1,712 miles driven.
18 Copies of One Drop of Kindness given away.
100’s of ODK Stickers passed around.
Thousands of doors opened and being held for others.
Unknown amounts of trash picked up.
Water, Happy Meals, and other snacks purchased for those without.
Countless smiles, hello’s, thank you’s and general pleasantries.
Those are just some stats.
The magic within the trip was exponentially greater. The family bonding? Unfathomable.
Team Kube set off for 3 National Parks and ventured through some of most ghostly parts of the Western United States. Highway 50, known at the “Loneliest Road in America” and home to the Pony Express was our beginning. We played car games, sang songs, laughed at random jokes, listened to podcasts, had temper tantrums, ate the greasiest food I’ve ever seen and yes, we even slept a bit.
The purpose of our journey was several-fold. First, my kids hadn’t seen many National Parks, something I had done a lot of as a child. Second, we needed to bond and spend some disconnected time together as a family – we don’t get a lot of it during the school year. Lastly, as part of the mission of my new book, One Drop of Kindness, and our family motto, we wanted to give back and perform as many “Random Drops of Kindness” as we could.
The four of us called the trip a success. Yes, there was still some thermo-nuclear meltdowns, arguments, rough patches and hiccups, Team Kube laughed, played, loved and truly created memories.
Canyoneering in narrow sandstone canyons, zip-lining, horseback, long hikes overlooking some of nature’s most prestigious works of wonder (Zion, Bryce and Great Basin), Spelunked, swam, campfired, fought gnats, Smore’d, conversed, played cards, unplugged, and most importantly; just plain had time together as a family.
We ended our journey with a stop in SinCity, or Las Vegas to some of you. This was a first for our kids…eyes WIDE open, wondering, smelling the pot waft throughout our stroll, running into David Copperfield on the street, the overcrowded and supersonic drunkenness of the hotel”lazy river”, Neon lights, sounds, and incredible humans. On this stop we had the pleasure of meeting Jim, our friendly Hotel Engineer. I posted about Jim earlier on Twitter, as I believed his story was amazing.
A grandfather of 4, Jim is a pleasant, kind and very overworked hotel employee. When we checked in, the kids noticed our television wasn’t working. 3 calls and 4 hours later, Jim showed up. Ever so apologetic, we told him not to worry, and realized that he must have been very busy. Almost taken aback, Jim said, “people normally don’t react that way, they are kind, in general, thank you”. I almost wept. How could someone get angry at a person who is doing his best, and trying to keep up? Entitlement perhaps? yes, no doubt.
We talked, laughed, joked, and told stories. As Jim was finished, I asked if I could give him a copy of my book – with a huge smile, Jim replied “YES!”.
I often struggle with balance, parenting, husbanding and self care. But I never neglect a chance to reflect. This trip brought many things into perspective for me. Family First. Serve others whenever possible (it’s always possible). Quit comparing myself to others (24 hour challenge for me). And, most importantly, we only get one ride on this terrific voyage called life. My kids are 10 and 14 and it seems as life has been put on fast forward x10.
If you’ve read this far and haven’t fallen asleep, please take this into consideration:
Serve others, always.
Enjoy your time with family and friends.
Be kind to yourself.
Create Drops and Ripples of Kindness, I guarantee they’ll spread far and come back to you.
#OneDropOfKindness #PushBoundEDU #CompelledTribe #JoyfulLeaders