“It made a difference for that one.”
You know those days when you wake up completely grumpy because it’s cold and dreary, and all you want to do is snuggle deep under the covers and stay there for the rest of the day? I had one of those days recently, and as often happens, the rest of my family woke up in a bad mood too- I was grumpy, my husband was grumpy, the kids were grumpy, even the dog was grumpy (he somehow sensed that on that 12 degree morning, he was definitely not being taken outside for his daily run/walk).
When we got to my daughter’s school, however, we saw someone standing outside on this bitter, cold and dreary day, completely bundled up to where you could only see her eyes, and dancing around to keep warm. This turned out to be the school principal and she was greeting each and every student and waving to each and every parent on that cold, cold morning. In those few short moments, she brought smiles and even a bit of joy into our lives. She understood, on this coldest day of the year, that she could do her part to make everyone’s day just a little brighter. This was definitely something she did not have to do (and probably something she did not particularly want to do), but something she chose to do for her students, for the parents, and for her staff, and this choice made a difference in every life she touched that day.
In one of my favorite books, How Full is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Donald Clifton, the authors talk about the premise that when you do something nice for others, it fills their bucket/makes their day a little better, but this act of kindness also fills your own bucket/makes your day a little brighter too. So, when it’s the dead of winter, and you’re feeling a bit down or sad or just not like yourself, what’s one small thing you could do for someone else? In helping others, we ultimately help ourselves feel better too.
Acts of kindness can be placed into two categories:
- Those that are seen and the person/people know who it is from, such as saying a simply thank you, giving a hug, writing positive reviews, playing with your children, etc.
- Those that are unseen and the person/people do not know who it is from, such as an anonymous donation, cleaning up our environment (one piece of trash at a time), removing a nail in the street so a neighbor won’t have to deal with a flat tire, leaving an positive review anonymously, etc.
In a world so disconnected by technology these days, little acts of seen and unseen kindness can help us all to be and feel a little more connected to one another and can help each and every one of us feel a little better in our everyday lives.
What is one small thing you can do today to make a difference in someone else’s life, and in turn, make a difference in your own as well?