I’m sure you have heard the old expression “If you haven’t anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” whether your mother told you this growing up, or you heard it somewhere else, there is some truth in this and it is my belief that if many of us were to abide by this… the world just might be a better place.

There are many different ways that you may be able to do one small act of kindness a day, beginning with a smile. Smiles are contagious; just as laughter is good medicine. Finding compassion in your life and sharing that with others is good practice to live by every day. It is said by many professionals that those people who incorporate that in their daily life have more joy and satisfaction, giving them a boost in personal happiness, while increasing serotonin levels. These are all feel good, positive mental affirmations to live by, so why not? I’m always game for a deepened spiritual experience, especially in light of my past obstacles.

Other types of kindness may include volunteering at a soup kitchen with a local church, or you can check out websites such as www.salvationarmy.com which usually posts a variety of positions at this time of year such as; toys for tots, Christmas dinners, bell ringers and even administration clerks. It is easy to register with their site, as I have done, and will be giving my time this Thursday at the toy distribution center. It will be my first time volunteering for Salvation Army, though I have experience working in soup kitchens (in churches), enjoying every minute of it. Years ago, my grandmother use to drive to the inner city and give out coats to some of the homeless on the streets. This is an experience I will never forget, as I was young and almost afraid to approach some of the strangers, but now realize the joy it must have brought her to see their smile as they nodded to her. With so many homeless on the streets (throughout the states), I believe there are many ways to make even just one individual smile by doing one simple act of kindness; show compassion and offer someone selfless love.

Kindness also can be letting a car out in traffic during rush hour, instead of plowing through trying to catch the green light yourself. Everyone is in a hurry… slow it down and show consideration on the roads; you never know… you might save a life in reality. Such small acts and most are of ‘no expense what so ever.’ Maybe you might know of a neighbor who can’t get around very well, you can take some cookies or a dish to them… “Be random.” This is the time of year that some people suffer from depression, whether they are lonely or distant from family… again, show compassion, give some of your time, even if it’s only an hour or so, it can mean much more than you know… it can be a life saver!

This coming year I am thinking about calling the Children’s Hospital to see if I may be able to read stories to some of them and what it might take to do so. It’s been on my mind, but first things first… I will accomplish my Thursday volunteer job and continue my journey to helping others, with simple acts of kindness. I understand the power it can have, as a person who has been challenged with health issues and personal loss… acts of kindness from others are what got me through, and are still helping me get through a long process of healing. I am full of gratitude to all of those that have had an impact on my life… Thank you so much and God Bless all of you.

Make your week count.