One TV show I never miss is CBS Sunday Morning. I enjoy the segments done by Steve Hartman.
Steve is a master at finding and presenting stories about people who do extraordinary acts of kindness, selflessness, and generosity. Watching those stories makes me want to be a better person.
They make me think about how much better life would be for all of us if everyday we each did at least one kind thing for someone else.
Doing an act of kindness makes you feel better about yourself. Kindness is its own reward. Most often its little situations that present the biggest opportunities to practice kindness.
Start with your family. Sadly, many of us are more considerate to strangers than to the people we live with. Spouses, partners, and children can all do and say things that cause frustration, anger, or hurt. If they do, instead of reacting in a way that prolongs any negative feelings, look for a way to turn the negative into a positive.
A hug, an appreciative comment, a compliment, or a caring gesture are all better than silence or over-reacting. They can create a feeling of happiness, when its needed most, that may never be forgotten
Who do you know who is less fortunate than you?
We all have neighbors, friends, relatives, or co-workers who could be dealing with challenges on a daily basis . . . possibly things we don’t know about because we haven’t taken the time to care or observe or listen.
If you can do anything, from a small gesture to a grand one, that can alleviate hardship, worry, or sadness from someone’s life, it could be just the thing that helps them get through a difficult time.
Easy Acts of Kindness.
There are things we can do that are very simple, yet we often just don’t think about them. Here are a few to get you thinking.
1. When grocery shopping, buy duplicates of the canned goods and non-perishables on your list and then donate them to a local food bank or church/community sponsored food drive.
2. If you know someone living on a fixed budget, invite him/her/them out for lunch; your treat.
3. When you’re in baking mode, bake some extras, wrap them and deliver to an elderly neighbor or medical shut-in who can’t provide their own fresh-made foods. And while you’re there, take time to visit.
4. Winter is coming and in many parts of the country that means snow. Shovel a side walk or snow blow the driveway for an elderly neighbor or a mom at home with young kids, or someone who is still at work so they don’t have to do it when they get home at the end of a long day.
5. Do you know a married couple with young children? If yes, offer to baby sit for free to give them an afternoon or evening to go out and relax.
6. Post cheerful, positive messages on your social media and share fun and smiles with others. Don’t use social media to complain and air grievances.
7. Volunteer to help at a senior center, homeless shelter, or community fund-raising event.
8. Support programs that benefit children who live in poverty or at-risk situations. At the holiday season there are many. Here in my area there are opportunities to give to Toys for Tots, to donate winter coats, and provide kits of necessary items for kids in the foster system. There are usually many drop off centers you can take them to.
These are just a few examples of things we can do. Make a difference when you can. For me, I am filled with my own gratitude when some one says “thank you” to me. I know I can do more.
It’s not only doing acts of kindness, its also being considerate instead of being rude and selfish. It’s showing a little patience instead of getting angry. It’s being courteous and appreciative instead of being demanding.
Just imagine how much better our country would be with 331.4 million people practicing caring acts each day instead of complaining and criticizing.
With any luck, we might even get the politicians to do it!
“You can not do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.”Ralph Waldo Emerson
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