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Little Acts of Kindness!

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Q. I am a senior citizen and go shopping in stores where I meet a lot of elderly people. Some of them are disadvantaged and some in wheelchairs. I realize many of them find shopping difficult. Their inability to reach items on the top shelves, dodging carts, fearing others talking on their cell phones and not paying attention may cause them to fall, as well as individuals rushing through the aisles hurrying to get home. They try to shop during the least busy hours, but are unable to do so because of transportation capabilities. How can those of us help those who need assistance?

A. Focus on those little acts of kindness they may require, and try to help them cope with them. It only takes a few extra minutes of your time to hand down an unreachable shelf item, or to step aside and let a senior move ahead of you in the checkout line, or lend a hand with heavy doors. Other kind acts can be bringing in your neighbor's trash barrels, picking up their newspapers and putting them on their porch on a rainy day, helping them carry their groceries, picking up their mail and helping with other tasks that challenge them. Doing so "makes a difference." You will be feeling better about yourself if when a stranger walking their dog approaches you, you smile and greet them and with a friendly "hello." Everyone becomes a winner when we take one-on-one actions. Although we may wonder if these little acts of kindness make a difference, I guarantee you will find them so! — Betty.

Q.

I am one of those individuals who spends about a third of my time looking for a piece of paper I have misplaced, locating a bill, or some other darn thing that causes me to waste about a third of my day. However, my best friend seems to be able to put her finger almost instantly on her warranties, knows what photo is where, and can quickly find the receipt for the item she wants to return. I have asked her to share her secrets and train me to do the same. She says everyone is different and needs to find their own motivation to change. — HELP

A. At times, we all experience not being able to find or recall something we want or need. Your friend is right. To regain the lost time it takes to get something done, you will need to change your current habits. Make it an important routine of finding a home for everything and putting it in the same place every time when you touch it. One method is to purchase several clear shoe-like boxes. Put your bills in one, receipts in another, and then use a loose-leaf notebook for your to-do list. That notebook will also serve as a memory book for what you have accomplished. If not, add that one to your next day's list. As you do so, take your friend to lunch and tell her how you are improving. She may well suggest other ideas to find your lost time. — Doug

Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at deardoug@msn.com. Betty is an associate of Doug Mayberry, whom she helps with this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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