“Giving a birthday card, a meaningful book, a cup of coffee or a chocolate chip cookie at just the right time can be a wonderful pick-me-up and an expression of caring.”
Cathy Newton, from her book Living in Full Swing
Sometimes we get caught up in thinking we have to do big stuff to make a difference. In reality, it is often the small acts of kindness and care that have the most positive effect on those we meet in our day-to-day lives. And those small things that Cathy Newton in her book calls “Bits and Pieces,” can make a huge difference. Almost any time I have followed my instinct to go just a step out of my way to encourage a stranger or a friend in some small personal way, it has brought not only encouragement to them, but a definite lift to me. That truth from the Bible that says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” is so true. Lets all just try living in that “little gifts of kindness” mode today.
Peggy Noonan a while back wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal about taking an extra minute or two to be aware of the struggles of others and to say some small word of cheer or do some small kindness on their behalf. Actively look for ways to help. Because of the divorce journey we have been on, we all know the importance of a encouraging word or act of friendship. Let’s be the ones to take the initiative today. Our small effort can have a big impact … on them and on us. Here’s something I particularly like to do:
Give a harried mom with several kids a few flowers from the in store flower department of your grocery store. Tell her she’s doing something very important.
Put a note on a veteran’s car telling them how much you appreciate their service (older veterans have been brought to tears when I have done this.
Here are a few ideas from an article in Oprah’s magazine:
- Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.
- Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.
- Give a homeless person your doggie bag.
- Say “I love you” to someone you love.
- Put a coin in an expired meter.
- Help a mother carry her baby stroller up the subway stairs, or hold a door open for her.
- Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.
- Take someone’s shift as the car-pool parent.
- Bring your assistant coffee.
- Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.
- Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it.
“Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins –a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, ‘The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford–she gave her all.” Mark 12:41-44
P.S. If you’re a MasterPlan member, put check marks in your Emotional Work area of your R.A.D.I.C.A.L. Health Records pages whenever you do an act of kindness.