My goal with this post is not to try and save the world with one single amazing act but rather to give ideas of ways we can all inspire one another to be more loving, kind and aware of each other every single day..
1. ‘Someone Cares’ Printable My sisters and I like to make these little cards and carry them around in our bags for when we see someone we feel could use a pick-me-up. We were in the airport one time and my little sister (who was 14 at the time and rather shy) walked up and handed this card to someone and then quickly walked away embarrassed. The woman she handed it to, with her handicapped daughter, found my sister a few minutes later and with tears in her eyes told her how much that small act of kindness meant to her.
It’s very rare we ever see how a small thought on a little card can affect someone’s day but the few times you do, make it worth handing them out as much as possible. 🙂 You can make your own little card saying something nice, or you’re more than welcome to use my free printable above!
2. Pay it Forward Have you guys seen this video? I’ve seen several videos of people paying for the car behind them in drive thrus but I just love this one! I love it because their one simple act of kindness started a chain reaction of everyone paying for the cars behind them. If someone does something extra nice for you, pay it forward and do something extra nice for someone else. It’s not that often you get to see other people repaying your kindness but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. 😉 http://youtu.be/EsqtFyEo1-Y I also love these printable Pay it Forward cards Kristina made that you can print off and hand out to remind others to pay it forward themselves.
3. Look up, make eye contact, and SMILE! This sounds so silly but you should try this some time: I was walking across my school’s campus one morning, passing hundreds of people, and I decided to look at everyone I was passing, I mean really look at them-as people. I think so often we really don’t see the people that are all around us every day! You know what else is interesting? You’ll begin to notice that people are mostly looking down, looking away, or are in their own little worlds too. So here’s my challenge: when ever you’re in a public place, try to look up and actually see the people you’re passing every day. Wonder about what their story might be. If they make eye contact with you, smile and say hi as you pass by. For just a split second, break the barrier we all tend to put around ourselves and share a smile with someone new.
4. Find good qualities I don’t know why, but sometimes it seems easier to talk about others bad qualities than it is to talk about their good ones. If you sense a conversation quickly heading towards criticism, find the good qualities that person possesses and try steering it towards that instead. It’s hard enough that we pick ourselves apart. We should be able to count on each other, especially during our weak moments, to help build us up.
5. Go the extra mile Have you seen the YouTube video that went around for a while called: Video that will change your life. I have no words left.? I love this video because the good deeds get passed on solely by people witnessing others doing ordinary, small acts of kindness in their every day life. You don’t have to go out looking for grand opportunities to serve. This goes back to my #3 point: if you’re really looking around you and seeing the people you’re surrounded by, I guarantee you’ll find some way to spread a little good. Here are a few examples I picked out from the clip: Let the person behind you in the checkout line go ahead of you, wait a few extra seconds to hold the door open for someone, clean up someone else’s spill, pick up garbage that’s lying around, help someone up the stairs, etc….These are all really simply ways we can spread good without even having to go outside our daily routine
6. Compliment! Who doesn’t love to be complimented?? One day, I was sitting in this corner booth studying for my finals and this random girl who was walking by stopped and said, “hey, you’re outfit is so cute!”. It was such a simple, nice thing to say and I really didn’t think much of the outfit before her compliment but now whenever I put it on, I think “Dang! I look good!”. I think we actually have compliments go through our mind all the time about the people surrounding us. Whenever you can, take that compliment from your head and vocalize it! I promise it will make someone’s day!
7. Put yourself in their shoes Before you judge or react to someone, try putting yourself in their shoes. What was their upbringing probably like? What has their day been like? How do you think they got where they are? What difficulties might they have faced? What might have sparked that reaction in them?
8. Keep an eye out for the elderly and the disabled My dad, who uses a cane and occasionally a wheelchair, told me one day how he wished people would take more notice of him. He said people don’t realize how hard it is just to balance himself on his cane and when they walk past him really fast, cut him off with a grocery cart, or slightly bump into him, it knocks of his balance and could result in him falling. Instead of hurrying past these people on the streets or in grocery stores, offer to help them with anything they need (holding the door open, getting to their destination, or reaching things they might not be able to).
9.Gratitude This one is important because guess what? Not only does the person you’re expressing gratitude to benefit from it, but so do you! Try writing a thank you note or giving a call to someone who’s inspired you lately. http://youtu.be/oHv6vTKD6lg
10. “Let it Go” I read this amazing book about two years ago called “Let it Go”. It was written by a man named Chris Williams who lost his pregnant wife and two of his children in a tragic car accident caused by a 17 year old drunk driver. If you haven’t heard his story of healing and forgiveness yet, I highly recommend you watch this short clip they did with him or buy his book: “Let it Go” (trust me, it’s a book you’ll want in your personal library). Chris’s decision to forgive not only helped his and his families journey toward healing but also effected his entire community for good. I know this is an extreme example but I loved the message he made in his book about how we’re faced with the decision everyday of whether or not we’re going to let things go. The decision to forgive or “let it go” can be really tough when you feel you’ve been wronged in some way. I think of what this man must have felt when he found out that it was the poor choices of a 17 year old that caused the loss of over half his family; yet, without condoning or excusing the boy’s actions, he chose to forgive and love him. If he could forgive someone of something so extreme, can’t we forgive our family, friends, and neighbors of the small misgivings we are faced with every day? You never know when a moment will present itself to spread a little good in the world. Hopefully, we can all open our eyes and hearts a little wider each day to recognize when those moments come.