that we consider to be successful. He asked them for tips on how to be successful and was able to narrow it down to eight simple words.

  1. Passion – do it for love not money
  2. Work – nothing worthwhile comes easily
  3. Good – get good at something, practice!
  4. Focus – focus yourself on one thing
  5. Push – push yourself mentally and physically
  6. Serve – serve others something of value
  7. Ideas – make connections, be original
  8. Persist – persist through failure and conflicts

So now you know the keys to success but the real question is what is success? Is it being a millionaire? Well if it is, you might not need all of these tips. I think real success is personal success not monetary success. Real success is sharing with people what you have, respecting others, investing in ideas, kindness and children’s futures. People like this should be admired. They move the world, metaphorically. Maybe Richard St. John’s tips to success will help create those world moving people. Will you be one of them?

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper

 

Road toย Success June 28, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Quotes — neepaparikh @ 9:08 pm
Tags: , ,

Location: Kitchen store

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you doing today? I hope that you are doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

Getting to a successful place in your work, social or love life is no simple task. Sometimes its complex and there are many factors that deter us from reaching success. Think about it. If reaching success was simple, everyone or almost everyone would be successful. Luckily or unluckily for us, not all of us have reached points in our lives where we believe we’re successful.

I love how David Jones put it, “The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called failure, a loop called confusion, speed bumps called friends, red lights called enemies, and caution lights called family. You will have flats called jobs but if you have a spare called determination, an engine called perseverance, and insurance called faith, you will make it to a place called success.”

So don’t give up on success! Put in the hard work and you’ll get there some day!

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Education and Creativity June 18, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 5:49 pm
Tags: , ,

Location: Coin drain

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

I hope that you are doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a pick-me-up during your day.

I’d like to tell you a little bit about my views on education and creativity. I’m sure you can agree that children possess some pretty extraordinary capabilities. Some children that we see on TV or read about have extraordinary dedication and have found a talent. But really, all kids have exceptional talents. They’re just squandered and squished at a young age. Creativity is as important in our education system as is say, literacy. You see, kids will take a chance. If they don’t know, they’ll guess. Kids aren’t afraid of being wrong. Not that being wrong makes something creative, no. What I mean is that if you don’t accept that you might be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. By the time we become adults, we’ve lost the ability to try things out without worry. We end up becoming scared of being wrong. We run everything from education to governments to companies like this. Mistakes are stigmatized. Our current education systems run with the belief that mistakes are the worst thing you can make. The problem here is that we are teaching children to let go of their creative capacities. We’re allowing children to grow out of their creativity, their originality and innovation. What do you think?

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper.

 

Caring June 15, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Quotes — neepaparikh @ 4:25 pm
Tags: , , ,

Location: Toronto Zoo Education Branch

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

I hope this note finds you in a good place and that it serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

Let’s think back to prehistoric times. With so many large and majestic creatures roaming the land, its hard to see how humans and their ancestors survived. We are not fast creatures. We don’t camouflage well. We don’t have offensive mechanisms such as claws or poison. So how did we avoid being eaten?Anthropologists suggest that it is the complex relationships humans built with each other that allowed us to survive. The communication and level of caring we showed each other allowed us to outsmart and avoid our predators and move up the food chain. So in a way, the need to work together and care for each other is inherent in all human beings. We are inherently good.

If this is true, shouldn’t we all be caring for each other now? Many of us do but too many of us don’t. As inherently good people, as a species that is built on relationships, it is our job, our social responsibility to help others and to help make our world a better place. There is no need for big gestures as we have often found that it’s the little things that count. An old Arab proverb says, “If you have much, give of your wealth; If you have little, give of your heart.” Do what you can to help others afterall, its part of being human.

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper

 

Self-Discovery June 6, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Quotes — neepaparikh @ 10:16 pm
Tags: , ,

Location: Toronto Zoo

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope that you are doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

I’m not sure if I feel happy or sad for people who think they’ve got it all figured out. I mean people who think they know themselves perfectly. People who feel as if they know exactly what they want out of life and the steps they must take to get there. I feel like that makes life boring. To me, it’s almost as if life’s journey is a journey about self-discovery. Getting to know yourself and the world around you. That should be the goal. Maybe you’ll never get to know yourself completely because we humans are so complex, but an attempt should be made. Mistakes and obstacles are all part of the journey that to me makes life so worthwhile.

It seems that Italian actress Sophia Loren had a similar view of life. She said, “After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” Have a good day.

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Gross National Happiness June 5, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 10:05 pm
Tags: , , ,

Location: Toronto Zoo

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you today? I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

I was browsing the Toronto Star a couple of days ago and I came across a rather intriguing article about the small, secluded country of Bhutan and its education system. Seems to me they’ve got education right. A king of Bhutan in 1999 unveiled a plan, called the Four Pillars of Happiness, which promised to measure the small country’s GNH (gross national happiness). It placed emphasis on environmentalism, national culture, good governance and economic development.

Recently, the four pillars have been infused into Bhutan’s education systems. It’s being encouraged to bring gross national happiness into the curriculum including into courses like math and science. What is really created is more of a focus on community and well-being. The article tells of meditation being introduced for a few minutes at the beginning and end of each school day. Parents have been asked to stop driving their kids to school and the kids actually seem to like it. Also, to continue focusing on environmentalism, students have adopted streams and are involved in clean-ups every few weeks.

Seems to me like more of this small country, nestled between India and Nepal’s ideas need to be adopted in North America. Have a good day!

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper ๐Ÿ™‚

 

Arguments May 30, 2010

Filed under: Cards — neepaparikh @ 10:36 pm
Tags:

Location: Toronto subway seat, Yonge line

Note:

Dear Perfect Stranger,

How are you feeling today? I hope you are doing well and if not, I hope that this note serves as a little pick-me-up during your day.

Have you ever been in an intense, long argument where you felt like you were both in a speeding car heading towards a brick wall and you were fighting over who would ride shot gun? You know, the kind of argument where you feel like no matter what you say, the other person isn’t going to budge. Rather, the more you argue, the more passionate you both seem to get about your stances. Do you ever get to the point though where you wonder why you’re even arguing?

Sometimes when you get right down to it, you both were saying the same thing in different words. Have you ever laughed about it later and agreed to agree? I think those are the best kinds of arguments. They teach us to listen more actively to what others are saying and to understand word choice.

Well, I hope that you can enjoy a good debate from time to time too.

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost May 29, 2010

Filed under: Cards,Quotes — neepaparikh @ 9:06 pm
Tags: , ,

Location: Marlowe Restaurant and Wine Bar (Richmond Hill location)

Note:

The Road Not Taken – Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

The took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Sincerely,

Your friendly picker upper