Random acts of kindness can reach all groups of people. You are able to affect those closest to you, friends and family, people you may never meet or see affected by this, or even people who may never be able to return the favor. In week 27, we are going to focus on helping those with kindness who are not able to help you.
The homeless are often those who are overlooked and could really benefit from your random acts of kindness. Really step out of your comfort zone and interact with them. This interaction could be as simple as a “Good morning” as you walk by them on your way to work, or if you are standing with them at a bus stop, ask them how they are doing. Something as simple as a conversion says you know they are not invisible. You might be surprised by the stories they share!
I tend not to give money to those in need that ask for money on the street corner. You never know what that money could be used for and it might not be helping them at all. There are some people who are not as truthful about their situation as it appears. A friend of mine sat down and had a long conversation with one of her local homeless resident and it turned out he wasn’t homeless at all, but takes the role of it and people give him money. It’s ironic because people give the homeless money to feel good about themselves, never questioning what giving them money will really do. If you are going to give money, find your local homeless shelter or soup kitchen to donate to. In my opinion, the people who frequent these places are attempting to turn their lives around and the organizations need your help to help others who really need help.
Personally, if there is someone outside of a grocery store and I am heading in, I’ll come out with an extra sandwich for them. Then at least I know they won’t be hungry and I have done what I can, knowing my money has gone to a good and positive resource. I once talked to someone who gives out chocolate bars instead of cash. She has her car stocked. I love this idea.
Don’t feel like you can help? Are you getting coffee this morning? Then you have the ability to get a coffee or a sandwich for the person standing outside who doesn’t have the means to buy their own.
Help someone who may never be able to return the favor to you, but know what goes around, comes around in some way or another.
We are so absorbed in our own space, focusing on our daily tasks that we often don’t pay attention to who is around. Who is sitting with us on the bus, who is walking by us on the street, or who is sitting at the adjacent table from us at the bar. By not noticing that someone is there, it is like saying that it doesn’t matter to you one way or another if they exist. That the things you have going on are far more important than acknowledging their presence. Fortunately, there are some easy ways to combat this behaviour.
Next time you go for a walk, take a minute to be conscious of the space you are in and not just where your mind is. Notice the people out on the street and give a smile or quick hello to those who cross your path. It may feel uncomfortable at first to interact with a complete stranger, but the feeling they receive makes all the discomfort worth it! It gets easier too, I promise. By making the quick connection with them, it is your way of telling that person that they matter. That you care about their existence and that you hope they have a good day. You will also help to pass this chain on because now that you have made a connection into their world, they are more likely to smile at the next person they pass, and so on. Read More…