A Cup of Kindness

Happy New Year!

We’re in the midst of a frigid early January in most of the eastern United States. The year is still new, however. I like to make resolutions in early winter. I don’t see these as punishments for the person I was in the past. They are simply guidelines for the person I hope to be in the future.

I have never wanted to join the throngs in Times Square and other metropolitan areas to see in the new year. My New Year’s Eves tend to be quiet and reflective. I don’t always manage to stay up until midnight. (As my father often pointed out, it’s always close to midnight somewhere in the world.)

I DO always sing “Auld Lang Syne.” Like people the world over, I find the song’s nostalgic words and tune appropriate for a time in which we look simultaneously to the past and the future.

I am struck by the words “a cup o’ kindness.” I know the cup in the song is definitely alcoholic. I like to think of it in different forms, however—a sweet cup of sugar or a rich cup of cream. Whatever the cup holds, it’s a delightful concept.

As I lift my own cup, I have many resolutions. I hope to launch my new rhubarb book with fun and flair this coming spring and to perform in a 1918 centennial concert in the summer. This year is replete with musical 100th birthdays, among them those of Leonard Bernstein, Alan J. Lerner, Robert Preston, and my mother.

Jan/Taffy wasn’t a musician, but she was a great lover of song. She sang every day of her life and taught me that practice as well.

Above all, I hope we can live in a world where we pass around cups of kindness daily: for Auld Lang Syne, to make the present sweeter and more peaceful, and to teach younger generations to share love and kindness on a daily basis.

10 comments on “A Cup of Kindness

  1. Debbie Posmontier says:

    Thanks for the lovely, heartfelt article. I will think about Auld Lang Syne in a new way now. My word for 2018 is kindness! My mother’s sister, Lucia, who spent a week with us at the Farm years ago, will be 100 on Jan 28th. She had a stroke recently but is in a rehab now and we hope to bring her home. Your story about your time caring for your mother resonates with me. It is not an easy time. Thanks and happy new year!

  2. Sara Dalcher says:

    Well said, Tinky, and the vintage ephemera help enhance the message even more.

    I’m delighted to learn that Robert Preston’s 100th birthday takes place this year. I’ve been a big fan of his musical AND fun-filled acting for years. Perhaps his films will materialize on Netflix? Best wishes & good cheer to you for 2018!

  3. Wendy says:

    Lovely thoughts as we enter 2018!

  4. Ann says:

    A very Happy New Year, Tinky! I know those around you will experience that cup ‘o kindness! Hope the cold isn’t too much!

  5. Jean says:

    I read your essay (?) about Auld Lang Syne, and used it as an excuse to research a little about why so many Scottish words sound German, or are of obvious German origin. I’ve thought that question to myself about 1000 times in my life but never did anything about it until tonight, so about an hour and half ago I went off on that tangent. The best solution I could come up with is the fact that English is itself a Germanic language and the Scots have retained a lot of German pronunciations while the English speakers changed words over time to “English” spellings and pronunciations. So now I finally know, or at least have an answer that satisfies me enough so I won’t wonder the next time I hear someone speaking English with a Scottish accent and they sound like a German to me. I actually indented to go to bed fairly early tonight, but instead I have a satisfactory answer to a long time puzzle, for which I have you to thank, as for some reason I simply could not put off answering my long time query any longer.

    There is something about your writing that answers questions for me, or encourages me to finally solve a mystery or puzzle that has been bugging me for a long time.

  6. Thanks for the post TInky. A Cup of Kindness is something we all should work to achieve. Stay Warm. Buckey

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