“The happiest people I have known have been those who gave themselves no concern about their own souls, but did their uttermost to mitigate the miseries of others.” – Elizabeth Cady Stanton
It is not a secret that we live in a culture that encourages egotism. Whilst engaging in self-help, self-promotion and assessing our self-worth, we often forget how many people out there are much less fortunate than us. We then carry on complaining about things in our lives that are not working out as we planned. In that process of self-pity, we forget to extend a hand to people surrounding us on daily basis, and discard the fact that even the smallest gesture of kindness could mean the world to an individual.
Giving a hand to someone includes a realm of possible actions, some on a grand scheme of things and some on the smaller scale, including:
1. Asking someone how they are and actually caring enough to listen to the response
2. Giving spare coins to a charity or donating clothes or items which are no longer required
3. Reading to the elderly or spending time in the retirement village
4. Visiting a hospital ward with some treats for sick kids
5. Volunteering for a cause you believe in
6. Mowing your neighbours’ lawn
7. Making dinner for a family in need or grieving
8. Offering to babysit your friend’s children to give the parents a break and a chance to spend time with each other kids-free
9. Helping someone pack or move house
10. Buying flowers or chocolates for a work colleague that’s going though a hard time or to acknowledge their hard work
11. Stopping to help if you see someone fall or have a flat tyre
12. Motivating someone to start exercising or taking on a project or starting a new chapter in their lives
13. Sending a nice email or calling and saying ‘hello’ to people you have not being in contact with for a while
14. Just simply making people around you smile
William Shakespeare made a point in saying: “How far that little candle throws his beams!
So shines a good deed in a weary world.”
There are hundreds more ways of making someone smile and not think about their problems for at least a short period. If you manage to do that, it means that you have enriched and prolonged a life of another human being. We often forget to be kind to others but expect kindness in return.
Change that mindset today! Stop being a coward and start noticing what is happening around you! One thing for sure, by helping others in any way you can, you may actually get back the positive energy that will allow you to do greater and more rewarding things in the future. From now on, please remember to lend a helping hand.