I have compiled a little list of things you can do to make either yours or someone else’s life more beautiful. I hope that you can add your own to the list in the comments.
- Pay for someone’s food or coffee in the drive-thru and don’t tell anyone later on. Hopefully it will get paid forward for a little while because of you.
- Write a hand-written letter to an old friend, or send your mother a card “just because.” Letter-writing is a lost art. My 76 yr old mother, for example, doesn’t know how to use email, so when she gets a letter it’s a big deal to her.
- Take a few bags of dog or cat food to donate to the SPCA. They are always in needs of donations from nice people like you. While you’re at it, you can donate to ASPCA here.
- Find a local nursing home and ask if you can visit with anyone who doesn’t have many visitors or family. You have no idea how much that will enrich not only their lives but also yours.
- Cut your neighbors grass, or if it’s winter time then shovel their driveway. Make it a family event and involve your kids…teach them early on to spread the love!
- Volunteer at your local hospital to hold/cuddle newborn babies addicted to opiods. Some hospitals have the same program for preemie babies as well. Talk about a rewarding act of service!
- When someone of service is particulary kind or does a good job (think cashier at McDonald’s, or the really nice parking lot attendant at Walmart, or the guy who changes your oil..) go find their manager and tell them what a great employee they have! Note: I’m not talking about the people you would ordinarily tip, like a Starbucks barista or waitress….I’m talking about the people who sometimes go unnoticed. They deserve to be noticed for their hard work too.
- Our church has a weekly prayer list of people who are either in the hospital or sick at home. If you can’t swing by and take a meal to one of them, how about sending a Get Well card? Everyone likes to be thought of when they’re feeling down!
- Bake some cookies or other goodies and take them to the police station. Our men and women in blue deserve every little thing we can do to thank them for protecting our communities today.
- Pay back Mother Nature: spend an hour by a river or road and simply pick up trash that others have carelessly left behind. If you don’t, who will? My daughter’s science class volunteered to cleanup for a few hours one afternoon by the side of the Rapahannock River, and you would not believe the amount of cigarette butts and other litter people had tossed on the banks. It was such a good lesson for the kids.
I’m sure we could spend all day thinking of other ideas to improve our world…but I just wanted to give you a few to start out on. If some of these things are too much, then just do what is simple. You don’t have to move mountains to change the world. Hold the door for someone. Donate your old clothes to Goodwill or some other charity. Let someone in front of you in traffic. It’s not about being thanked, and it’s not about being congratulated on your good deeds. It’s about having the humility in your heart to be of service to God and your fellow man. As my dear Mother has often said: “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” (quote by Etienne de Grellet)