We weren’t made to keep everything to ourselves. We’re a people built on community, sharing, and helping each other out. The more we learn to love the world, the more we begin to see we need to give back. Share your time, talents, and treasure with the world. It’ll share back and it’ll grow with you.
This post is part of a 14 part series on How to Be a Better Person. I’ve also super-duper fancied this group of posts up into an Amazon Kindle book. Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God.
1) I Like What You Did There
You know what brings a smile to my son’s face when he’s doing a project or building with his building blocks? A small, totally unnecessary, but absolutely genuine compliment on the way he’s doing what he’s doing. There’s something about the random comment from good-old-loving daddy that seems to make things that much more special.
Humans don’t like labels. Sure, labels make things easier to work with but they also make things easier to dismiss. They’re also horrible for learning, motivation, and growing overall. But, if we can start focusing more on the ‘how’ we do things instead of the ‘what,’ then we can begin to build from the inside.
Just Be Better: Whether you’re at work, home, or the store, appreciate the work of someone else today. Be kind, be genuine, and make it count. Say something that will stick with them forever. Make a good movement happen.
Take note of the awesome in others and share it with them.
2) A Bag of Kindness
I’m amazed at the kind people that came out of the woodworks to give us tons of wonderful clothes when our baby boy and girl were born. And these clothes aren’t cheap, let me tell you. Talk about a wonderful feeling knowing we weren’t only cared for but we could now show extra care for our lovely new additions.
A comfortable world can be simultaneously awesome and saddening. So many people go without necessities while so many other people have so much. Yet, many people with much on the outside are missing even more on the inside. Well, here’s a secret to those with a surplus of resources. Here’s a great way to help build you up from the inside. Those lovely people around you could use your help.
Just Be Better: Donate a grocery bag’s worth of canned goods to your local charity or church. It doesn’t matter what you bring, but it’d be mighty nice if you called ahead and asked what they needed. Buy extra. Repeat often.
Canning the Grinch and helping the needy is a cinch.
3) Teach a Man to Fish
Ever had a buddy bug you for a few bucks? Did you expect to get it back? I mean, who cares, right? It’s only a few bucks and you’re pals. If you can be out a few dollars you won’t miss anyway, it’s worth it to help someone special to you. Of course, you’d like to think he was using it for a good cause, but that never comes up. But what if it did?
Sometimes we get in a habit of not really caring what happens to the good we do in life. It becomes second-nature and we miss a little of the importance of our actions in the happenings of the day. What if you could start making gifts directly change people’s lives? I’m talking a 180 degree turn, from the ground up, revolutionary change for a couple of bucks?
Micro-financing is an awesome program where you can loan as little as twenty-five dollars to entrepreneurs in developing countries. It enables them to buy farm equipment, fertilizer for crops, and more. The program has an over 98% payback rate. It’s absolutely amazing.
Just Be Better: Go over to Kiva’s website and lend a few bucks to a Kiva entrepreneur. You’ll get it back and help someone in the process. You might even make a family friend and change a small community for life.
This is permanent change, from your pocket change. You dig?
4) Reach Out And Help Someone
I remember stumbling across my church’s website one day and thinking to myself, “wow, this needs some serious work.” Mass times were wrong, directions were missing, and it was overall a lackluster experience. Well, I figured there’s no time like now to offer my free help. They were ecstatic and there’s no telling how many people it helped. Talk about a heart-lifter.
I didn’t just give them money and point them to a website developer. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. Don’t get me wrong, every charity is looking for more resources to help run their operations. But sometimes the most important resource is people. All the money in the world won’t help a humanitarian effort if there’s no one to do the work.
Just Be Better: Research a charity or church in your area to see if they could use a hand every once in a while. Offer to help them with your time, talent, or treasures. Start with your time.
Use some of your time to do the good Lord’s work. The world needs you.
5) Part the Clouds
Don’t get me started on those super-grumpy, no-coffee-yet Mondays. Yeah I’m a little more cheery than most folks and I may still have a smile on my face, but sometimes it’s an absolute battle to keep it going in the middle of a busy day. But it’s what we do to keep going. If we don’t do it, who will?
There are plenty of people out there that can’t cope as well as most folks. We can help them out by lending a little of our cheer and appreciation their way. And even better than that, sometimes the best gift is to be more patient when you’re sensing someone is having a bad day. A little understanding on your part goes a long way.
Just Be Better: Give a word of encouragement to someone having a bad day. A smile will work, too. Give them extra space when they show their Monday-morning fangs. We’re people first, coworkers second.
Share your good cheer – it’s contagious.
6) A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
How many times do you stand in the driveway and talk to your neighbors as they come home from a long day’s work? Do you know your neighbor’s names? Or do you hit the automatic garage door opener, speed in, and let the door fall back down as quickly as it went up? I’ve been guilty of this a few times too many. Hey, I’m learning, too.
Our homes are our castles. We do all we do there and they are the foundations of our comfort, safety, and the expression of who we are. So why don’t we pay more attention to the people and things surrounding our fortress? Are we letting the weeds weaken our foundation? Are we missing great opportunities to combine forces and grow? We’ll never know until we know.
Just Be Better: Offer to help a neighbor with the yard, house maintenance, or babysitting. Do it for free. You’re trying to build on a great foundation here. Do it right and do it like you mean it.
Be a good neighbor and build the community.
7) Rewarding Progress
I helped run a cookie contest at one of my corporate jobs. It was a lot of fun and we gave away some great prizes. But you know what seemed to make the biggest impact? The little “You’re a Winner” certificates I made for first and second place were a huge hit. The second place winner had long since spent her fifty dollar prize, but one year later she still had her certificate up on her cube wall.
Words work wonders as you’re probably finding out. But sometimes they don’t have the same meaning as a tangible object. Something we can look over, touch, feel, and be a part of. There’s a reason people give trophies and flowers instead of pats on the back and little smooches. Doing one type of reward is great, but doing both is absolutely fantastic.
Just Be Better: Let’s start at home as they’re the folks that need our biggest and best rewards of love the most. Recognize an accomplishment of a family member. Make a handmade award for the younger ones. Make it grand, make it special, make it permanent.
Give a tangible exchange and make a difference in someone’s heart.
7 Ways to Be a Better Person in Society & Socially:
- I Like What You Did There
- A Bag of Kindness
- Teach a Man to Fish
- Reach Out And Help Someone
- Part the Clouds
- A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
- Rewarding Progress
I hope you’re well on your way to bringing a little bit more social love into the world and start being a bigger helper in society. I can tell you’re becoming a better person already. :) Have a good one!
Want to get the whole series in a convenient ebook?
Check it out: Forget Perfect, Just Be Better: 101 Simple Ways to Grow in Relationships, at Work, in Life, and Through God