“It’s the thought that counts.”
We have all heard that saying, but did you ever consider that maybe our society THINKS too much and doesn’t actually ACT? So often we think we support each other; however, so few put their support into action. Acting out support for each other in this (frequently negative) world is a wonderful way to make a difference not only in the lives of others, but also in your own life. It is so easy to become focused on the daily happenings in your own life that it’s easy to lose a sense of camaraderie and community.
Doing a good deed just does something for your soul that is inexplicable. Honestly, I love the way my heart feels after I do something positive for another person. I frequently think about what they might have said to another friend about the random good deed that they recived, especially when it’s anonymous. Also, I hope that my good deed will inspired someone to spread some cheer and pay it forward and so on and so on.
Occasionally you hear about pay it forward events, but I wanted to find out if any of my friends initiated good deeds on a regular basis. So of course, I polled my Facebook page. I actually had a few friends reply. One stood out in particular. My friend’s reponse summed up my exact thoughts on why it’s so important to perform good deeeds. She has also inspired me to think of ways to involve my children.
After my son Tyler’s tragic death in 2006, I made a promise to myself that he would live on through the smiles of others. Our random acts take place throughout the year, but I focus on Christmas (his birthday) and his angelversary (the day he passed). They started off small with paying for the person’s toll behind me or paying for the groceries of the person in front of me in line at the store, and with every act of kindness a card left behind that reads ” This random act of kindness was done in memory of my son Tyler.” Now that my children are old enough to understand the random acts have gotten bigger. This past Christmas, I bought gift cards and drove my children around the city and anyone we saw working on Christmas Eve was given a gift card. The reactions between these people and my children was priceless. There were many tears shed and smiles exchanged. When we got back in the car, my oldest daughter said she knew her big brother must be smiling because she felt good doing this for others. It is important to me that my children see that even though as a family we have dealt with unbelievable sadness and tragedy, we are so incredibly blessed. Though our son is no longer with us, acts of kindness are an important way that my husband, kids and I allow his memory to live on. What better way to show my kids, than through small acts that cause a great deal of happiness.
Here are a few ways that you can put your thoughts into action:
- Send a text- People put almost everything on social media. This a great way to know when someone is having a bad week or if next week is going to be crazy. Or just listen when you are having a conversation. Don’t just hear what they have to say. When the time is right, simply send an encouraging text. This just might be the best part of someone’s day. I prefer a text (or private message on facebook if you don’t have a phone number) because of the privacy level. It’s not your place to air someone’s business on social media. Recently, an aquantance said that her morning sickness would be coming on soon. The next week I just sent her a simple text ” hope you are feeling well.”
- Write a Note- If you have more to say than the 1000 or so allotted characters, go old school. Grab a pen and that stationary that’s collecting dust and write something. There is just something special about a handwritten note.
- Grab a Gift- You know that friend who is always willing to help you out in a bind? Thank them by giving them something tangible. It doesn’t have to be expensive. It just has to show that you are appreciative. Coffee, gas card, wine, offer babysitting services, ANYTHING!
- Approach a Stranger- Ok don’t be creepy! Just offer help if you see someone in need. Let’s say you are at the ball field or grocery store and you see a mom with her hands full. Offer to keep an eye on one little while she chases the other across the lot, or to grab a water from the concession stand if you are going that way or offer to put her shopping cart in the return lane so she doesn’t need to leave it by the car.
- Pay for a Stranger- It doesn’t matter if you are buying coffee for the car behind you or picking up the bill at a restaurant, your good deed just might change the direction of someone’s day. I personally buy drinks for people at CC’s when I am having a bad day because I feel that you can always jump start your own good Karma.
I hope that these few examples put a smile on your face and get those good deed wheels turning. I also encourage you to leave comments on other good deed actions you and your family have completed. It might inspire someone somewhere.