I thought this would be the perfect time to share my thoughts on the power of small gestures. With the holidays coming there is so much pressure to throw the perfect party, find the perfect gift, or having the most beautifully decorated house. When it really comes down to doing little acts of kindness for your friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Opportunities are all around you, you just have to seek them out.
I hope you enjoy watching the video, listening to the audio, or reading this post.
Embedded Video Player
Direct Video Link
Embedded Audio Player
Direct Audio Link
Coming Soon To Google Play Music
Before I get started there are a few announcements i need to get out of the way.
On The Air online course
I am continuing to do radio and podcast interviews, and I have created this course to teach you how you can also use these shows to reach a new audience, share your story, and build your brand.
You can purchase the course for $97 on gum road. Included in the course is a 30 minute interview conducted by yours truly that will appear on my podcast.
This way you will have at least one interview you can point to while pitching yourself to other hosts. You can purchase it here.
Contribute To The Site
While I am not a “nonprofit” I would still appreciate your contributions however small. I really do want to help people, but I could do so much more with your help.
You can make that donation by clicking Pay Pal Button on the site.
Amazon Affiliate LInk
I have recently signed up for an affiliate account at Amazon. This means that if you visit their site from my link I will receive a small portion of whatever you spend.
Since many of you will be using Amazon to shop for the holidays and beyond, this would be an easy painless way to show your support for me.
On To The Message
Well I know its kind of ironic for me to be pitching so much stuff at the beginning of a post on small gestures, but we all have to pay the bills. I would much rather have sponsors, but these are the next best options for now. And you know me I’m all about doing the best I can now and doing it better tomorrow.
So, lets talk about some of the small acts of kindness you could take. I’ll share a couple of mine past and present. And hopefully you will get some ideas.
I have a good friend who is a single mother. She always has trouble making ends meet. One of the things she likes to do is donate blood.
She says its something simple that she can do that benefits a lot of people. Its even life saving. And she says she doesn’t look bad in the free t-shirts.
I used to give blood often when I was in college and later when I worked for the Internal Revenue Service. Since then I have either been traveling too much or have been in too poor of health to donate.
Remember that at one time I was on seven prescription medicines any one of which would have disqualified me. Now, I am relatively healthy; but perhaps the cll, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, might keep me from giving now.
Its a disease that I have but that my oncologist says I could live a long healthy life without ever even having found I had it. But that doesn’t mean the red cross wants it. 🙂
I know some people are squeamish about needles if not down right afraid of them. I know others have worries about the healthiness of giving blood. And there are others who have religious objections. But if you can bring yourself to do it, its a great way to give to others especially this time of year.
My Ice Tray Challenge
Opportunities are all around you if you just keep your eyes, heart, and mind open to finding them.
I want to tell you about something I’ve been doing for my family since the summer. I fill the ice trays. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but who doesn’t want a cold drink on a hot day.
It started back in June when we were experiencing a hotter than usual summer here in Houston. It was so bad I started putting ice in my coffee and green tea. I know my true coffee loving friends are probably cringing about now. And I hate to think what my English friends are thinking about me putting ice in tea. 🙂
But I started filling the trays figuring that if I were using the ice I should be replacing it. Please don’t forget that I’m totally blind and this task involves a fare amount of coordination. But I managed it.
At first I always had to wipe up water on the floor or in the freezer. Now, I am much better at it and only keep a dish towel around to make sure that the freezer is dry. I don’t want to be making icicles.
Its easier when the compressor kicks on while I’m doing it because then I can home in on the sound it makes. Otherwise I just have to hold the tray steady and walk the path from the sink to the refrigerator by memory.
And man was I surprised to find out how much my family appreciated me doing this. I didn’t think it was a big deal. I hadn’t even told anyone I was doing it. It took several weeks before the family compared notes to the point that they knew I was the one filling them.
It is great knowing that you can do something that brings so much pleasure to your family. And this one was even better because I didn’t set out to do this to get a pat on the back or a gold star. I was just trying to hold up my end.
And before I move on I should mention that my sixteen year old nephew Seth was the one taking the video. Again I was surprised to see how much pleasure he got out of my asking him to help. I told you it doesn’t take a lot to bring smiles to others and make yourself feel good in the process
Here are some other small items for your list. You can say hello, smile at someone, open a door, hold open the elevator, or help someone on or off of an elevator. You can offer to watch their stuff while they attend to another errand or to their child or pets. You can tell someone to have a nice day and mean it. How about telling someone they don’t have to rush or hurry and meaning it. I often do that while waiting in lines or while on the phone with company representatives.
We are all so rushed in our daily lives that giving someone just a little bit of time and space can be greatly appreciated. Never forget telling someone they did a good job. This especially applies to family and anyone else you don’t usually think you have to thank. Heck, even noticing someone is there with you can be a big deal. Just think about how many people you pass in your day that you usually tune out. Trust me they will remember it if you take the time to notice them.
Gesture Ideas for Spouses and Boyfriends or Girlfriends
One that comes to mind is making sure their car is full of gas, that the tires and other features are in good working order, and that it is clean. Washing and or vacuming their car can be as good as or better than flowers for a lot of people. And doing jobs you don’t like with joy is also a gift. No one likes taking out the trash, washing dishes, doing laundry, bathing children, emptying litter boxes, etc; but that doesn’t mean we have to do them in an angry way or act like we are being put out while doing them.
As a blind guy I am not expected to notice new hair styles, new clothes, or a different shade of lipstick; but I am expected to notice a different perfume and or a softening of the other person’s voice. Paying attention to those around us is yet another small act that has a big impact.
The Holiday Season
At this time of year when everyone is so busy trying to get it right and make it perfect its really important that we remember the small acts of kindness. They are so more important than packages with fancy ribbons and paper or a meal prepared the way your mother made it. This is the most important time of year to focus on the little things, the simple joys, and the small gestures.
One of my favorite movies on this point is Evan Almighty. At the end of the movie the hero has built the ark and save his family and the boat is on dry land in front of the capital building I think. He has a chat with Morgan Freeman who is playing God.
Morgan’s character draws the letters ARK in the dirt. Then he rearranges them as RAK. He says that its all about random acts of kindness. By this point the main character has been changed forever along with his wife and kids. But the moment is still powerful and has stuck with me.
Well, that’s all I have for now. But before I go I want to challenge you to share some small gestures with me. Please go to the comments section and share something you have done in the past or that you regularly do. If you don’t have an example from your past, then what is something you could do today, tomorrow, next week, or between now and the new year?
Tell me about it and also let me know how it made you feel. Did you feel better about your day or your life? Did it give you energy to tackle some distasteful chore? Did it make you want to find even more ways to shine some light into the lives of others?
Sharing Is Caring
Please be sure to share this with your friends, family, coworkers, and social media networks. You can give them the link to the post or you can click the sharing buttons on youtube, itunes, stitcher, or podomatic. You could also leave a rating or review. 😉 These all help more people to discover me and my messages.
I do want you to know how much I appreciate you watching, listening, or reading my work. I know that you have a lot of demands on your time. I also know you have lots of choices when it comes to choosing entertainment. I hope these are entertaining. 🙂 I want you to know just how much I appreciate you spending this time on me.
I hope you have a blessed holiday with your friends and loved ones whether it is Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, KWanzaa, etc. This time of year is meant for love and hope. So thanks again and God bless you all, Max