Are you ready and willing to take from 3 seconds to 3 minutes being of service today? What if you could make a difference in someone’s life today? You can, and it’s easier than you think.
We are living in challenging times for sure. There are so many of us ‘taking sides’ on everything from football to climate change to the price of apples. It seems important to pick a side and defend it when interacting with others who may have different opinions, or may look different than we do, be it older, younger, a different color or shape. Our willingness to listen to and consider a different opinion seems to be less than it used to be. Discussions don’t happen. Arguments do. And this behavior separates us, makes us suspicious, divides us, harming community, family, and friendships. All that to say that we are ALL in need of a little TLC. Want to help?
Here are five ways that you can be a hero today, helping to mend the separation and to reunite US. There are dozens more ways of course, so please comment with ways you are of service so we can learn from you. But these 5 are a quick and easy start:
1. Smile. That’s it. Smile all the time. Be aware of what your face is doing more often and make the effort to smile every chance you get. When you make eye contact and smile at someone else, they will most likely smile back because you have taken a moment to recognize them and offer a smile. Their hearts are warmed, and they may be inclined to remember how it made them feel. Maybe they’ll take up the habit of smiling at others to warm their hearts as well. I love smiling while I’m driving. I remember seeing someone do that and it made me happy, so I do that as well. Quick, easy, and free!
2. Hold the door. Notice someone coming toward the door you are going through? Take a moment and just hold it open for them. (Bonus points for smiling!) Maybe someone is carrying something and is heading toward a door. Make an effort to go over and open the door for them. See a Mom with a stroller who might need an extra set of hands to get through the door? Take a moment to go over and help her out, even if it means taking an extra 10 or 20 steps. Notice how good you feel inside for helping out. Quick, easy, and also free!
3. Offer a sincere compliment. How often do you notice a cashier’s hair or nails, or a sweet attitude from a help desk person (yes, it happens!), or a nice outfit on someone walking by? By taking a moment to really notice things like this, we can make a difference in that person’s day by offering a sincere compliment on what you notice that is nice. Keep it short and sincere. The simple statement “I love your nail color” will bring a smile and sometimes a nice conversation. Most importantly, that person feels noticed, appreciated, and connected. Quick, easy, and yes, still free.
4. Donate something. Maybe it’s time to go through the closets and declutter a bit. One person’s used items can be another’s treasure. Donate your items to a charity of your choice, knowing that you are helping that charity as well as providing affordable treasures to someone else. Takes a little time and effort, but you’ll feel great from helping out and you’ll enjoy the new space in your home.
5. Pay it forward. Lots of variations and levels on this theme, but you can leave $2 or $3 toward the next person’s order at a fast-food restaurant. Buy a $5 gift card and when you see someone making a difference, give it to them to show your appreciation. Some toll plazas with attendants let you pay for the person behind you. Leave the quarter in the Aldi’s cart for the next person, All these actions give the recipient a lift and a smile. It may give them the idea to pay it forward themselves. This one takes more effort and planning and is not free, but try it out once to see how it feels.
Can you imagine a world where everyone helps each other and is nice? I can imagine it, and I do imagine it, every single day. We can each make a difference to help to create this reality, one small act at a time.
Having trouble feeling the love? Try tapping on that. “Even though I don’t want to hold that door for anyone that looks different, I accept myself anyway.” Keep tapping until you feel a shift in your attitude. Scared to compliment a stranger? “Even though I have this fear about saying something nice to someone I don’t even know, I accept myself anyway.” Does that help? What if they ignore you and just walk through the door without even a thank you? “Even though there might be someone having a bad day who takes advantage of my kind act, I still accept myself and I’m really OK!”
Like I mentioned earlier, if you have something you like to do to make a difference in this world, please share in the comments so we can all benefit.
Keep Calm and Tap On!