2017 Needs to be a Year of Compassion
The disagreements about politics, the violence, and the deaths in 2016 have left scars. This year we need to learn that no matter our situation, there is always someone that we can help. This year we can show our children little acts of kindness can make a difference.
Sometimes it is difficult to know where to start, especially if things are not great in your life. In times of trouble we turn inwards and all we see are our problems. The solution is to help others. By helping someone else, you feel better about yourself. Try it. Your self esteem will improve and you will feel grateful for the things in your life. You will stop internalizing the pain and see the world as larger than just yourself. Compassion is a natural cure from the pain and anger of the last year.
Here are some suggestions if you are not sure where to start.
January – Say hello to your neighbors. As a real estate agent, I am surprised by the number of people who don’t know their neighbors. When I list a house, I meet the neighbors and see if they know anyone that would want to buy it. Many times, they never even knew the name of the person living next to them. It is always better bearing ‘gifts’, so have the kids make homemade cards and go as a family. Give them your phone number in case they have an emergency, especially if they are elderly.
February – Have a heart, give some blood. www.oneblood.org has information about local donation places. It doesn’t cost you anything and it can save a life!
March – Buy Girl Scout Cookies. Almost a dollar from every box goes to the local troop to do activities and go places they might not be able to afford. This group builds leaders. In fact 70% of the women in the US Senate, and 57% of the women in the House of Representatives were Girl Scouts. The Girl Scouts of West Central Florida website will have the locations of all the booths. www.gswcf.org
April – Spring clean your neighborhood. Seriously, I know cleaning your house can be overwhelming, but pick an area in your community and spruce it up as a family. You can also, plant flowers at a nursing home, clean the pavilions at the park, pick up trash on the beach, or paint your neighbor’s fence. These are all small things that if done by many, can make big improvements.
May – Sign up for the local March of Dimes fundraisers that are in our area locally from the end of April through May. This group helps premature births and birth defects in our community. www.MarchofDimes.org has the information about the three area walks.
June – Share some water. It cost about $4 for a case of bottled water. Put the bottles in your car on ice and pass them out as you run your normal errands. The UPS and postal drivers, trash workers, or even the seniors walking down the street will greatly appreciate your small act of kindness. Plus I know from experience that the kids love doing it.