Giving (6)

Let's say you have a strong grasp on just what an impact being kind can have on your life and how easy it is to perform small acts of kindness to help others. It’s not always apparent what a difference such positive deeds can mean to them. You may never see the person again. They may be so involved in their problem they did not say Thank You.7909255100?profile=RESIZE_400x

This happened to me this week. I needed to give my complete attention to what I was doing. I wrote a check and the lady came back and said that she made a mistake and I still owed $.75. I did not think I had it.  A lady behind me said she would give it to me. Without turning around I said, “I have it.” I need to stay focused on the paperwork as I was not familiar with it. I completed my task with no mistakes. Walked out and got to my truck and said to myself “you never thanked that lady for offering to help. I walked back in and told the lady I was sorry for not saying thank you and how much I appreciated her offer. As I write this it has become apparent to me that I brightened her day by the effort I made to come back and thank her. Here are some of the ways a little kindness can make a difference in someone’s life. 

Provide Hope

Taking a little of your time to do something for someone can often provide a great deal of hope during a difficult time. We all are carrying some pain the paradox is that we lighten our own load by lightening the person you meets load. That person may be at the breaking pointready to call it quits they asked God for a sign. God impressed the thought on you to do something for them. It is not so much what you do as that you did it. When someone makes the effort to show compassion, it can give someone who is struggling the hope to believe things will get better. Never underestimate how important that can be.

Instill Belonging

We all feel alone sometimes. During these stretches, it’s an amazing feeling when someone reaches out to show us that we’re not completely on our own. By providing kindness to someone, you might actually be giving them a connection to the outside world that really matters. Even the smallest effort on their behalf is a move in their direction. That move can mean the world, especially if someone doesn’t have a lot of close connections in their life or they are feeling particularly lonely for some reason.7909263058?profile=RESIZE_400x

Acts of kindness also are simple reminders that we care about others. Again, there are more lonely people in the world than you may realize. Perhaps you’re dealing with some isolation yourself. In addition, modern society can seem extremely fast-paced, with people focusing only on their own bottom line and happiness. Taking the time to be considerate toward people shows them that someone cares about their well-being and that they matter in this world. We all want to feel cared for.

Bring Happiness

Being kind spreads happiness and light in a world that can be too full of darkness. It usually leads a person to smile, if only for a moment. That feel-good gesture can produce an effect that lasts into the future, though. Any bit of happiness you can bring to someone is a good thing. We should all strive to make someone happier whenever possible.

We truly can never know what another person is experiencing. A small act of kindness can make a tremendous difference in someone’s life in so many ways. These are just a few examples to consider as you move forward in your own practice of kindness.

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The best place to start spreading kindness is within your communities. Reaching out is more comfortable with people, you know. Giving the folks you regularly encounter a “Good Morning” and a smile is a simple start that goes a long way. Smiling is contagious. When you begin setting a good example by saying good morning with a smile every time you meet someone, you are training them to smile and say good morning.  It is human nature, and they will have little choice but to pick up where you left off and continue the spreading of good deeds. Let me explain what I mean by “communities” and how you can become a kindness leader within your circles.7906899298?profile=RESIZE_400x

Types of Communities

We often think of our community as being where we live, and this is definitely the case. Your city or neighborhood is one community you belong to, but the term is much broader than just geography. The core of your community is its people. Any commonality that brings people together can be considered a community. This can be your work colleagues, your group of friends who get together regularly, your blood relatives, or some other group entirely. Perhaps your community revolves around a common interest, such as sports or hobbies. We will define community as where two or more are gathered together.

Be a Kindness Leader

You can be a kindness leader in your communities. A leaderis where others look for motivation and direction. By your leadership, you’re providing examples to the people around you how it’s done. They’ll see you as the person who spreads good, positive vibes. They may even seek to emulate your example. After all, kindness is contagious. Remember?

Ways to Get Started

Getting started as a kindness leader within your communities is quite simple. It doesn’t mean finding a stage and preaching kindness. All you have to do is show generosity to those you encounter throughout your groups, and people are bound to take notice. You can encourage others to get involved by sharing your stories of giving and how it makes you feel to give back. You can get on a stage by working on getting others involved through volunteer efforts formally. Set up a fundraiser for a friend within your tribe. Organize a volunteer effort among your pals for a cause of common interest to everyone. You’ll soon see folks want to engage in their acts of kindness.

Doing good within your communities brings people together. Performing acts of kindness within your groups and encouraging others to do the same will benefit you all in many ways. You’ll build bonds while helping others.

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Purpose Is Calling You

Your purpose is calling! We may all have different views of the world and different beliefs based especially on what we have been exposed to as individuals. Some are confident that life will turn out just the way they plan to have it, while others have lost hope in ever seeing a better experience. In some cases, it is so bad that others have given up on everything and are locking themselves up in a room waiting for death to arrive. Life challenges can indeed be so severe, and the results may be devastating, depending on the mental state the challenges are met with. Even so, we are born with something within us, which we are meant to use to contribute positively around us.  4967262267?profile=RESIZE_400x

That purpose is telling you that your services are needed and require you to take action. It is calling us out of a life of laziness, self-doubt, procrastinating, and worthlessness. In other words, we are encouraged to stop what we are doing. If we are doing nothing, we need to stop doing nothing and do something about our lives. Imagine if everyone else, roofers, cooks, or electricians woke up one day and decided they did not want to do any work anymore. Imagine if people who run orphanages, children’s homes, charities, and retirement homes decided they wanted nothing to do with helping people anymore. Imagine if everywhere around the world, people decided that they no longer wanted to go to school to learn the things needed to follow their heart’s desire. Who would take up the jobs when those who are currently serving get to the retirement stage? To bring it closer to home, what if the breadwinner says he or she is tired of taking care of everyone? The point is that for the world to be functional, collective, or individual effort is required from each of us.

If we looked deep inside ourselves, we would see that if we could attach some value to our lives and put our skills and abilities to use, we would make a difference around us. One thing we also need to remember is that we all do not have the same talents or abilities. However, our particular skills are required to follow our heart’s desire. None of them are of less importance or are worthless. Our diversity is what makes life beautiful and balanced. For example, after a surgeon operates on a patient, the patient will need someone to take care of them until they fully recover, a family member or friend may help cover the expenses.

In contrast, a therapist may help the recovering patient get back to their feet again. People need grocery shops, cobblers, music, comedians, et cetera. If all of us choose to do the same profession or follow the same route in living our purpose, one field would be flooded while there is a lack in some areas. There wouldn’t be anything to share about experiences, and that would make a monotonous and consequently dull world.

Purpose calls us to find that one thing even if we are not sure whether we can do it right. Even if it looks like it is not or can never be enough to make an impact, someone out there needs it. You may be the only person that could fill that need if you have buried your heart’s desire that person will have a hole in their life. Getting up to do that one small thing maybe what you need to get out of your comfort zone so that you can make more discoveries that can further reveal your purpose to you. Sometimes the underestimated steps are what we need to do to change our lives, and the only thing required of us to be able to turn it into gold is our time, effort, and creativity.

Where it looks like we are not getting a chance to answer the call, we need to look all around us for clues, and ways that can prepare us for a chance at fulfilling our purpose. Internships, small projects, and voluntary work are examples of some of the things that we can do to contribute to the world around us and also to broaden our appreciation of life. These things will prove to be crucial steps in achieving your heart’s desire.

Sometimes we think we have valid reasons for not answering the call to live our purpose. But, in reality, we can find our mission and live it no matter our circumstances. The fact that we exist where we are means that we can use whatever resources there are in that area to make an impact in the community and our homes. We also need to keep in mind the fact that living a purposeful life is not limited to only using skills that require extensive training. Everyone can change lives by setting aside a specific portion of their gains for the benefit of the community.

In a nutshell, when purpose calls, we need to respond. It is for our benefit and those around us. We need to fulfill our heart’s desires and continue to give life our best even when we meet challenges or opposition.

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You may feel you are a caring and loving person. You give more of yourself than others give to you. While this may have worked well for you in the past, if you go too far with it, people may take advantage of you. Use this short guide to determine if you care too much.3184460683?profile=RESIZE_710x

You Always Take Phone Calls

If you are one who believes you must always answer the phone, this could be the first sign that you are caring too much. Sometimes you need a break from people, especially those who have excessive needs. It’s not that you don’t want to help or listen to what people say. It’s just that they will never stop calling if you continue to always be available for them. Make yourself less available. They will look for other ways to satisfy their overly needy emotions.

You Give Priority to Other Peoples’ Tasks

When a colleague at work approaches you to ask you to help them, do you ever suggest to them that you are busy? Or, do you stop your tasks to help them? If you stop your tasks regularly, you need to reevaluate why you are doing this. While you want to be a team player, you need to get your work done. You also need to let others know your work is important just as theirs is. Some people will also take advantage of having you do their work for them. You must reel in this situation. Your work will suffer otherwise.

You Are a Needy-People Magnet

If you find that overly needy people are approaching you frequently, this is a sign you care too much. You do want to help people whenever you can. But, when you set the environment where these people come to you for answers or to cry on your shoulders, they won’t look for ways to rectify their situations. They will keep coming to you for emotional support. This kind of support can hurt your emotional well-being.

When you recognize the signs of caring too much, you can take appropriate steps to reduce this behavior. You still want to help people whenever possible. But, you need to balance your own needs with theirs. Caring about others neediness too much will make your life unbearable. You will dread going to work, or if it is in your home, you may start using excuses to avoid going home. You shouldn’t allow that to happen, as your home is supposed to be your sanctuary.

If you found yourself in this article, you care too much in a negative way. The common denominator is expecting the people you help to repay you. If you take care of yourself and let the law of reaping what you sow repay you for your service to others, you can not care too much.

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It's a Long Long Way

A couple of months ago I ran across a video of Seasick Steve. One of the songs was "It's a Long Long Way".  He gave such a powerful performance. He is a giver. I have watched his videos since then. Bought a few of his CD's.  He is one of those performers who is better live. He is a showman that engages the audience not just with the feeling his words produce. His actions on stage bring the best out of people. 

His lyrics and actions make me reflect on my life and how I treat people. The little things he does that warm hearts. I watch for opportunities to make the people I pass in life feel good for having met me. When Steve performs his song "Walking Man" he shows how to make someone feel good for having met him.  We can all do this in our own lives. Everyone has a cross they must bear. What can I do to make that cross easier to carry. Somedays it is holding a door. Somedays it is buying them a meal. Somedays it is listening to them. The opportunities are endless. I have people come back to me 15 years later and tell me the little bit of time I spent with them meant so much to them.

I grab these chances to bring these moments to others, for these four reasons.

  1. I know how much it meant.
  2. I am repaying the debt I owe.
  3. I enjoy doing it.
  4. I know that by so do this, I am ensuring that when needed again, someone will be there for me.

Reflecting on death has given me an outlook on life, that I cherish. I believe that the only thing you take with you when you leave this life is what you have given away. I have never given what will happen at my funeral service any thought. I always thought whoever is left will do what comforts them. Until now, Seasick Steve sings the song "It's a Long Long Way". When I heard the song, I thought that is going to be played at my funeral service. 

 This is the version that I want played.

It's a Long Long Way
Seasick Steve

It's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
It's a long, long way
And I've been there before
 
You prob'ly won't take no advice from me
I never took none myself, you see
It's just when you get older
You'd like to pass some on but nobody's listening
 
And it's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
It's a long, long way
And I've been there before
 
Why do we make the same mistakes
Year after year, tear after tear?
Just when we've learned a lesson or two
It's the time when our life's almost through
 
And it's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
It's a long, long way
And I've been there before
 
I ain't tryin' to be no saint
Shoot I ain't even often right
But I'm still here fightin' that good ol' fight
So the only thing I'll say
Don't give up on your dreams
Or they will give up on you
 
And it's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
It's a long, long way
And I've been there before
 
Thanks for takin' time to listen to an old man
Your time is a valuable thing
And I ain't tryin' to preach, I'm only passin' by
And I hope you like the song that I sing
 
And it's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
It's a long, long way
And I've been there before
And it's a long, long way
'Cause I've been there before
And I don't think I'm goin' there no more
 
Songwriters: WOLD STEVE GENE
It's a Long Long Way lyrics © BMG Rights Management (Uk) Ltd., UNIVERSAL - POLYGRAM INTL OBO SEASICK STEVE AS
 
What do you want to give? That will leave your mark when you are gone? It's a Long Long Way.
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