The concept of regular good deeds and helping people has a lot of names. Some people say “pay it forward”; some people endorse “Random acts of kindness.” Whatever name you want to use for it, the idea is the same. Helping people, and doing good deeds, is a nice way to boost your own mood and improve your well-being, while making the world a nicer place for other people to live in.
Small acts can mean a lot
The constant demands for sponsor money for your bosses’ son’s fun run, monthly direct debits for the local cat sanctuary, and PayPal donations on your sister-in-law’s Just Giving page can get depressing. It’s easy to feel like there’s no point doing something if it isn’t a grand gesture that involves handing over a substantial amount of money. Don’t think like that.
Small acts of kindness can make a big difference. When you help an old lady gather her shopping bags as she gets off the bus, that gesture could make her day. The hour you donate each week to doing paperwork for the local Karate club might not seem like much, but without your help, the club might shut down.
That’s what friends are for
Don’t underestimate the value of helping a friend by mowing his lawn when he’s feeling under the weather, or by turning up to help him move some furniture when he’s decorating. Just think of all the times you’ve had a friend help you out when you’re in a tough spot. It doesn’t cost you anything to return the favor, and it will mean a lot to them.
It can be hard to sign up for charity work these days. There was a time when you could walk in to a charity shop and say “can I help?”, and get a slot almost immediately, but those days are long gone. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to help charities by giving time, instead of money, though. If you don’t feel comfortable asking people to sponsor you in the next fun run, why not add yourself to the volunteer list of a few local charities? You might be able to be a steward at the fun run, or you might be able to help out by driving a mini bus to take local pensioners to their bridge night.
If you can drive, or you have a valid first aid certificate, there’s a good chance that one of the local charities will want your skills.
Another good way to make use of your skills and help people at the same time is to volunteer as a classroom assistant. Working with children is an important task, and the teacher that you’re helping will always appreciate having a second set of eyes and hands in the classroom. A patient, friendly classroom assistant can have a huge impact on the lives of the children that they work with, and your kindness could be a huge inspiration to the people that are, quite literally, our future.