Kindness: “one of the greatest gifts you can bestow upon another. If someone is in need, lend them a helping hand. Do not wait for a thank you. True kindness lies within the act of giving without expectation of something in return.”
With the holiday season quickly approaching, a variety of words come to mind. Words like peace, joy, hope, love, cheer, honestly the list is endless.
If you read my last post you know that I ADORE this time of year. Maybe it’s because my parents always made it so special and taught me about the importance of giving.
Or maybe it’s because I’ve really never had to go without (or if I did I was unaware).
While I love this time of year, I can’t help but think about all of the people who will be without not just this season, but all year round.
You see them. They’re your neighbors. They’re the people sleeping on park benches covered by worn out blankets because they don’t have a warm bed to go home to.
It’s the single mother who tries to buy groceries for her children and her card gets declined because she just can’t seem to make ends meet.
It’s the father who’s trying to provide for his family and works multiple jobs just to be able to put food on the table.
It’s the child who comes to school when it’s snowing but doesn’t own a jacket because their family simply can’t afford it.
Or maybe it’s the person who has everything money can buy, but they still feel empty inside.
I wish I had an endless supply of resources that I could just give it all away, but I don’t.
In fact, I’m just a young adult fresh out of college trying to figure my own life out.
I often feel like I don’t have “enough” money or time to make a difference.
Maybe you can relate.
What if I told you that an act of kindness CAN make a difference in the world?
I think Jon Foreman from the band Switchfoot put it best, “Is this the world you want? You’re making it every day you’re alive.”
Whether you want to believe it or not, we are shaping the world through our daily actions and interactions.
Are you shaping it in a positive way or are you having a negative impact?
Are you apathetic and choose to look the other way because “somebody else will do it”?
Change starts today and it begins with you.
I Want People To Pay it Forward.
Every day you have the opportunity to help make the world better. All you have to do is look for opportunities and take action.
If you have the power to make someone’s day, why wouldn’t you?
You never know what kind of impact you can have on someone’s life and kindness has a chain reaction.
Here’s a list of ways to help you get started with paying it forward:
1. Say “yes” when someone asks for help.
2. Leave a little change (even if it’s a dollar bill) in shelves at the store.
3. Bring food to someone you know is sick or grieving.
4. Donate blood- you may just save a life.
5. Volunteer to visit patients in the hospitals or nursing homes.
6. Pay for the order behind you in the drive-through.
7. Leave pennies heads up for others to find.
8. Put a coin in a meter that’s about to expire.
9. Donate items you no longer need/use to charities or people in need.
10. Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank.
11. Acknowledge people when they walk into a room.
12. Make every person you meet feel included.
13. Be somebody that makes everyone feel like somebody.
14. Pick up litter.
15. Offer your services for free.
16. Greet people with a smile.
17. Say hello to strangers.
18. Offer your seat to an elderly person.
19. Leave a coupon near its corresponding product at the grocery store.
20. Overtip a friendly waitress or waiter.
21. Spread good news.
22. Give a bottle of water to someone working outside on a hot day.
23. Let someone with fewer items than you skip you in the checkout line.
24. Share your umbrella with a stranger on a rainy day.
25. Compliment someone every day.
26. Help a friend move into their new home.
27. Carry someone’s grocery bags.
28. Adopt a pet that needs rescuing.
29. Do a good deed for a homeless person.
30. Tell someone you love them.
31. Learn CPR. You could save someone’s life.
32. Offer to take a photo for a tourist.
33. Stick up for someone being treated badly.
34. Send flowers to people just because.
35. Hug a friend.
36. Do an elderly persons “chores” (mow their grass or clean their house).
37. Start a fundraiser for something you believe in.
38. Drop off a toy or a game at a children’s hospital.
39. Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line.
40. Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading.
41. Leave notes of encouragement in public places.
42. Sit with someone eating alone.
I pray for each person reading this that you’ll be eager to start a movement of kindness. That you’ll feel inspired to go make a difference. Life is full of tiny miracles. Be one of them.