Have courage and be kind. Who would have thought something to simple could be so powerful. Ella promises to follow these last words from her mother in a recent adaptation of Cinderella. In 2018, I’m going to follow them too.
Having courage is about believing in yourself and lifting yourself up, not being weighed down by the opinions of others, but pursuing your own passions and ambitions, dreams and inklings, ideas and paths. And being kind is about staying grounded throughout, by not forgetting where you come from, and being grateful for all that surrounds you – most especially those around you, from stranger to loved one. With a bit more courage and kindness, life can only be better. I’ll definitely be keeping these words close in 2018.
Inspired by Valentine’s Day, here are 14 random acts of kindness and love, from the priceless to the pricier, for any person in your life!
- Listening to someone’s worries and problems can be really therapeutic to the other person, as it lets them open up and release their anxieties.
- Check in with people who you know have been going through a rough time or who have been feeling lost, so they know they have a support system behind them.
- Say thank you to your parents, friends, colleagues, bus driver, barista, random strangers, anyone who helps you.
- Smiling goes a long way, for both ourselves and others. It can turn someone’s day around, make them feel more at ease, and pick them up.
- Complimenting someone instead of gossiping about someone not only boosts their self esteem, but it brings into focus the good rather than the bad.
- Open the door for someone, give up your seat for someone; they’re simple and effortless, but meaningful.
- Buy the meal for the stranger sitting in the same restaurant as you. Just think how their face will light up when they’re told they have nothing to pay on the bill!
- Buy a hot drink or hot food for the homeless person you pass by on your way somewhere. Everyone needs it, no matter what their story.
- Offer a service, whether it be babysitting the neighbour’s children, walking someone’s dog, reading to the elderly, tutoring a school kid, and so on.
- Donate the clothes, the furniture, the knick-knacks you don’t need anymore to your local charity shop. Or donate money to a cause you’re passionate about.
- Leave it a little surprise for someone, like some change in the laundromat or a note on the bathroom mirror. Paid for parking longer than expected? Give your ticket to someone just pulling into the car park.
- Bake some snacks (or just bring some snacks) into the office or for a group you attend.
- Support local businesses or start-ups in your area. We all have a dream and should support each other!
- Volunteer. It doesn’t matter what you do, just get out there and do it!
What would you add to this list?
(Image: Busy Being Jennifer)
We’ve all felt the urge to speak ill of others at one time or another. Sometimes we do it to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we do it to fit in. Sometimes we do it out of frustration and anger. Sometimes we mean it and sometimes we don’t. But it’s still dangerous, for both ourselves and for others. It poisons the air with negativity that gets harder and harder to breathe. People won’t want to be around us and soon we won’t want to be around ourselves. It never does make us feel better, but makes others feel worse. It never does help us fit in, because what goes around comes around. Don’t kick someone down in efforts to give yourself a lift up. You’ll only find yourself further at the bottom somewhere else.
Number One: Do what you love
Find your passion. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s yours. You won’t ever give your all if you follow someone else’s dreams and wishes. Have courage to know what will fulfil you and go after it. Share your passion with others, and inspire others to find and share theirs too.
Number Two: Be kind to all you meet
Every person we cross, from stranger to loved one, is left with a mark. Make one that lasts for the right reasons. Even a smile or a thank you can turn someone’s day around. If not, make amends, say sorry to those you’ve wronged. Forgive those who wrong you. Be the bigger person, be the better person.
Number Three: Do what is right
Many times, what is right is not what is easy. But take the road less travelled anyway. Find solutions to problems that have been ignored. Stand up for those who cannot do so for themselves. Stick by your own morals. Practice what you preach. Keep your promises. What goes around comes around. It may not be easy, but it will be worth it.
What goes around comes around. What we put out into the world, we receive in return. If we open our arms to the world, the world will come to us. If we approach life with positivity, good things will happen. If we treat others with kindness and respect, it makes its way back to us too. The simplest of things go a long way.
It’s said that our language was born out of our need to gossip. But why have we made it so normal? We tear people down instead of lifting them up. We judge people instead of accepting them. People become afraid to be themselves, become obsessed with reaching perfection, become ruthless towards anyone who poses a threat to their fragile sense of security. And sadly, the cycle continues. Let’s use our words kindly. Let’s give people a hand. Let’s accept everyone for who they are. Let’s celebrate our differences. Imagine what we could do by spreading love instead of hate. How much better the world would be – even yours.
If you look inside, you will find strength, you will find beauty, you will find wisdom. It’s easy to persuade ourselves that we’re not good enough, especially when it feels like everyone else is saying that too. But all the tools we need are right inside us. If you close your eyes and really look deep inside, you’ll find that voice of courage and love and faith. And then you need to hand a megaphone to that voice. Because you don’t deserve anything but words of love and optimism. They’ll be enough people out in the world trying to criticise you and bring you down, but don’t let them drown out your inner voice. You are strong, you are beautiful and you can conquer anything. You can be whoever you want to be.