Something is wrong in this world – it is sick. We are sick. We’re angry all the time. Tired. Frustrated. There’s too much traffic, the lines at the grocery store are too long. People are violent against each other for no apparent reason. We’re eating like shit, we’re constantly battling colds, the flu. Our food supply is a disaster. Cities around the world are on fire because the people are sick of dictatorships. Most of us will never be involved in solving the big world problems, so… what CAN you do? So easy. Share the love. It literally takes just a minute or two of your time and is guaranteed to show up in the other person’s life for at least the rest of the day if not longer, and elevate your life to a whole new level of existence. I’m talking about paying it forward.
I’m not getting all kum-bay-ah on you. Don’t walk up to a stranger and give them a hug – we’re all so paranoid of each other nowadays, that probably won’t go well. I’m talking about taking an extra second with everyone you come across. Here are some examples:
Grocery Store Line Skip
Your basket is full of raw fruits and veggies, and the person behind you has 2 items. Let them go first. You’re not going to miss the extra 5 minutes to your trip, and you’ve put a smile on their face. Oh, and please don’t talk on your phone when you’re at the cashier. Say ‘thank you’ or ‘have a nice day’ when you leave. She is a person too. Treat her like one.
Feed the Crews
This is timely for all the storms we’ve had recently. The crews out clearing roads, restoring electricity, etc. work LONG hours to get our lives back to normal after bad weather, with little time to stop for coffee or food. I get tons of free reusable travel coffee mugs and water bottles from conferences. I hate to throw them out so I recycle them by filling them up with good coffee for the guy who comes out to fix my cable. See a crew working on your street? Bring them a thermos of coffee and a couple of the thousands of coffee cups from your kitchen, or go to your local coffee shop or deli and pick up a bunch of coffee and sandwiches for them. You might wind up with your street plowed first next time!
Gratitude for Great Service
I travel all over the country for my business and spend a lot of time in restaurants. I have found that a ‘thank you’ for good service goes for miles. Better still? If they’re from another country, ask where they’re from and how to say ‘thank you’ in their language. The transformation from stranger to new friend is instantaneous. You will BOTH end your meal with a smile.
Save us from the screaming kid!
On a plane, about to travel somewhere and the kid sitting next to you is wound up and Mom is out of ideas to keep him quiet and completely stressed out about it? With Mom’s permission, of course, give the kid a piece of paper and a pen. Or start a game of “I spy”. Not only will Mom be happy, but everyone around you will be grateful for the game vs. the alternative. Heck, you might even have fun!
Little gestures go a long way
- Hold the door open for someone who’s walking out the door behind you (it is AMAZING how few people do that nowadays).
- Let the pedestrian who wants to cross the road in front of you do it (it’s the law anyway, but so few people do that nowadays).
- Got a Starbucks gift card with a balance on it that you’re not going to use? Give it to the cashier when you’re paying for your order and tell him to use it on the order after you.
- Slip a $1 bill into your favorite cookbook with a note that says ‘buy an apple on me!’ You’ll never get to see the look on the person’s face that receives the dollar, but think of how YOU would feel if it happened to you!
As individuals there so many little things we can do to make all of our lives better. We’re not going to end war or poverty, but little random acts of kindness can make a difference. It takes just a minute of effort on your part and can have lasting results for the people around us – people we may never see again, but who will remember the gesture and some will even pass it on.
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Image courtesy of Microsoft.
Originally published on Positively Positive