Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 5th April 2017 – Robbie Cheadle, ALK3r, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Ned Hickson

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

One of my favourite times of day when I bring together just a handful of blog posts I have read and enjoyed.  Please leave a link to your latest post in the comments section so that I can share it.

Robbie Cheadle writes children’s books in collaboration with her young son Michael. And this is just one area where Robbie encourages her children and others to explore their imaginations through play and creative activities. She talks about this in her post today and also includes a tutorial for the younger members of your family to make fondant ducklings for Easter.

The importance of creativity for children

I have always thought that creativity and imagination are very important to the development of the human race. As I have watched children I teach, my own children and my nieces and nephews paint, create with fondant, play dough and clay and a myriad of other mediums, I have seen how it stimulates many of them to think in different ways. How creating an aeroplane out of clay, or even out of paper, starts a process of how to make the various important pieces required for flight, how they work and, most importantly in this case, how to make the aeroplane aerodynamic and keep it in the air. Some children like to work in groups and some like to work alone, but there is little doubt in my mind that all children benefit from an opportunity to be creative.

Do read the rest of this very interesting post with some wonderful ideas to keep children busy being creative over the Easter Holidays:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

Next an exploration on how Gratitude evolved in our society by Alk3r who shares an article by Malini Suchak who is an assistant professor of animal behavior, ecology, and conservation at Canisius College. Her research on gratitude was supported through the GGSC’s Expanding the Science and Practice of Gratitude project.

How did gratitude evolve? Researchers are starting to trace this common human emotion all the way back to primate behavior.

“Thank you.” Two simple words, among the most repeated on a daily basis. When I travel to a foreign country, it is one of the first phrases I learn, just after “hello.” When children start making verbal requests, their parents quickly teach them to say “please” and “thank you.”

Plenty of research shows the benefit of saying thank you, as well as of other expressions of gratitude. Gratitude is one of the fundamentally important parts of human life, and comparative psychologists like myself are always interested in where these things come from, in the grand scheme of things. How did we as humans end up as a species for whom gratitude is as much a part of our social relationships as gossip?

Read this fascinating article:

Smorgasbord Blogger Daily

At the end of March I shared the link to the first of Madelyn Griffith-Haynie’s story. She suffered serious injuries that required months of rehabilitation which would not have been possible without the support and empathy of those around her. Madelyn uses her story and the following events that culminated in a savage mugging, to emphasise the necessity of empathy in our world if we are to maintain our humanity. Here is the link to part three and I have also put the links to parts one and two which I recommend you read.

In a single moment, my life changed forever.

For those who haven’t read Part-I or Part-II, I will quickly bring you up to speed: I was gang-mugged at gunpoint.

Only one result was an extremely bulky cast on my arm covering all but the tips of the fingers on a badly crushed dominant hand. For three long and difficult months it was not safe for me to drive.

For almost two solid months post-mugging, primarily due to a protracted period of snow and ice, I was practically in “solitary confinement,” stuck with a temporary replacement phone that rarely worked reliably. (It would take several lengthy trips to the Apple store over many months to finally obtain my fourth iPhone that continued to work beyond a few weeks!)

I was unable to type or journal my thoughts to help me center or attempt to make sense of my experience and my extreme reactions to it.nbsp;

Read the rest of Madelyn’s story of her recovery and the bombshells that she still faced:

Part one:

Part two:

And last but not least Ned Hickson writes an article on autism to mark National Austism Awareness Month. He shares the story of his son who has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and the reactions that some people have to the condition.

Autism awareness can lower a few raised eyebrows

I knew very little about the autism spectrum back in 2006, when I met the young boy who would become my son. My wife and I had been dating for several months when we decided it was time to introduce each other to our children. She explained that he had Asperger’s Syndrome and likely wouldn’t make eye contact — and to not take it personally if he avoided any physical contact like a firm handshake.

“And whatever you do, don’t tousle his hair,” she instructed with a squeeze of my hand. “He really doesn’t like that.”

Autism is a neurological developmental disability with symptoms generally appearing before age 3, impacting the development of the brain in areas of social interaction, communication skills and cognitive function.

To read the rest of this informative article:

Thanks for popping in today and I hope you will head over and enjoy these talented writers and their blogs.. Thanks sally

This entry was posted in It is a Wonderful Life. by Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.. Bookmark the permalink.

About Smorgasbord - Variety is the Spice of Life.

My name is Sally Cronin and I am doing what I love.. Writing. Books, short stories, Haiku and blog posts. My previous jobs are only relevant in as much as they have gifted me with a wonderful filing cabinet of memories and experiences which are very useful when putting pen to paper. I move between non-fiction health books and posts and fairy stories, romance and humour. I love variety which is why I called my blog Smorgasbord Invitation and you will find a wide range of subjects. You can find the whole story here. Find out more at

21 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 5th April 2017 – Robbie Cheadle, ALK3r, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Ned Hickson

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Daily – 5th April 2017 – Robbie Cheadle, ALK3r, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, Ned Hickson | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Thank you so very much for including my story in those you featured today, Sally. The contrast between my experience in Part I and Part II is due *ONLY* to the presence or absence of empathy and assistance. My goal in sharing was to make it abundantly clear how our actions – or lack of action – can truly change the world.

    Part III is actually *much* more incredible than I could include in the story itself, as the couple featured in that section were not comfortable with a greater level of personal exposure.

    What is truly AMAZING is that, until they stepped forward, we were virtual friends only – never having met “in person.” As I disclosed in another comment under that part of the article, I had helped them with a family problem due to ADD/EFD in my role as a coach and we had stayed in touch over the intervening years. The wife and I became good friends over the phone, chatting like girlfriends always do, trading sympathy, empathy and acting as each other’s sounding board on life’s ups and downs. We still speak practically weekly.

    NEVER DOUBT that kindness and empathy in *any* format breeds kindness and empathy in others – and sometimes miracles.

    I might have ended up homeless and broken but for their willingness to extend themselves – as well as the kindnesses extended from everyone else in the story, even the clinic doctors and total strangers.

    WE are each other’s experience of the world!

    Liked by 4 people

    • We are indeed Madelyn and that was also evident on the post about gratitude and paying it forward. I know that there have been times in my life when I thought that I was totally alone and someone who was not close has stepped up and shown me otherwise. I am only here today because of the kindness of strangers and 40 years on I still remember with gratitude. hugs xx

      Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you for that, Shea – I worried a bit before posting this long 3-parter that it might seem as if I were throwing myself a pity party. The potential benefits outweighed the risks, however.

        The reality is that an extremely small number of us, actually, have had it easy as we stepped through life – even those who look unilaterally blessed from the outside. We can never really know the extent to which others struggle – even those who complain. But we can tell how grateful they are by their smiles when we offer even the tiniest of assistance.

        Platitudes and memes like “keep the attitude of gratitude” and “look for the silver lining” are belittling when someone is struggling — and are minimally impactful with those of us who are having a pretty good day. We nod our heads and move on.

        STORIES, on the other hand, land with people and work their way into their hearts — but then, I’m not telling YOU (or anyone who writes) anything new. 🙂

        Thanks so much for reading and ringing in. Tink says woof to the Dudes.

        Liked by 3 people

      • You did not and never would throw yourself a pity party. That’s not you. You are right we can never know the extent to which others struggle. We only walk in our shoes and you are damn right about platitudes. But I do think that not just stories work their way into the heart. True stories can ben an inspiration. These are the things that can help people. Seeing someone get to the other side –I know you know that is not a platitude and that if you have struggled that other side is not always safety, or the cosy place it could once have been–these things are still an inspiration because it can help someone also stand there, The dudes send you and Tink dudes hugs. xxxxx

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Empathy finale: Part III | ADD . . . and-so-much-more

  4. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Up – Irish History 1930s, Marmalade, The Boss and Brilliant Writers | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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