From the Jack’s Winning Words blog comes this post - “The happiest people are those who help others.” (Scott Pelley) The 4th Saturday in October is Make a Difference Day, a day for doing things to improve the world around you. Here are some things that people have done…go to a park and pick up trash…rake the leaves in your neighbor’s yard…volunteer to work in a soup kitchen, or go to a thrift store and offer to sort clothes. Making a difference can make you happy! ;-) Jack
It’s great to have a day set aside to celebrate the acts that people do to make a difference in the lives of others; but I think it would be more impactful if people would just resolve to make a difference every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to go do something physical for someone else, like raking their leaves or working in a soup kitchen every day; however, it does mean approaching each day and each person with the attitude that you can make their day better somehow. Sometimes that might just be holding a door open for someone or just wishing them a great day. Just the fact that you acknowledge them in some positive way can make people feel better.
The good news is that helping others or making others feel good about themselves also makes you feel good about yourself. Happiness is very contagious. You can’t help but be happy when you make someone else happy. Try it. If you make someone else smile or laugh or just be happy, you’ll find yourself smiling and feeling good, too. The easiest way to do that is to reach out to others. No one is gong to come up to you and ask you to open a door for them or to thanks them or to say something nice to them. You have to make that effort; but, once you do, you are sure to be rewarded with some of that contagious happiness.
As a society we have become fairly insular, perhaps because of our focus upon technologies that tend to isolate us from real contact with people and make everything a screen-based experience. It’s hard to notice the people around you who might benefit from an act of kindness if you are absorbed by the latest Tweet or Facebook post. I sometimes think that the people posting requests that you” Like” them on Facebook are really crying out for help. Somehow getting a Like on Facebook is not as rewarding as getting a soft “Thank you” in person from someone that I just helped or acknowledged.
So, put away the smartphone for a while and see the world around you. There are people out there that you can actually LIKE in person. Maybe you can even help them with something. They’ll feel good about that and so will you.