51 Ways to be An Angel on Call
One smile can start a friendship. One word can end a fight. One look, can save a relationship. One handclasp can lift a soul. One person can change your life.”
“Be an Angel to someone else whenever you can, as a way of thanking God for the help your angel has given you.”
-The Angels Little Instruction Book (1994)--Eileen Freeman
God, Blimps, and Perry Mason
In an episode of the 1950’s-60’ TV series Perry Mason, (lead character played by Raymond Burr), a young woman who had been framed for murder goes to Mason for help. Later in the episode a senator thinking that the young woman might have something that would be embarrassing for him during his re-election campaign says to Mr. Mason “I will give you $10,000 to represent me”. Mason answers “I’m sorry, I’ve already accepted a fee from Miss Kress.” “How much did she give you”, the senator asked. “Thirty-eight cents” was Mason’s reply.
In another Perry Mason episode, Mr. Mason was asked by a prison warden to speak to a female inmate. The warden believed that the woman was in prison for a crime (murder) she did not commit. While talking with the young woman Mason also begins to believe in her, and decides to take the young woman’s case. After his investigation Mason was, indeed, able to prove her innocence. He’d not discussed a fee with her knowing that she would not be able to pay. After the trial the young woman visited Mr. Mason in his office to thank him once again for his belief in her, and to talk about paying him back. Before he could say anything she asked if he would accept $165.00. He would. She then handed him $10.00 and a promised to pay $10.00 per week until paid in full. Perry Mason simply smiled, and thanked her.
Both of these episodes become even more amazing to the viewer when you realized that Perry Mason is a well respected, and very well paid attorney. His normal fee is several thousand dollars plus expenses.
You are probably wondering what two stories about a fictional attorney have anything to do with angels, etc. Well keep reading, I think you will see the relevance in a moment.
Akron, OH was home for several years for me, and it was also the home of the Goodyear Blimp. Before moving to Akron I’d been in awe of the blimp anytime I happened to see one in the sky. One definition of “awe” is “respect tinged with fear”. That was how I felt about the blimp until I watched an episode of the TV series Ally McBeal which was popular during the late 1990’s to 2002.
The episode was titled “Angels and Blimps” and Haley Joel Osment portrayed a little boy, Eric Stall, who is dying from leukemia. Ally McBeal, played by Calista Flockhart, is an attorney asked by the boy, and his mother, to help sue God. The mother explains that their health insurance won’t cover the experimental treatment her son needs. They went to their church to ask for financial help, but they could not help either.
During their many conversations Ally learns that Eric is angry with God. He tells her “I just want to tell him some stuff face to face. I thought that maybe if I sue Him, after I get to heaven maybe he’ll come up to me and say ‘Hey, what’s up with that‘? And then I can ask Him some questions.”
A moment later Eric notices a look that pass between Ally and his mom. He asks, “There is no God, is there”? Ally regrets what happened, and is quick to respond in an attempt to get Eric back to his belief. She relates a story about something that happened in her own childhood when she also questioned the existence of God. “One day I saw something I’d never seen before, and I didn’t know what it was. My mother explained that it was a blimp. She also told me that the blimp was God’s reminder to us that He is up there, and always watching out for us.”
Eric tells her that he has never seen a blimp except on TV. With this, Ally replied that maybe God communicate with people in different ways, and for different reasons. “God sent a blimp to me, but maybe for you He will allow the Red Sox to win the World Series this year just to remind you he really is there…watching.”
Viewers can almost see the wheels turning in Eric’s head as he process what Ally has just said to him. In the second of realization this little boy who is struggling between life and death looks at Ally with the most amazing, and loving expression on his face and says “or may He sent you.”
McBeal and Mason were fictional characters in very popular TV series. Mason was a very high powered, well-known, and highly paid attorney; while McBeal was a staff attorney in a very high powered law firm. But, they had something in common--It was as if they are connected through time and space by the act of kindness. Perry Mason was committed to finding the truth regardless of the client’s ability to pay. There are many episodes where this happens. Viewers have to assume that the firm Ally McBeal works for does pro bono cases---it is implied rather than stated. But like Mason, McBeal is known for spending time getting to know here clients and seeking the truth. Ally spent time with Eric, getting to know him, talking, laughing, playing board games, reading stories, and listening to him. Giving his mother a shoulder to lean on. Doing whatever she could to make his final days good without benefit of a fee.
Both Mason and McBeal brought a level of peace to the lives of people in trouble.
Why Do We Call Them Buzzwords?
In each of the cases these attorney’s became angels as they showed acts of kindness for clients that reached out to them in moments of desperation, despair, and no money..
The “buzzwords” random acts of kindness, senseless acts of beauty, pass it forward that came on the scene a few years back, are still relevant today---perhaps even more so. The idea is to do things to help someone else--family, friends, or stranger.
So, why do we call them buzzwords? Doesn’t matter because they remind us to do something good for someone else.
These acts of kindness can be:
- Put a coin in an expired or almost expired meter.
- Allow someone to go ahead of your in grocery store line, especially if they have fewer items.
- If you have the financial means, pay for someone’s coffee, breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- If you live in an area where there are military families pay for or partially pay for their groceries if you are in grocery store together.
- Hold the door on a train, or elevator for someone rushing to make it in time.
- Compliment your waiter or waitress. Then tell the manager how much you appreciated their service.
- On a crowded train, subway or bus, offer your seat to a mother with a baby, or to a pregnant woman.
- Pay the toll for the driver behind you.
- Give your unused coupons to someone in the store, or to the cashier, and ask that they be applied to someone who needs them.
- Say “good morning” to people you meet on the street, in the elevator, in the coffee shop, etc.
- Send someone a small gift anonymously…..or to a friend “just because“.
- Treat a friend to the movies, or to dinner for no reason.
- Write notes of appreciation.
- Help an elderly neighbor with yard work, or take their trash to the curb for pick-up, etc.
- Ask a neighbor who may be house-bound because of illness, or car trouble if you can pick up items from grocery store.
- Own a truck? Have friends who own trucks? Get together once a month, or so, and help people who need something hauled away. If you are on the receiving end of this kindness…..do not take advantage of people who are willing to help.
- Organize a group of friends at work, church, community group, etc., then do a food/clothing drive for the local homeless shelter, food pantry, or other non-profit group that assist individuals and families.
- Collect books from family and friends for donation(s) to homeless shelters, group homes, etc.
- Do you knit or crochet? Do you know others who knit or crochet? Organize a group and make gloves, scarves, etc. for kids. You might be surprised to know that there are many kids who must stand in the cold waiting for the school bus without appropriate attire.
- Talk with a few school principals in your area to find out if there are kids who need coats, socks, shoes….you would be surprised the number of children who don’t have the basics….then organize a group of friends, collect said items. Volunteer to help distribute to kids without embarrassing anyone.
- Start a community recycling project.
- Do you have small children? Know others with small children? Organize a baby/child sitting club in your neighborhood. Once per month take turns so that each member of the club gets a free morning or afternoon.
Senseless Acts of Beauty
- Send flowers to a friend or family member for no reason.
- Help an elderly neighbor clean their flower beds.
- Buy a dozen flowers (does not matter the type…pretty) then hand one to 12 different people on the street, or in your workplace. Watch the surprise, and the smiles.
- Write a letter to a child or teen that needs encouragement. Make it an actual letter not an email or text. I did this for my grandson when he was six-years old. He is now thirteen---he still has it. I have also done this for various people over the years. From time to time I get a note, comment, phone call mentioning the letter.
- Send a friend or family member a note reminding them of a precious memory.
- Treat an elderly relative or friend with a gift certificate/card.
- Celebrate Christmas in August, or Thanksgiving in June….just do something to celebrate for no apparent reason. Life is just too short not to celebrate.
Small Gestures that make a Big Difference
- Help a mother with a baby stroller up the stairs.
- Bring your spouse coffee in bed.
- Pay the toll for the car behind you.
- Say “thank you”.
- Say “please.”
- Say “I appreciate you.”
- Say “I’m sorry.”
- Take several $1 bills, attach a positive saying, then leave them where they can be found around a store you frequent. Don’t wait around to see who find them---just know they get to the right person. Do these as often as you can…..you get a great feeling from doing this little anonymous act of kindness. I do this mostly in the pharmacy or the grocery store….sometimes Target, Kmart, Big Lots, where the “spirit” hit me.
- Buy food for a homeless person.
- Bring donuts, muffins, or other food items to share with co-workers.
- Compliment someone.
- Find out how many people work at your child’s school: teachers, administrators, cafeteria workers, maintenance workers, etc. Print out that number of notes that say “thank you” and place them in their mailboxes.
- Did a teacher change your life…..send them a note letting them know.
- Send someone a “thinking of you” card.
- Put the cap back on the toothpaste.
- Hug your kids, even if they pretend to be embarrassed, they secretly appreciate it.
Family and Friends
- Cook dinner (or breakfast/lunch) and invite family and friends. Cooking and sharing food is one of the most wonderful ways to not only show your love, but to keep a positive connection with each other. You will also be making memories spending time together.
- Organize a pot-luck. Everyone bring something to share. Sharing food is one of the great blessings we can do for each other. And, never make it about who makes the best dish, or who is the best cook…..just enjoy each other, and be thankful for what is prepared. Do you know how many people would love to just sit and enjoy a meal while have conversation with others?
- Be aware that someone sitting at your table might have eaten alone, and be thankful for everyone being together.
- Be sure to let your family and friends know how much you love and appreciate them.
- Call someone: mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, aunt, uncle, grandmother, grandfather---there is someone who needs to hear your “voice”---not read a text or email, but your “voice” --today.
“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” ---Dalai Lama
We live in a world of technology: Video games, texting, emailing, Netflix, video streaming, that we can get on almost any device we own. If you look around in any waiting room, public transportation, on the street people are looking at these devices and not at each other. We don’t have conversations anymore; we have text and tweets in a limited number of characters.
We don’t write letters, or send cards anymore. Everything is done through electronic means. And, the trend is getting more profound and far reaching as more and more ways are introduced to keep us “trapped” in ourselves. We must make an effort to reach out to others so that we can become involved in each others lives.
Do you want to make the world a better place? I know I do. There are opportunities that present themselves daily to do just that. We do not have to do anything that is grand or expensive. Little acts…..little kindnesses…..random or planned can make a world of difference to someone, and to yourself. So just focus on making things better, not bigger….every little bit helps.
And, please remember this….everyday…..especially holidays someone goes to bed hungry…..or, someone is eating alone. Make an effort to be inclusive not only in your thinking, but in your doing.
Cherish every moment and every person in your life, because you never know when it will be the last time you see someone.......or, the last time you get a chance to make a difference.
Love to all,