It is so easy to be discouraged and lose faith in humanity. I just feel like every time I turn around all I see is anger and hate. Honestly, I have felt complacent. It's absolutely the wrong attitude, but I think what can little ‘ol me do or say that can bring any positive change to such large and important issues? I realized that I am responsible for my little corner of the world and for making sure each interaction I have with someone is positive. Sometimes the smallest groups are the loudest because they know that each individual is responsible for making a lot of noise. It is time that the large collective of us speak up, take action, and spread kindness instead of just accepting hate. Here are five ways to show love to a stranger today.
It's so simple and contagious. When someone smiles at me, I smile back. BOOM! Instant positive, non-verbal communication. It forms a connection with your fellow man.
2. Basic Manners
I am talking about: please, thank you, holding the door for someone, etc. This is more than just a passive action. You are actively acknowledging the other person and letting them know that they are worthy of your time. Feel free to get crazy with it and let someone with fewer items ahead of you in line at the grocery store or give up that prime close parking spot at the mall.
3. Leave Somewhere Cleaner Than You Found It
You didn't throw out that piece of litter? Well neither did I, and more than likely the worker who will have to pick it up later didn't either. Most of us pick up our own trash, but what great way to show love to a stranger and the person working by picking up the mess that we didn't create. Personal pet peeve: Parents, pick up the nasty food your child threw under the table. It's disgusting and even worse for the wait staff because it isn't their kid.
4. Pay for Someone's Drink, Meal, Groceries, Etc. Anonymously
I absolutely love hearing stories about 70-80 car chains of people paying it forward in Starbucks' drive throughs. Personally sacrificing for someone you don't even know is just so dang heartwarming for all involved. It's paying for the car behind you at a drive through, paying for a table next to you at a restaurant, or buying a gift card at the grocery store and asking the clerk to apply it to the next person's purchase. Any gift no matter how small or large will help restore someone's faith in humanity.
5. Hold Your Tongue or Keyboard
Remember the old adage: If you don't have anything nice to say… Don't say it (or post it on social media) at all. We live in the information age and are constantly bombarded with negativity. Just turn on any news outlet and you will hear enough. I beg you, please consider the PERSON behind the screen before you post the next opinion article. You don't know what it's like to be that person until you have walked a mile in their shoes. You are absolutely entitled to your opinion but please speak and post with civility. Sometimes the easiest way to show love to a stranger is to make their feelings more important than sharing your opinion.