Lately, it seems that in every direction I turn, I stumble upon someone dealing with an incredible hardship. Whether it be an illness affecting them or a loved one, lost employment, relationship difficulties, or financial troubles, it seems that a lot of people are battling a heartbreaking personal war.
Maybe the world has always been this way and social media, email, and smartphones have given me more access to those who are struggling. Maybe I’ve finally started to listen to others in a way I that haven’t before. Maybe life just gets harder as you get older. Whatever the reason, the burdens being carried by so many souls in my small part of the world seem to increase every day and I want to help.
How? Well, this is where you come in. This morning I spent some time reading a wonderful blog, Everyday. by Linda. As I read through her struggle of how to show her support to two families in need, she reminded me that we can all help our neighbors, friends and family by giving of our own talents, giving time, or by just listening.
Remembering this simple truth got me thinking about how to help those I know are in need….but I want to take it a step further. I started to consider all those who are struggling with battles so personal, none of us know about them. How can we begin to help them?
Well, I challenge all of us to make a conscious effort to be kinder, to express more gratitude and to think of others before ourselves. I think the simplest gestures can help people in ways we can’t imagine. I think we can touch the lives of countless people (many who may be struggling silently) and maybe we’ll begin to see an increase in positive, rather than negative, news.
So, let the gal with two screaming kids and cart full of groceries go before you in the checkout line. Pick up the tab for the guy behind you at Starbucks. Text a friend you haven’t talked to in a while – tell them when you think of them, you smile. Instead of complaining about your day, tell someone one good thing that happened (seriously, if you woke up and had access to breakfast, you’re doing better than most).
And always, always, always say thank you. Thank you to the clerk, to the bank teller, to the barista, to the doorman, to the cab driver, to the waiter, to your coworker, to your friends, to your spouse, to your kids.
Spreading gratitude and kindness is a lot more impactful than you think. Let’s see what we can do.