What would you do if you are unfairly treated and isolated by people around you?
“Fight or flight” appears to be the most common response. When we believe that injustice has been done on us, it seems natural for us to either retaliate, or to isolate ourselves from the crowd in attempt to avoid the problem. But are they the only options?
Josh has chosen differently. This student was frequently bullied by his fellow classmates, and he made the big decision to move to another school. Yet from day one, he adopted a different approach through which he hoped he would gain acceptance and be noticed for positive reasons. His daily act of kindness became a habit that was noticed, then caught on throughout the school. Not only was Josh’s life changed, but other students also started showing kindness. The result was it changed the tone of the entire school!
“Even though I was scared, I took the jump.”
The big “jump” that Josh refers to was his decision to leave the school where he was bullied, and change his attitude towards others to a friendly, positive one. Instead of expecting to be bullied and trying to handle the situation after the event, he chose to be the instigator. He spoke to his fellow students before they approached him.
When faced with difficult situations, you can also “take the jump” and change the situation into a happier one. Just have a go. You’ll be excited by the result.
“I wanted to reach out to people and show them who I really was.”
Josh was tired of being a no-one. He believed there were better things in life for him than continually being reactive, unhappy, and unsettled.
Instead of being a target for bullies, Josh wanted to be accepted. His goal was to mix in with the other students and enjoy simple interactive opportunities like playing basketball with them or sitting with a group chatting and laughing.
You can also become empowered by believing you have the strength and talent to achieve whatever you want to in life. Just take the first step (no matter how small) and move on from there.
“Opening doors gives people hope. It tells them someone cares.”
People got to know Josh, and he got to know many of the students in the school.
At first, most were shocked; however, as the days and weeks progressed, more and more students spoke to Josh.
Josh referred to it as “a positive event that made them feel comfortable”. You may be wondering if Josh gained anything from this act of kindness? He certainly did. He gained confidence and a happy attitude towards life that weren’t evident previously.
It didn’t stop there. The positivity spread. By setting a good example, other people started doing nice things too. One student commented, “It changed the way I thought about things and the way I felt about myself.”
So, try kindness out. Give and gain at the same time. Your life will change for the better.
What was this one thing that changed Josh’s life – and the lives of many others?
Every morning, Josh arrived early to school. He stood at the main entrance door and opened it as students arrived, cheerfully greeting them, “Good morning.”
You might be saying, “That’s okay for Josh, but how can I apply this type of situation to my own life?”
Well, here are some ideas. If these don’t touch your life either, at least they might be the catalyst for other ideas that will.
1. Give encouragement.
Tell your teammates that they are doing a great job when they’re on the sporting field. Give your friends supporting words when they do well in some other area of their life. Praise them for their efforts.
2. Stand aside for someone else.
Let someone go through the supermarket checkout before you. Give your seat on the bus to an elderly person.
3. Give to the homeless
When you’re out shopping, collect a few things (like a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) and give them to a homeless person. Maybe you could buy a meal for them as well.
4. Surprise someone
Bake some cookies to share at morning tea with your co-workers. Tell them they are appreciated, particularly if they’ve supported you in a special way.
REMEMBER: Be kind to others because of who you
Even the smallest acts of kindness can go a long way toward making the world a better place. Do your small part. Start today.
Featured photo credit: Help!/Lydia via flickr.com
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