Have you ever wanted to Change the World? It sounds a little overwhelming doesn’t it? My whole life, I have wanted to help people on a big scale and I always said, if I ever have lots of money, I am going to be a Philanthropist. I have even gotten discouraged at times, when it seems that “big money” may never be a part of my life and I won’t be able to fulfill that hope, until one day it dawned on me, “Why do I need to have a lot of money to help people?” Yes, with money you can help on a much bigger scale, but there are so many ways to help locally, without any money at all.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary says, “A Philanthropist is one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare: a person who practices philanthropy.”
I have been doing this for years and teaching it to my children. When I see it written in black and white, it doesn’t seem so unattainable and I realize that I am already, a Philanthropist and you can be too.
I am going to try something, in hopes that it will catch on and develop a ripple effect, throughout my community, as well as others who come across my blog. My hope is to improve the world, with your help, by creating a chain of kindness from community to community; much like the message in the 2000 movie, Pay if Forward. I have named my kindness project, Help Kindness Spread. (#helpkindnessspread) I have also been promoting this on my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as other posts in my blog, in hopes that while people are going about their lives, running errands or going to work, they deliver random acts of kind gestures and good deeds, to the people they come in contact with.
A little kindness goes a long way. Have you ever had a stranger do something kind for you? Maybe they paid for your coffee in the drive-thru, given you a compliment, held a door open or simply gave you a warm smile? I have been on the receiving end, of kind, thoughtful gestures and it feels good, great actually.
Although, I am generally aware of the way I treat others, sometimes I can get caught “inside my own head” as can all of us, and be distracted when interacting with people, via the grocery store or other locations, during errands. Afterwards, I realize they don’t know what is going on “inside my head” and my response may have sounded rude or withdrawn. I work in the customer service industry and I know how it feels to have people give those types of responses to my questions. Some people may be so preoccupied with their busy lives; they may text, while someone is trying to ask important questions that are required for their purchase, or interaction. Others may actually talk on the phone or answer a call in the middle of a transaction. Have you ever witnessed this, or have you ever done this?
We all know it is not personal and the other person is unaware of what they have done, but it feels personal. If I can be more present with others and help to make their day a little better, then that is the first step toward my goal. Maybe my act of kindness will trigger a “pay it forward” type of response and think, “hey that felt good, I want to make someone else feel good too. If each person follows this practice and #helpkindnessspread, it could definitely change the community in which we all live. Small acts of kindness are all we need. They don’t have to be anything big or costly. I don’t have a lot of money; however I do what I can, when I can. Here are a couple of examples of kind acts that others have done in their communities.
My boyfriend went to pick his car up at the shop on a very hot summer day, and brought back 5 Iced Caps for each of the workers there. It cost him a little over $10 which didn’t break the bank and made the guys very happy. I know $10 can be a lot to some people, I have been there, too, but this shouldn’t stop you from doing kind things. Try to think of ways to brighten someone’s day that doesn’t require spending money.
I once had a lady come up to me in a restaurant, as she was leaving and tell me that she thought I was so beautiful and she had been looking at me and just wanted to make sure that I knew that, before she left. Well I tell you, that lady had no agenda, I never saw her again, but she made my day! I had been going through a really tough time and went to that restaurant to try and get away from my problems and pick myself up. With one sincere, warm act of kindness, she made me feel great and I will never forget that day.
I have since done similar things, when I have witnessed someone doing something great or if I am admiring fabulous parenting. For example one day I was on the ferry coming home from my in-laws and I was watching these children interact with a tourist from England. There were three children and they were so lovely and well behaved. The oldest girl, about 10 years old was having a nice conversation with the British, lady about a toy that she had gotten from a fast food chain restaurant. In the end the young girl gave it to the tourist to take home to her grandchild. When the lady declined the young girl insisted, said she had many of them and she really wanted her to take it. As I watched the whole interaction, I couldn’t help but notice how the whole family interacted with each other, mom, dad and children; they were so respectful and yet fun and carefree. I know parenting can be difficult at times and there are plenty of comments made when kids are acting up in public, so I decided to let them know that I thought their children and family was so lovely and the way their kids interacted with the tourist was so nice to see. I told them that their daughter was so articulate, well-spoken and was a beautiful, confident young lady and they had a beautiful family. They said Thank you very much and that was that. The ferry docked, nothing more was said. I simply wanted to share what I was feeling with them. I hope it made their day and reminded them what great parents they are.
Everyone needs a pick me up, a boost sometimes, a little extra encouragement, like my day at the restaurant. You don’t know what is happening in people’s lives or what they are going through, and one small, thoughtful gesture or comment could change a very, bad day into a great one. Will you help me with my dream of Changing the World, one community at a time and #helpkindnessspread? What you will get in return will far outweigh anything you could possibly give.
I would love to hear about the kindness you are sharing with your community. Please leave a comment share your ideas with us on Facebook or Twitter, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.