“Compassion is an unstable emotion. It needs to be translated into action, or it withers. The question of what to do with the feelings that have been aroused, the knowledge that has been communicated. If one feels that there is nothing ‘we’ can do…, then one starts to get bored, cynical, apathetic.” Susan Sontag
We are all familiar with this feeling of impotency, this feeling that we can do nothing in face of the poverty, crimes and atrocities of the world. But is it impossible for us to translate our compassion into action? What can we do to positively influence our community and people around us?Advertising
Love can change the world. Here are 5 ways to make an impact in your community and improve the lives of others.
Open Your Eyes and Ears to Understand the Needs of Others
It’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and to overlook the need for help that’s all around us. When we open our eyes and focus our minds on love and empathy, we see opportunities to make an impact in someone else’s life.Advertising
Use Your Talents And Positions Of Influence
Each of us has unique talents. It may be woodworking, crafting, cooking, or working on the computer. You may not have thought of impacting someone’s life by gifting your talents. For example, let’s say you enjoy woodworking. Seek out a family that you know is struggling financially. Pour your love into a making a piece of furniture that you can sell and contribute the proceeds of the sale to the family. If you want to stay anonymous, leave a note in their mailbox with the proceeds inside. With a little creativity, you’ll find lots of ways to change people’s lives with love.
Anonymous Acts of Kindness
Brightening someone else’s day without them knowing who did it can make a big difference in their lives.Advertising
Here are some ideas to get you started:Advertising
- Leave a note of encouragement on a random car in a parking lot.
- Pay for the person behind you in a drive through.
- When getting gas, leave an envelope with $10 inside and a note saying “Please accept this gift, I hope it brightens your day.”
- When eating at a diner, tip your waitress the same amount as the bill.
- Put money in parking meters for someone whose time has expired.
- Mow your neighbor’s yard when they’re out of town.
- Leave unused coupons next to items on the shelf.
Provide a Warm Meal
There are times when our friends and neighbors need help but don’t feel comfortable asking. They may be sick, stressed out, or having financial difficulties. When you sense this, give them a call asking if you can bring over a hot meal. Give them a day’s notice so that they can enjoy the day knowing that they don’t have to rush home to cook.
Volunteer in your Community
There are many organizations that are impacting people’s lives in a positive way. By volunteering, these organizations can continue providing assistance and you gain a sense of satisfaction by helping. A side benefit is that you also pick up new skills that are valuable in other areas of your life. Can’t think of places to volunteer? Here are a few ideas:
- Local churches – Look for local churches or synagogues that need help.
- Habitat for Humanity – Help build houses for families in need and learn valuable construction skills.
- Food Pantries – Local food pantries organize food drives and feed hungry residents in your neighborhood. FoodPantries.org lets you search for one near you.
- YMCA – Here you can volunteer to help both children and adults, strengthen your leadership skills, or pick up some valuable teaching experience by tutoring literacy courses.
Make It Your Lifestyle: Practice Daily Kindness
Daily kindness begins with a smile. As you encounter others, put on a smile and say hello. We never know the struggles that a specific person is going through and something as small as a smile and a warm greeting can change someone’s outlook. You’ll find that smiling is contagious. When you smile at someone, they automatically smile back and you are immediately rewarded for your efforts.
Featured photo credit: Love and hope/ John Liu via flickr.com
Last Updated on July 18, 2019
What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People
Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.
They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.
It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.
1. They Manage Their Expectations
They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.
2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards
Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.
3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted
Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.
4. They’re Not Materialistic
There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?
5. They Don’t Dwell
They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.
6. They Care About Themselves First
They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.
They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.
7. They Enjoy the Little Things
They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.
8. They Can Adapt
They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.
9. They Experiment
They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.
10. They Take Their Time
They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.
11. They Employ Different Perspectives
They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.
12. They Seek to Learn
Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.
13. They Always Have a Plan
They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.
14. They Give Respect to Get It
They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.
15. They Consider Every Opportunity
They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.
16. They Always Seek to Improve
Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.
17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously
They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.
18. They Live in the Moment
They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.
You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future
19. They Say Yes
Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.
20. They’re Self-Aware
Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.
We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.
Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.
The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.
For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.
More About Happiness
- How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up
- How to Be Happy Again: 13 Simple Ways to Shake off Sadness Now
- How to Be Happy: Why Pursuing Happiness Will Make You Unhappy
Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com