Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Everyone poops & other examples of positivity in Minnesota February 8, 2017

My great niece Kiera painted this stone, which I got at a recent family reunion.

My great niece Kiera painted this stone that lies on my office desk as a visual reminder of hope. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

WHEN GLOBAL, NATIONAL, state, local and personal issues leave us feeling sad, overwhelmed and anxious, it’s all too easy to give up hope. But it’s precisely the time we most need to search out the positive and shift our focus away from the negative. It’s the time we most need to appreciate one another.

Beautiful flowers for a graduate.

A gift of flowers is always welcome, special occasion or not. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

So I searched for a few positive actions to share with you from southern Minnesota.

Read a book to a child, just like Officer Goodman. Listen to him read Everyone Poops in a February 3.

Read a book to a child, just like Officer Goodman. Listen to him read Everyone Poops in a February 3.

Without hesitation, I turned first to the Kenyon Police Department Facebook page, an ongoing source of inspirational, thought-provoking and often humorous pieces by Police Chief Lee Sjolander. Today I direct you to Officer Goodman’s bedtime story, Everyone Poops by Taro Gomi, read by Goodman (a puppet voiced by none other than the Chief). Everyone poops. They sure do.

A scoop shovel worked best for removing this snow. I shovel where the snowblower can't go.

If you live in a snowy state like me, consider shoveling or blowing snow from a neighbor’s driveway and sidewalk. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

East of Kenyon, writer Rosie Schluter is doing her part at the local weekly, The Cannon Falls Beacon. She notes “some of the good things” in a Pebble-Ripple column. Kindness, she writes, can cause a ripple effect. She cites a teacher who directed her students to share a kindness on a paper chain. She cites a neighbor who picks up mail for an elderly neighbor. And on her blog, Along the way, Rosie gives more examples. Often it’s the little things that make all the difference.

A perfect Valentine's Day weekend treat.

Consider baking valentine cookies to gift to someone. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

At the blog Ever Ready, my friend Sue is featuring “Pay It Forward” acts of kindness daily during February. She suggests baking and packaging cookies in valentine bags to share with others. She suggests shoveling snow for others. She suggests surprising someone with a handwritten thank you note. All are great ideas that can uplift and bring joy.

A little girl stands on the opposite side of the group of children waiting to swing at the pinata.

Children can teach us so much about acceptance. This is one of my favorite images, shot several years ago at the International Festival Faribault. Children took turns swinging a stick at a pinata. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.

Finally, in my community, The Virtues Project Faribault was implemented last year to “inspire the practice of virtues in everyday life.” One aspect of that project is a virtues column published weekly in the local daily newspaper and on the Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism website. Local residents write on virtues such as cooperation, tolerance and peacefulness. To read the thoughts and ideas of others in my community has truly been insightful, encouraging and positive.

A handwritten thank you card is always a good way to show your appreciation for someone.

A handwritten thank you note is always a good way to show your appreciation for someone.

TELL ME: How are you choosing and showing positivity?

© Copyright 2017 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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12 Responses to “Everyone poops & other examples of positivity in Minnesota”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    My motto “Be the Ripple” is what I try to practice daily. Yesterday while at the car dealership I observed a woman being “snippy” with the service manager. When it was my time to check out I made sure I gave her accolades for a great experience and we spent some time in conversation. It didn’t take long to affirm her and I know it made a huge difference after a customer who was less than pleasant. Finding small opportunities to be the ripple is very easy. You just have to look for them. And most of the time it does not involve any huge thing or monetary investment. That’s my goal in life–to make a small happy moment every day for someone. Now shoveling snow for someone—probably not going to do that one. 🙂

    • One of the things I appreciate most about you is your positivity and your desire to create those happy moments for others.

      That’s fine. You don’t need to shovel snow. I’ve got you covered there with snow shoveling detail. 🙂

  2. I will take your HOPE stone and cause a ripple in my pond down here by sharing kindness, compliments, sharing, helping, love, etc. and tell the person I give/share with to pass it along 🙂 Thanks for the oh so important reminder today! Happy Day – Enjoy

  3. Jackie Says:

    I posted this on my Facebook yesterday…. “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing” I think shifting our focus on positivity, seeing the beauty all around us and realizing that we are going to be ok! The examples you laid out above are wonderful things, acts of kindness go a long way, and are never forgotten. Today I will write a hand written note to one of my friends at church, she is 96 years old and suffering with shingle. I hope to brighten her day!

  4. Sue Ready Says:

    What a wonderful surprise having Ever Ready mentioned on your blog. No matter how small a deed kindness is never wasted and we can make someone smile today with positive actions.

  5. Marneymae Says:

    that’s one of my favorite children’s books. and to hear an officer read it to a room full of kids would be priceless.

    • I had never heard of Everyone Poops until I heard Officer Goodman (aka Chief Sjolander) read it on the Kenyon Police Department Facebook page. It’s a great book with a wonderful message. Apparent the Chief read this book to students when he worked as a school resource officer. How encouraging is that?

  6. Littlesundog Says:

    Since I do not venture out much, I do what I can when I do get out to run errands. Most of the time I help elderly or disabled folks who can use a hand or two while shopping at the grocery or at Walmart. I smile at people, which often lends to nice conversation – brief, but who knows how that positive-ness can change someone else’s day?


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