Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Do what you can.

My best friend dresses up in costumes for sick kids. My husband gives rides to a homeless vet working two jobs and trying to get his head above water. An artist friend of ours just donated his time and talent for a bedroom makeover for a little girl diagnosed with leukemia.

The world is full of people who need help, and people who can give it. We're not all comfortable with the same level of giving and that's okay. As long as you give something - time, talent, money, whatever - you're comfortable with giving when someone needs it and look for nothing in return except a good feeling in your soul, you're a good human being in my book.

I think we're experiencing a bit of a giving backlash. Too often we politicize giving. It's a liberal thing! Or we feel inundated with requests for donations and we just turn them all down. We start to judge who's really deserving and who's not. We don't want to deal with large corporations and their charity machines. Avoiding all of these things is easy. Open your eyes...there are people all around you that need help. Think less, help more, and if you don't publicize it no one can politicize it. We live in our own heads too much sometimes.

Sometimes the people in need are people you know, and sometimes they're not. Need is need. Help when you can. But don't help just so you can pat yourself on the back and get praise. That's lame. If someone shows you kindness, pay it forward. If you're in a situation where you can't, wait until you can. There's no time limit on doing good. 

The world runs on those who are not afraid to reach out and lift up people around them. I'm glad to know so many of them and to be one when I can. I think it's cool that something so small on my part can make such a great difference in the life of someone else. I hope you do too. It makes the world a better place.

**********************************
Haikuesday:
be a friend to friends
and to strangers, sometimes too
kindness changes lives
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Are you into random acts of kindness? Check Kerry out at Till Then, Smile Often. Her Be the Change project rocks.

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31 comments:

  1. I think no matter how big or small it all makes a difference to the person receiving the kindness. Such a great reminder. A smile or holding open the door for someone can really brighten their day. Thank you for the mention, it made me smile.

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  2. You're absolutely. A lot of people doing a little bit can change the world. Kerry @Till Then, Smile Often is a living example. Her #BeTheChange campaign is inspiring!

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  3. I love Kerry's project! You are so right... helping people directly makes such a difference in both their lives and mine. I think that's probably one of the biggest reasons I do it, even though its a bit selfish.

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  4. Such an important point. You never know how one small act of kindness can change someone's life for the better.

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  5. I like this post because I have been contemplating a post for tomorrow (Confessions, of course) about how I don't feel like I was raised to be a giving person in a traditional sense and how since becoming an adult, I see that that's the way of the world and have to train myself to be more kind and thoughtful, rather than wrapped in the selfishness that feels natural. It doesn't take money or huge donations, it just takes a willingness to help when you can, to open the door to the woman with her hands full, or to listen when you would rather move on with your day, As always, I am so grateful for the perspective of blog friends to remind me that there are so many ways to live life.

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  6. LOVE this. You will never know everyone's story and it really doesn't matter - kindness is something that every human deserves.

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  7. Random acts of kindness are a common thing here... but more often because they produce feel-good news and notoriety. Like the woman who made tons of Valentines and gave them out on the subway. If it was a rural location, would she do it? Granted, it would make it harder. She's have to jog up to them while driving away :)

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  8. totally agree, we often get so wrapped up in ourselves (im VERY guilty of this) we forget about others. thank you for the reminder.

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  9. "If someone shows you kindness, pay it forward. If you're in a situation where you can't, wait until you can. There's no time limit on doing good." Perfection. :)
    Like you said, it doesn't always have to be a MONEY thing. You can help with time, an idea... there's really no limit to the ways that you can help someone else. Are there some people who ruin things? Sure. But, they don't have to ruin it for EVERYONE.

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  10. Beautiful post :)

    Great reminder to remember others and it helps me be extremely thankful for what I do have.

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  11. I think it is good to help out when you can. No act is big or small, because to that person it could mean the world to them. I definitely believe in showing kindness and paying it forward.

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  12. Yes!!! I completely agree with everything you said. It doesn't have to be about giving money...people sometimes just need your time or talent and it could help them out greatly. Nothing makes my heart smile larger than when I see strangers being kind to each other or helping each other out. One thing I really appreciate about the state of Alabama is that in the times where people are needed most (usually after a tornado or bad storm in our area) people are out in masses trying to help wherever possible. Helping neighbors clean the debris, dropping off water bottles to workers, donating blood, etc.

    You are right, it is never too late to give or help!

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  13. Ugh, I hate the political nature of giving sometimes and the stigma that it is a liberal thing. The mentality of "I work hard for my money/stuff/etc., why should I have to support people who don't" blows my mind. The fact that this message seems to come from those who never shut the eff up about their Christian values is even more infuriating. That's my political rant for the day.

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  14. I'm always looking for ways to be kind and helpful to someone else, it's often the people who aren't asking for it that appreciate and need help the most.

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  15. Love this. I love reading Kerry's RAOK posts. Very inspirational!

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  16. I like to call these little acts of kindness my "mitzvah". Doing something selflessly and knowing you will not get anything in return but the sheer joy of helping someone else. Thanks for the reminder!

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  17. Random acts of kindness are awesome..i volunteered at a soup kitchen and Im seriously considering letting my kids do it too!

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  18. I'm with Sarah, above, I get so much out of my volunteer work that it's borderline selfish! I didn't come from a family or culture/neighborhood where giving to others was done... you kept it all within your family. As I got older I discovered a whole different way to think - and it's made me happier. I'd love to be able to squeeze more more volunteering into my life. I envision being one of those super-involved older ladies when I'm retired.

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    1. I think the good feeling we get inside is just a byproduct...an awesome one, but a byproduct the same. Our intentions are for the good of others, and in pursuing that, we contribute to the good of ourselves.

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  19. I help where I can, but honestly a lot of the time I feel helpless...thanks for this, Steph. I can and should definitely do more. That is awesome that MFD gives rides to a homeless vet, very inspiring.

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  20. Lovely post, and awesome haiku.

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  21. I am late to this party today! Goddess speed always to you!!! What a lovely post if it encourages anyone to do anything for anyone in need you have succeeded in your message. You are so right about the massive requests for donations.
    The good thing is we have the ability to pick and choose and that makes it so nice. Giving is most often better than getting!
    Love you to infinity & beyond
    never cease to make me proud
    Lucky MOMMA

    Love your Momma

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  22. I want to commit to a regular volunteer routine but it can be hard with my work and travel schedule. I love Kerry's random acts of kindness because they pack a big punch but don't take a significant amount of time.

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  23. Love this. I think sometimes the people who need the most help are the ones that don't ask. Great reminder!

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  24. Totally love this entry... it's amazing no matter how little or how big of an act of kindness you do for others, it makes such a huge difference in their life. Personally, it makes me feel like I've accomplished something huge in my day if I've helped someone, whether it's helping them move, organizing with them or for them, talking to them, being there for them, giving someone advice (I could go on and on but I won't, lol). My boyfriend and I volunteered to plant beach grass out in Westerly, RI, it felt fantastic to work together in the team we joined!

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    1. That sounds like a great thing to do together, Sam! And wonderful for the earth too.

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  25. Perfectly stated (as always). Doing a kind thing for someone else almost always results in a large smile from them, which in turn makes me happy and reminds me that people are amazing.

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  26. what a timely post. I definitely needed to hear/read this tonight.

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  27. Giving is something that comes naturally to me but there is a tiny voice that says "not enough, not enough" which can be wearing. I feel joy when I give which before I use to feel bad about because I felt I shouldn't feel joy when the person/people I gave to are in such dire straits. Then I thought maybe the joy is my soul saying I was on the right path. I know one thing for sure nothing feels better to me than giving.

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  28. THIS!!! "Think less, help more, and if you don't publicize it no one can politicize it."

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  29. this is so great, we all need to remember to give back

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