Welcome back to the River Blog, everybody! I hope you’re all having a fantastic week. Mine’s been pretty busy with work and all, but I’m getting close to the end of another chapter for my book, and I’m reading this REALLY GREAT series called The Darkwater Sage by Patrick Carr. It’s an excellent fantasy series that is practically a Medieval detective mystery, and the characters are great, and the blend of humor and drama is seamless and fantastic, and it stays fairly clean despite some of the darker turns of the story. Be warned, he hasn’t published the third book yet, so you may want to wait if you can’t stand the agony of impatience that I’m about to experience when I finish off Book 2 and the Prequel (which at this rate will be sometime this weekend). But seriously, I have highlighted so many lines in my eBook, most of them dry banter from Bolt. Someone else please read these books so I can fangirl with you about how freaking amazing Bolt is.
Anyhoo, spontaneous book endorsements aside! I thought it was time I circled back around to random acts of kindness again, since I’ve been trying to discuss various positive subjects. Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that increase not only the psychological health, but also the physiological health of both the do-gooder AND the recipient of the good deed? That’s pretty awesome; it’s almost like God WANTS to reward us for helping others! (He actually does. :D)
But maybe you feel you aren’t in a position to do good deeds for people. A lot of the most well-known good deeds involve money, right? Paying for someone at the drive-thru, paying off layaways, giving out money to homeless people. Maybe you’re in a tight spot and you don’t have the money to spare right at this moment. That is okay! Here are some really great ways that YOU can brighten someone’s day, without paying a dime. And you’d be amazed how much one of these little things could positively effect someone’s day, if not their whole outlook on life.
All of these are borrowed from this article; I just selected out a few of my favorites that are non-money-based:
- Leave a bouquet at the hospital — the nurses will know who needs it the most. (A/N: Remember, you don’t have to spend money; if there’s a place near you that lets you pick flowers, that counts.)
- If you are in a long line, invite the person behind you to go first.
- Hang a sign on a bulletin board that says “Take What You Need” — with tear-off tabs at the bottom for Love, Hope, Faith, and Courage.
(A/N: I WANT TO DO THIS ONE. Maybe put some verses on the back of the slips for added encouragement? If anyone has ideas, please let me know.)
- Bring courtesy back in an instant: Hold the door open with a flourish.
- Curb road rage: Let other cars merge onto the highway.
- Leave your neighbors a note that tells them how much joy you find in admiring their garden.
- Put sticky notes with positive messages (e.g., “You look gorgeous!”) on a restroom mirror.
- Be the bigger person: Cede the parking space.
- Sing an employee’s praises to a manager or on a comment card — a little recognition goes a long way.
(A/N: As a former retail worker, trust me when I say THIS IS SUPER APPRECIATED. It’s so rare for a customer to actually write in to compliment an employee that such events feel like winning the employee lottery.)
- Forgive someone. Repeat as necessary.
- Resolve to refrain from negative self-talk (you deserve your kindness, too!).
- Relay an overheard compliment.
- Volunteer to read to kids at an after-school program.
- Pause and give people the benefit of the doubt. E-mail, especially, can cause unintentional feather-ruffling.
- Bring your spouse coffee in bed.
- Dedicate a song on the radio to someone you know is listening during his or her long commute.
- Slow way down when you drive past a pedestrian — 35 mph can seem like the Indy 500 to a woman walking her dog.
- Rescue a wallflower! Strike up a conversation with someone who’s standing alone at a party.
- Ask others — sincerely — what you can do to help.
It’s great how many ways there are to brighten someone’s day, and writing about them to you guys gives me extra motivation to remember them for myself, too. If you have any personal stories of witnessing a good deed in action, please share! I might be able to put together a post on it. 🙂
Have a great weekend! There’ll be a new story up tomorrow, and I’ll see you all in the River Blog next week!
– Jenn H.