I’ve been struggling in the last couple of days as the seasons change here in my part of the world.
I’ve noticed the population is changing temperament, either from the end of summer vacations and back to work reality setting in, or just the fact that after this season, there is the insufferable winter months that will be upon us.
For whatever reason, the mood is shifting to one of whiny and argumentative. People dumping their stuff on you to do, because they are too lazy or can’t be bothered to do it right the first time. It’s like the kid who is hungry and can feed himself but wants you to feed him with the spoon, or the one who throws a tantrum when they don’t get what they want.
As I sat here feeling exasperated again after a week of exasperating people, I was trying hard to come up with something to write about today and was coming up short.
All I wanted to do was complain.
Well since I don’t put up with it from anyone else, I decided to come up with something positive instead.
I calculated that there is exactly 20 days left for Canadian Thanksgiving. We celebrate turkey day as I call it on the 10th of October this year.
And I thought, wouldn’t it be great if for those 20 remaining days. I could find 20 things to be thankful for and maybe even 20 acts of kindness with no agenda whatsoever on my part.
I found that when I feel the worst, which is the time I should do something randomly kind for someone. Not only does it make someone else feel good, it has the added bonus of making me feel better too.
Here are a few ideas:
- Pay the coffee of the person in front of you at the drive-thru (we Tim Hortonites do this quite often…it’s our thing).
- Say thank you a lot and mean it.
- Go visit and spend time with someone that may not have anyone to spend time with. It can be in an old folks home or with anyone anywhere really. There are lonely people everywhere.
- Let someone go in front of you at the cash if they only have few articles and you have many. Save them the aggravation of waiting.
- If you have a garden or too much of anything. Give it to someone who you know might need it or even just appreciate it.
- Write someone a happy note and put a smiley face on it. Brighten up their day!
- Find the time to give people compliments, you never know when your words of kindness could turn someone’s day completely around.
- Write a letter to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and send it through the mail. Guaranteed they will be tickled pink that you took the time.
- There are sites such as “Love for The Elderly” that is a non profit organization which inspires others to connect with elders and bridge the pre-existing age barriers, through programs such as Letters of Love (a handwritten letter-writing program that brings smiles to the face of seniors). You can google these sites and start writing!
- Try listening without interrupting; we sometimes get so excited that we can add to the conversation that we forget to let the person speaking finish. Sit back and let them feel at ease to get their ideas out.
- Start a grateful journal or go to my Facebook site “Today I am grateful for…” and write down what you are grateful for. A grateful heart is a kind one.
- Support someone’s dreams or goals even if they are of no interest to you. Feed someone’s enthusiasm and let them know they can make anything happen. Dreamers often need these things to keep them going.
- When someone needs your help, try to see if you can help them instead of immediately saying no as we all tend to do. Try to find different choices when none seem to be apparent. This one has changed my own life so much. (I’m not talking about lending money here…just an fyi)
- If someone upsets you, take a deep breath and count to ten. Let the initial anger dissipate before reacting. Diffusing the situation helps stop the domino effect of bad moods. If you don’t react, you are contributing to a better day.
- Call someone you love and let them know you do.
- Let others offer you kindness or help. It will make them feel good too.
- Just like the elderly, our kids sometimes demand our attention. Take the time to listen to them and feed their dreams and aspirations. For a moment, make them the center of attention even if they talk gibberish instead of just giving them the next gadget to play with.
- Put money in the parking meters, someone will be completely smiling at their good luck!
- Try to stay away or stop negative conversations. Keeping it positive helps with a happier state of mind.
- Collect things (blankets, coats, socks etc.) to donate to the homeless or poor.
This is actually a short list. You can actually Google this is you are interested or come up with your own. I still believe the only way we are to ever make it out alive in this world is by being good to each other. And it starts by doing it ourselves and then by example, we should be teaching the next generation what is really important.
Have a grateful day!
P.S. I would like to add that some people like to complicate their lives and yours by asking for things they know they shouldn’t be asking for or answers they could easily find themselves. There are also the ones that cut your 300 pound frame in line and act as if they never saw you, same ones that cut you off walking right in front of your car while you wonder how they can justify putting their lives in danger by playing chicken with a vehicle that weighs over a ton.
It’s alright to deflect such people and then even ignore them if they become difficult. Shake it off and try to be kind to the next person. There will always be some that just don’t know better.