Ten things you can do to make a difference in the world
I learned a lesson heart wrenching and mind-boggling lesson a long time ago. One that is still with me. A lesson that was so profound but yet so simple. It is like that saying as plain as the nose on your face. You know right there all the time.
I traveled down a street lined with trash, air filled with smog, flowers that were overpowered with dirt and people who did not appear to have homes. The road was long and a bit scary. It was one I wasn’t supposed to travel down because I had made the wrong turn. I held my purse close to my body and didn’t look up. I tried to focus on what turn I made and what turn I should have done. I walked swiftly. I let fear take over.
When you make a wrong turn can you make it right?
The road was packed with sadness, heartache, and despair. It lacked sun, prosperity, and hope. It resembled the twisted tree in the dead of winter. It wasn’t what it should be but it was just bracing itself for the season of life. I walked with one foot in front of the other. The shoes I wore touching the ground with a rapid beat and the laces coming unraveled.
I was part of the despair instead of the solution. I soon realize the world is a place that we can all impact, and we can all create change. What kind of impact would I have if I picked up a couple of pieces of trash? How could I affect that place if I just waved? How about it I blew the dirt off the flowers, so the next person to walk by that path could enjoy the flowers.
The lesson I learned as I hurried down that street was not only to notice but to stop and do something. I know that each small gesture is impactful. It is a lesson that has changed me. I now listen with my heart.
The holidays are the time of year where we think about what we have. We have to option of focusing on what we do not have or embracing what we do have. In my family, we look for ways to bring joy to others. We want to be the wind of change. We want to be the beginning of the kindness chain. I want kindness to be part of our daily lives, so I have ten simple rules I follow to make sure that I never travel to a place without leaving it better than I found it.
1) Make eye contact
3) Use your manners
4) Treat everyone with respect
5) Look for a problem and do something to create a solution
6) Put yourself in someone else’s position before you speak
7) Approach everything you do with good intentions
8) Ask questions before assuming
9) Give truthful and thoughtful compliments
10) Be the change you want to see in others
It is easy to become involved in your community. If you are a parent, model this behavior. You will find that people around you will not only respond to the kindness but perform it themselves. We donated to the victims of the fire this year, Wreaths for Veterans, toys for children in our area (the toys were birthday gifts my kids keep one present from a friend, and the rest are given to another child), and I use my site to help others give presents to the people they want to spoil but can’t afford. We provide clothes and coats to children in need, and my children went to the nursing home to sing to the residents. I also take the time to say nice things to people and to remind the people in my life how valuable and extraordinary they are.