DESOTO – My editor gave me a challenge at the beginning of December to practice some random acts of kindness. I thought about some of the things I have done in the past and and wondered about good ideas moving forward during this time when it seems like just about everyone is having a hard go of it.
I attempted to create some good will and cheer, but the month went by so fast I didn’t get much accomplished. Instead, I decided let’s make a resolution beginning in 2022 to everyday do something that is kind.
And, let’s start with kindness to ourselves.
It is a busy world we live in so once a week unplug, unwind, take a bath, read a book, drink a glass of wine and listen to some of your favorite music. Feel deeply into your heart and soul offering gratitude for the little things in life that were wins in the past week.
Forget about holding grudges because it will make you sick and we have enough of that going on already.
Look in the mirror and remind yourself just what a great job you are doing. People these days are way too critical with themselves and that just causes stress.
Also, keep in mind when someone does you wrong, or what you think was wrong; don’t take it personally because it is usually not about you at all.
Finally, tell your family and friends how much you love them and appreciate their presence in your life. While this is an act of kindness to them, you would be amazed at what an act of kindness it is for you too.
Acts of kindness for those around you
In December, the main thing I remember doing – December seems like years ago now – was hand a man a bottle of wine I was carrying from the store. I was juggling three bottles and he looked at me so kindly. I handed him one of the bottles and said “happy holidays.” His smile alone made my day.
Not everyone is going to be passing out wine though, so here are some additional things you can do and a few of the ideas I am stealing from my editor.
In the line at Starbucks it is not uncommon for the cashier to say in the drive-thru that the person in front of you paid for your order. So go ahead and pay for the order of the person behind you too. I am always curious how many people pay it forward before it ends. Even better, instead of just doing it in the line at Starbucks try it at one of the other drive-thru windows you frequent. Or, show the employee how much you appreciate them by leaving a larger than normal tip.
- Smile at strangers and say hello.
- Assume the best in another person so they don’t have to worry about an argument every time.
- Let the person in the vehicle beside you in while driving, it is better to get there safely than not at all.
- Listen to other people while they are talking instead of trying to plan what you are going to say next.
- Keep your promises.
- Return phone calls/text/email in a timely manner even if just to say I got your message and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
- Leave money on the vending machine for someone.
- Pick up litter.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Buy some gum or candy and pass it out to people you see during the day.
- Open the door for people.
- Send books to children in the hospital or drop off books at a senior center.
- Offer to take care of someone’s children for an evening or a day so they can have some free time.
- Learn to say hello in five different languages.
- Give a compliment.
- Leave an extra tip.
- Help make dinner or make an extra meal to share with a busy friend or neighbor.
The list is endless and sometimes you might not even know what the act of kindness is going to be until you see it needs to be done.
Try these things and send us some ideas of your own. The best way to spread love and light is to let that love and light begin with you.
Happy new year and may we all remember we are in this together.