November 7, 2018
This time last year I made a video called ‘Thanks and Giving’. In that video I talked about performing 30 random acts of kindness all throughout the month of November. I also challenged you to follow along with the ‘service schedule’ I came up with listing all of the random acts to perform. I love that this time of year tends to change our mindsets and outlook on life. With so many opportunities to serve around the holidays, I wanted to write a post on the approach I am taking with my 30 days of service this year.
When was the last time that you served someone? I want you to really think hard about this question. Who was it? Was is your mom? Your friend or even a stranger? Something that I have learned about service is it doesn’t have to be anything big and super life changing. There are definitely opportunities to serve in your community that are more obvious, for example, volunteering at a shelter, donating food or clothes, serving at a local soup kitchen, etc…
All of those are great ideas and ways for us to reach out and help those in need, but, is there anything that you can do every single day to serve? Absolutely! Small & simple things can mean so much. When I used to think about service my mind would always go to raking someones leaves or doing any number of things like the ones I listed above. Like I said, all of those are excellent ways to serve, but it just didn’t seem possible for me to be able to do those ‘bigger’ things every day.
As I have learned more and more about how to constantly serve others I came to the realization that service is the small things that I do everyday! Smiling at someone, that’s showing love and kindness and if you ask me, that’s a service! Holding the door for someone, that’s service too! Or what about saying ‘thank you’? You betcha I believe that’s a service! Anything that you could do to make someone’s day better or to just show them that you care counts as a service.
I. Love. That. ^^ Have you ever had a complete stranger do something kind for you? Something as simple as smiling at you? Or maybe YOU have been that kind stranger to someone else. I remember one day I just was not in a good mood. Everything seemed to be going wrong and my life was falling apart. Hahah obviously I was being a bit overdramatic. Honestly I can’t even remember anything about that day. I don’t know what was going wrong or why I was even upset, but I do remember this.
I went to the craft store to pick up some supplies for a project (can’t remember what) I was working on. As I was checking out, I handed the cashier the items I was purchasing and while she was scanning everything she started talking to me. She asked how I was doing, asked what I was working on, and she was just plain friendly and happy. I don’t remember the rest of what she said, but I do remember walking out of that store in a completely different mood than I was when I walked in.
Wow. All because the cashier at the craft store was kind and had a simple, small talk, conversation with me. How crazy is it that we have so much impact on people, even ones that we don’t know, that we can turn their whole day around. I’m sure that cashier doesn’t remember me or our conversation and I’m sure she doesn’t know how she helped me, but I do. That my friends is PROOF that YOU can build someone up and make them feel loved. YOU HAVE THAT POWER.
That is just a very small example of service. You never know the influence you could have on someones life. Be that kind stranger, the cashier, the friend to someone… They might need it more than you think. This applies to absolutely anyone in your life, not just someone you don’t know. After all, the people you love the most should be the ones you serve the most right? You never truly know what anyone is going through so it’s important to keep your eyes open and be aware when someone might need your help!
Again, small and simple things can sometimes mean the most. Write a note to someone telling them how much you love and appreciate everything they have done for you. Give someone a real and heartfelt compliment. Bake cookies for someone to show them you’re thinking of them. Call someone far away that you miss. Tell someone in person how much they mean to you & give them a hug.
This holiday season I am focusing on who I can serve where I am right now. I didn’t make a 30 day schedule like I did last year. Instead, each morning when I wake up, I remind myself to find someone that I can serve with my own talents and abilities. I am keeping my eyes wide open to anyone that might need my help, and when I see an opportunity to serve, I serve. Then at the end of the day I write down in a little journal what my act of kindness was for the day.
Sometimes it’s something really small, other times it’s something bigger. But, each night as I go to sleep I feel happy and fulfilled knowing that I helped someone.
This quote could not be more true. I’ve seen service work miracles in my own life as I focus on others and how I can help them instead of worrying about my own problems. I hope you’ll join me this Holiday Season & beyond as I center my life around bettering the world with one small random act of kindness at a time. Let’s all try to be a little kinder and a little better to everyone around us. May our lives be full of both thanks & giving.