“Don’t give ‘til it hurts, give it ‘til it feels good.” – Unknown.
We’re so busy worrying about the bad news happening all over the world that we overlook the opportunities to create some good news in our own country. No matter how small the deed, it can make a difference in someone else’s life. Our actions might brighten up someone’s day and kind words might just encourage another. If we’re able to cheer someone up by doing something worthwhile, then going the extra mile is worth a try. We’ve got 15 sparks to get the fire going!
By Penny C
1. Compliment Someone
You never how compliments can boost someone’s self esteem – “Good job!”, “Thanks for helping out on this project!” or a simple “You look good today” is far more effective than you think. Say it and mean it.
2. Help Someone Achieve A Goal
Be cool and help someone strike off a task on their To-Do list. Maybe your friend needs assistance in moving or a student on the streets needs you to agree to his survey in order to complete a project. Be a change agent and help someone else do the same.
3. Give Books You’ve Read Away
If it’s been a good read for you, it’ll probably also encourage and/or inspire someone else. There’s nothing more fascinating then escaping into a world that’s played out in your head with characters made up with your own imagination. Share the love of knowledge by donating them to libraries or passing them on to someone who would appreciate them. Share novels, short stories, articles, magazines and don’t worry, sharing a comic is a good place to start too.
4. Hold The Door
Hold the door – it’s that simple. This is one of the most effortless ways to make a stranger feel appreciated. Hold the elevator door for someone carrying bags of groceries or has to manoeuvre a bicycle into that compact space. Hold the entrance door for the person behind you when you’re entering a car park. Hold the door for the next person when you’re exiting McDonald’s. How hard could it be?
Listen intently – it’s an easy way of showing someone you really care. We often forget that effective communication isn’t all about talking; it’s about understanding the situation by listening to what others have to say. By keeping silent and paying attention to another person, you make them feel important, valued and appreciated.
6. Keep Your Emails Positive
This takes some effort, we know, especially when you’re about to blow your top. But before you start rattling off virtually to someone and openly implying what a buffoon they are, think twice. No one wants to make mistakes. Be nice, be patient and compose a smart email with your heart.
And when you’re not flustered, it’s always nice to receive an appreciation email after a long project or one just sending one because you feel like encouraging another. Not asking for a fancy email, maybe one that won’t make another person’s day worse than it probably already is.
7. Buy From The Ice Cream Man
That’s the magic of the ice cream man – he makes people happy. I don’t know about you but instead of getting ice cream from convenience stores or supermarkets, buying from the ice cream man makes me happy. I guess because it’s a way of helping these ice cream sellers earn a living. With everyone moving so hurriedly as society progresses, the ice cream man is a reminder that life can be fun and simple.
8. Help With The Chores
They always say that help starts at home – there are so many things we can do to keep your home looking great and our family members feeling appreciated! Take the load off someone by picking up chores like doing the dishes, keeping the laundry, dusting, vacuuming – check with the person responsible of chores and errands, you might be shocked at the help needed around the house. You could help save lots of time, and feel pleased about it in the end too!
9. Send Birthday /Thank You Cards via Snail Mail
Hands up (or maybe fingers up from your mouse) those who still send birthday cards via snail mail! E-cards are great and convenient but nothing beats the good ‘ol physical happiness in envelope they call a card. Remember how it felt when you opened your letter box and amidst all the bills, there’s a card addressed to you? Yup, so now it’s up to you to spread the love and bring that feeling back.
10. Avoid Gossip
Gossip makes people unhappy and it’s extremely detrimental and unhealthy for the soul (you can read this post for more insight). Gossip causes misunderstandings and has been the bane of broken friendships, lost careers and unhappy families. When you engage in trivial gossip, it says a lot about you, your clique and the level of consideration you have for others. So guard yourself against gossip and do something beneficial for everyone – take your pick from this list of 15.
11. Take Time To Leave Comment
If an interesting article catches your eye, take time to leave a comment because even though you can’t see it, it puts a smile on the writer’s face. Knowing that what they write is seen to be of value to a reader is a huge encouragement even to the most polished and prolific writer out there. You fuel them.
12. Choose To Be Happy
Despite how the world may feel, be positive. People are attracted to happy people – everyone wants to draw from their optimistic fountain of joy. This task for us is to find something to be happy about and some good to do – this mixture of contentment will never leave our hearts thirsty. Winston Churchill once said, “The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” Which side are you going to take?
13. Learn To Give
All in all, we should really learn to give. People are radically hoarding stuff, cynically piling up savings in the bank and not sharing time with others. The reason why people receive is so that they can give – it ain’t love if you don’t share it. We’re so busy that we can’t even sit down, have a cup of coffee and talk.
Lend someone a shoulder; donate to your favourite charity; spend time getting to know someone better; sharing ideas with friends or giving up your seat to someone who needs it more – let’s learn to give.
Start the day off with a smile! Notice how quickly something’s able to annoy us in the morning? Traffic, bad manners, rush hour, crowds, hot weather, you name it and it’ll probably piss us off too. So here’s an idea – put on your favourite music or think of a funny memory and smile! Trust us, it feels ace to smile and people really do respond better to a less grumpy face.
15. Volunteer For Something You Believe In
Make time and support beneficial causes. Get involved because not only will you be helping others, you’ll meet new people from all walks of life, uncover fascinating stories, do things you never thought you were capable of, learn things from people (or animals too!) and discover that there’s more to life than waiting for good things to land in your lap.You can volunteer at animal shelters, orphanages, old folks homes, or go door to door and visit the lower income neighbours to distribute groceries. If it’s something you believe it, you’ll feel more happy and contented doing it. You feel good, others will feel grateful too.
If you’re in Singapore, see a list of non-profit organisations you can help here and discover the various Charities here. You can also choose to make a difference by getting involved in Give.sg’s efforts to make a difference. You won’t be refused.