Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Just help. Make an impact. Show someone you care. Say yes instead of no. Say something nice. Smile. Make eye contact. Hug. Kiss. Get naked.

Ellen DeGeneres is arguably one of the best human beings on the planet. She's kind, she's funny, and she likes to dance. What else do you need?

Ellen has been a huge influence when it comes to my passion for kindness and generosity. Heck, even her last name says that she's "generes." Whenever I turn on her show, I just get so happy and feel so inspired by all she does for people.

I can't imagine how much money Ellen has given away -- or spent on things to give away -- over the years on her show. It's amazing that she uses her show and her platform to make such tangible change in people's lives. I know other celebrities give to charities and volunteer and even have their own charities, but I love that Ellen also promotes kindness and generosity through her show and just the way she is as a person. It's important to do good things for other people, especially when you have the resources to do so, but it's also important to set an example and encourage others to be kind and generous.

And because of that, the change that Ellen makes in the world and in people's lives every day goes far beyond tangibility. Yes, she gives away money and cars and other things, but to me what's more important than that is her simple kindness and humor. People tell her every day that her kindness and humor help them get through the day. That's it. Her one hour show changes lives every day. I think that's so amazing.

As if she couldn't get any better, Ellen is also passionate. Ellen talks on her show all the time about her passions for music and fashion and interior design. And what did she do with those passions? Sure, she features musicians on her show and has an amazing wardrobe and set design. But she went further than that.

Because of her love of music, Ellen started her own record label, called eleveneleven, in 2010 and became a judge on American Idol for a season, also in 2010.

Because of her passion for fashion, Ellen started her own lifestyle brand, called ED, inspired by Ellen herself. It's just another way she encourages people to express themselves and embrace their uniqueness. {Plus, she's a Cover Girl, and I couldn't think of anyone better to do the job.}

Because of her passion for interior design and architecture, she created a show called Ellen's Design Challenge, where designers compete to design furniture.

And I can't write a blog post about Ellen and not talk about Dory. Thanks to Finding Nemo and, more recently, Finding Dory, children have such inspirational movies. These are beautiful stories about inclusion and support and community, particularly in the face of disability. Dory has short-term memory loss. Hank is missing a tentacle. Destiny can't see very well. Nemo has a small fin. But these characters don't let these disabilities limit them. They embrace them in themselves and in each other. They support and love each other despite these differences, because of these differences.

I'm so inspired by all that Ellen has done and continues to do for the betterment of the world. I will continue to spread kindness and generosity {and humor, obviously} in the world, as I know Ellen will continue to do. I know others will continue to be inspired by her, and I hope that others learn and practice kindness and generosity as a result.

Needless to say, it's definitely on my bucket list to meet Ellen and tell her how much her kindness has affected me and inspired me. If anyone wants to go to her show with me, that would be super cool, too.

Ellen ends every show by saying, "Be kind to one another." For a long time, I considered ending my blog posts with the same thing because I love those words so much. But those words are hers, and I needed to come up with something of my own to say. "Lots of love," isn't that special or unique, but I wanted to portray how much love and care I put into these posts. This blog really is a place for me to share my thoughts and experiences and passions, and I hope you feel that love when you read it.

Ellen, if you're somehow reading this, I LOVE YOU!

Be kind to one another.

Lots of love,

Ellen DeGeneres, "Seriously...I'm Kidding"

P.S. ED recently started selling these amazing t-shirts, and proceeds go to victims of the Orlando shooting. "Spread the much needed message of kindness and help those afflicted by this awful tragedy" {from the product description}. I love these, and it would be so cool to see a bunch of people wearing them. And you can buy one for me if you want!