Today is the first day of August in most countries using the most commonly accepted calendar system. It is August 1, 2016. It is the perfect time to do a good deed. Get it done and you might just start the best month of your life.
Since this is the eighth month, I’m going to offer you eight ideas to make your month start off better than the last. These are eight simple good deeds that will not just improve the overall living for someone else, it will also improve yours.
First, this is the first day of the month so there are probably some bills you need to pay, some checks you need to write. Select a charity and write that first check to them. Forego a day of that cup of coffeehouse coffee and instead give that money to a charity. The average small cup of such a beverage costs about five USD or $5 USD. While that may not seem like a great deal, if we all gave just five dollars, it would quickly multiply into a large sum of money. Given to your local animal shelter, it can purchase a bag of dry food to feed one cat or small dog for an entire month. Send it to the Humane Society and again, when multiplied by other donations, it can change the life of an animal (or more) forever. Donated to a relief agency in Africa and that five dollars can buy mosquito netting for an entire family or safe drinking water for a month. St. Jude Research and Children’s Hospital might just find a cure for pediatric cancer with your five dollars. The opportunities are endless and you can make it happen by writing that first check for a good cause.
2. Make the first thing you do when you awaken, after stretching and standing, be a chore. I am not talking about your usual chores but do a chore for another family member. Empty the dishwasher or fold some clothes; take out the trash or sweep the floors. Then maybe leave a little note on a cabinet door to say thank you. If you pack someone’s lunch, insert a little note in their lunchbox or bag to remind them they are special and loved.
3. If you have the time now (or later is fine if you don’t), clean out a bookshelf and donate your excess books to a local facility for clients’ use or library for resale. Some cancer treatment centers will accept such donations for patients to read while undergoing treatment. Maybe your bookshelves are fine but your closet is stuffed. Clean out one third and donate unused items to charity. Doing just one shelf or portion of your closet should only take about ten minutes and let’s face it, we all can find ten minutes to do a good deed.
4. Give someone a compliment. It can be total stranger or someone you know. If we stop hurrying through our busy lives, we can find something to compliment. Perhaps it is a child to helps another on the school bus or a stranger letting an elderly person sit down on the subway or bus. “That was a nice thing you did.” Whenever someone hold the door for me when I am entering or exiting a store, I try to always thank them and then say: “What a gentleman or gracious lady you are. Thank you so much for your courtesy!” This also works if you drop something and a stranger picks it up for you, lets you go first, etc.
5. Share a smile. It can be just that simple to make someone’s day. Share a nice, quick smile. No flirting or overly done facial expression – just a nice, pleasant, quick smile.
6. Set your email so that your email server will donate a proceeds from the advertisements to a local charity of your choice. Not all email servers do this but many such as Microsoft will. Check it out and see if your emails can help raise funds for a needy organization so that they can help others.
7. Help the environment by turning the water off or the thermostat to a more user friendly – use of resources friendly, that is – setting. Many of us, me included, often leave the water running when we really do not need to do so. Using less water, even a gallon or two will add up and save it for future use. Being better consumers of our resources will not only help the planet it will help our budget.
8. Mail a thank you note to your local school or a favorite teacher if they are still teaching. As schools begin to go back in session, we need to recognize the contributions our teachers are making towards the future and for our children. Post your thank you on Facebook as well.
I’ve given you eight simple ideas to start the month on a positive note. With the exception of the first, none really cost any money. What ideas can you come up with? I’d love to hear from you and learn about them. The important thing is that we realize we can control our future and make the world not just a better place for tomorrow but an extraordinary place for us all for all times. All we have to do is do it.