Making a difference is easier than most people think. You don’t have to write a book or be someone important to make a real difference in this world. Every one of us has the power to make a difference and you can start right here, right now to contribute something positive and make a change. All it takes is to make people smile.
Suppose you have a lousy day at work, nothing works the way you planned it, you’re a bit grumpy and when you’re about to leave the office you notice your car has a flat tire. Wouldn’t it be nice if, at that moment, one of your colleagues or a stranger offered a helping hand? My guess is that this gesture, this offer to help, would make the situation less worse. It may even bring a smile on your face for the first time that day.
This is what I do: I make it a conscious effort to do something for someone, bring a smile on their face. I make the effort to do this at least once a day. This could be a colleague, a friend, a family member, someone working in a store or a total stranger. It doesn’t matter; I do someone a favor or make them smile out of kindness without expecting something in return. This could be as simple as saying two simple words: Thank you. You would be surprised how many people forget to thank others. This alone can make a huge difference.
The beauty of helping others, even with a small gesture, is that you’re not only helping them, but you have the ability to touch the lives of others as well. When you say thank you to someone, appreciate a service or offer your assistance, you send positive energy to them so to speak. This energy will impact them, hopefully change their mood for the better, and this mood will impact others around them as well. This is a kind of butterfly effect that eventually will affect everyone on this planet and may find its way back to you at a moment you’re least expecting it.
When I came back from my New York City trip, last year, I bought a present at the airport for Rosanne my 3 year old daughter with the dollars I had left in my pocket. Counting all the coins I came 90 cents short of the total amount I needed to pay. The lady at the counter suddenly offered the remaining coins out of her own tipping money. This was a very nice gesture from her and after our encounter I left NYC with a feeling that certainly not everyone in NYC has The New York Attitude as I originally thought before I made the trip. Her kindness and that of others in New York made a huge difference.
Helping others, making a difference by making others smile, isn’t it something new. This advice has been around for thousands of years and you will find it in most personal development books or sites on the internet. So why did I make the effort to mention it one more time? Well, being nice to people is something we forget too easily. Sometimes we need a reminder of the simple things, the simple truths that have the most effect on us and the people around us.
I encourage you to follow my advice, make a difference and make people smile. Spread the word to your friends and colleagues so they can do the same. Go the extra mile and don’t take things for granted; do someone a favor without expecting something in return. Appreciate people for the service they offer, thank them. Help people who need directions. Help them without them knowing you did something for them. Make it a conscious effort to make a difference in the life of one person. Helping only one person is all it takes to make a difference in the world.
This little simple piece of advice certainly will go a long way; it doesn’t cost us much but the effect could be lasting. Indeed, all we need to do is to make people smile and in the process, somehow we will be affected and will be smiling too. Thus it benefits both the giver and the receiver and yet it costs nothing. I like the idea of doing a little kindness for other and not expecting anything in return. Your story at the airport will go on to inspire others to share a little kindness.
I don’t think most people realize how much a kind or friendly gesture can mean. My earliest childhood memory is of a man lifting me up so I could drink from a water fountain in the park. Fifty years ago, and i still remember it.
Nice post Patrick. Helping definitely goes a long way towards making a difference in others’ lives. When I was traveling in another country, I marveled at how helpful some of the subway attendants were, and it gave me a good feeling.
Lovely words, Patrick. I, too, live by a mantra of mindfulness… Being mindful of my place on this planet and the difference I can make by simply sharing my light with those around me, even in the smallest gestures. Wonderful blog – keep going!