These next four weeks may just be my favorite four weeks of the whole year to write about. That’s because for the next four weeks we will be having a theme of RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS! There is nothing better than that feeling when you do something nice for someone who can’t repay you. It’s like being a secret happiness agent. This theme incorporates all of my hopes and dreams for this 52 Weeks of Good campaign. Looking at the little things we can do every day to make a difference and random acts of kindness are pieces we can easily incorporate into our lives everyday!
For week 25 we will explore the idea of starting a random acts of kindness chain effect, starting with you! This is where you can take public opportunities to do something nice for someone and hope that they start the trend.
Here are 5 great ideas to get you started!
- Buy coffee for the person in line behind you. If no one is there, give the barista $5 to pay for the person after you.
- Talk with a homeless person. So many people walk past them and don’t even give them the time of day. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, just a simple hi, a smile and how is your day going? If you have a snack, share it with them. You will make their day better and hopefully inspire those who pass by to do the same.
- Give a stranger a compliment. It is always so unexpected and makes them feel great. With their brightened mood they will be sure to pass on their new found happiness.
- Leave a note on someone’s car (looking like a ticket under their wind shield wiper), but write a really positive comment on the paper. Wish them a good day and encouraging them to pass it along to spread the joy.
- Leave $20 with the cashier (at a grocery store, or a second hand clothing or furniture store) and ask them to use it on whomever they think could use the extra help. This gives the store clerk a chance to be part of the good. You might not only be making the receiver of the money’s day, but could be helping them with their months worth of groceries or new clothes for their kids.
I will leave you with this little video on a different perspective of security cameras:
What are your ideas for starting the kindness chain effect?
In week 14 of the 52 Weeks of Good campaign, we will be looking at the feelings aspect of empathy. And more specifically: compliments. I will do my best to tone down the kum-ba yah of this post, but if you’re singing and holding hands by the end of this, I’ll be happy. You’ve been warned.
There are a few old sayings: “Treat others as you’d like to be treated,” “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you,” “What you do to others will be done to you.” Etc. Etc. However many times you’ve heard these sayings, they are still as true as the first day you heard them. Take a moment and think about what they mean.
Respect one another.
If you find yourself swearing at someone, think if you would like it if that person swore at you. If you are about to be violent with someone, take a moment and step into their shoes to see if you’d really want to be hit. If you answered “no I wouldn’t” to any of these, chances are they aren’t going to like what you’re about to do to them, either. If you are having a bad day and don’t think your attitude affects anyone else, guess again! Your mood and how you treat someone else greatly affects the people around you. Every day you have the power to change someone’s day and effect their life. It is a large responsibility, but here is a simple way you can make your impact.
Give someone a compliment every day.
Think about how good you feel when someone walks by you on the street and says how much they love your coat, or a co-worker says you look great today or how much you rock, or when your significant other reminds you how radiant they think you are. Compliments are powerful. They are capable of changing someone’s whole day around. You are capable of changing someone’s day around.
Now go do it.
I recently have become more involved with Twitter. I figured it was time to get over how much I disliked it and learn to accept it, as it was clear Twitter wasn’t going anywhere. Now that I’ve focused a few months time on Twitter, I am able to see its’ potential. I have been able to connect with so many people around the world I would never have been able to talk to before. I have learned about so many organizations out there in the world doing good and have been able to surround myself with those positive people and the news and messages they have to share. I’m to the point where I actually enjoy Twitter now. Never thought I’d say that!
Recently I read a post from a follower. Her message hit me and almost made me start crying while sitting at my desk. The post was this: “@______: Hate being ugly:( Wish i could be pretty like all my friends! No i’m not putting this for attention,I actually hate my face….” Reading that just killed me. I remember those years where you so desperately felt like you needed to be a certain way and look a certain way to fit in. Never feeling good enough. We are our own worst enemies, but we can be our best allies, too. So, I started scouring the internet for a positive quote that would reflect just that and have her think positively about herself. Alas I found one that would do the trick: “Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.” By Confucius. I followed up with: “You ARE beautiful. Once you stop thinking negatively about yourself, the more beautiful you will realize you are. Focus on the good!” Her reply: “thankyou,You put a smile on faces:-)” Phew! A smile is a good thing and I hope she looks at herself in a little better light now.
I encourage you to go out and Spark a Change! If you see someone or hear someone being negative about themselves, help them change their perspective and let them know the positive things you see! We all have the power to make a difference in someones lives, even if for just a moment over Twitter.
The next theme of the 52 Weeks of Good Campaign is Improving The Office. We all spend so much time at work, so we should make the best of our every day. These next four posts are things workers and leaders can both be a part of.
Week 9 is about how one can improve the moral of the office just by being kind. Everyone has the ability to do their best, but sometimes it just takes a little encouragement from a fellow co-worker or from their boss to keep up the steam. Here are 5 easy ways to let someone know you appreciate them and the work they are putting in:
- As emails fly around the office, be sure to comment back to them how awesome they are doing or what out of the work they are doing you see them doing well. It’s always nice to know someone has read your email and appreciates your work.
- Have a weekly or a monthly meeting? Call someone out (even if they are not there)! In every managers meeting I like to highlight one of my staff members so everyone else can know what they are up to and the great work they are producing.
- Write them a little note and leave it on their desk. Could be on a post-it or even on a nicer card. However you present it, the feeling of coming back to your desk with a little note that says: “You rock” or “You should be proud of what you’ve accomplished” or even a support card really hits a person to their core and makes them feel good to keep going. Best part, they can save it and look at it from time to time to help them stay motivated.
- Want to be a little more public? Send out an email to your whole staff and give that person a big shout-out by highlighting their great work. They might turn a little red, but now everyone in the company will know what a great job they are doing, not just your department.
- Tell them in person. It is amazing how difficult compliments have become, but they go a long way. Giving a compliment in person really puts a lot of meaning and heart behind what is being said.
Give it a try! Be conscious of the work that is happening around you and make sure to let others know you appreciate it. Start of by noting something once a week and work your way up to handing out the goodness once a day. Soon it will become second nature and you will have helped in creating a positive and productive work environment!
So in one of my recent posts, I wrote about one of my big gives this season was donating 10 inches of my hair to Locks of Love. As you might not have 10 inches of your hair to donate, so here is a list of 10 other ways you can make a difference to someone you might never meet:
- It’s great that people are donating to toy drives, but with Hanukkah and Christmas right around the corner, someone has to wrap those presents! Volunteer one or two hours to an organization and get wrapping!
- Buy a box of wrapped candy canes and pass them out to people on your bus, people you pass on your street or those sleeping on the street. This won’t cure world hunger, but will certainly brighten someone’s day.
- Collect your coats and sweaters you don’t wear and donate them to a local shelter. Your coat could save someone’s life during these cold nights and let’s be honest, you’re not going to wear it any more. Read More…