22/12/2014 | No Comments » | Posted in Creativity & Inspiration, Empowerment Tools & Resources, Living Unbridled, Mother, Self Discovery
1. Practice a random acts of kindness: Buy the lady behind you a coffee at Starbucks or wherever you go!
19/12/2014 | No Comments » | Posted in Barbara McNally
I will never forget the day I complimented a friendly Persian woman on her beautiful jade earrings. She smiled, thanked me, and then promptly took them from her ears and put them in the palm of my hand and said, “Please, take them!”
I was so taken aback. I had never seen someone literally embody the “give you the shirt off my back” spirit– in an accessory oriented situation. I tried to assure her I wanted her to keep them in fear that they might be significant to her, and she said, “In my culture, when someone compliments something you have, it is customary to give that to them if you are able.”
I was humbled and filled with gratitude of the human spirit the entire day and to this day (years later), remember the essence of generosity and abundance she taught me. While we may not be able to strip out of our cute, leather tights someone just complimented us on (see our ode to burlesque
if this tempted you though), we certainly can emulate her sporadic and heart-propelled generosity. Here are 10 ways to be a spontaneous giver (and most won’t cost you a cent!):
- Call a friend, co-worker, or family member who has kids and volunteer to babysit on the house one night during the week. Think of all the games and cartoons you loved as a kid and share that joy with a new generation.
- If you are an avid magazine subscriber, walk into a locally owned salon and ask if you can start leaving your finished issues at their shop. It will save them hundreds of dollars per year on subscriptions.
- Have lots of old shirts that you’re embarrassed to even give to Goodwill? Drop them off at a local animal shelter. Fido will be happy to use them!
- Do you know someone who flips for a recipe you’re “famous” for? Drop it off on their doorstep with a note and shoot them a quick text saying they have a “visitor” outside. No occasion. No official reason. Just because.
- Find a friend on your social media who is trying to grassroots their new business marketing and give them a glowing shout-out on your profile.
- Think of a friend, significant other or colleague who has lost someone at least 2 years ago or longer. Often, when a loss is fresh, individuals are greeted with a surplus of support, but when reality settles on their situation and processing the loss becomes extra “real”, there is sometimes a void that needs special attention. Getting a random bouquet, or a tree kit so they can plant a tree in honor of their loved one would speak volumes.
- Movie tickets are pricey these days and young families often forgo a weekend at the movies for special occasions only. When purchasing your next movie ticket, tell the clerk you’d like to pay for the next young couple, single mom and her child, or solider and his date and it will be an anonymous gift that will make their night.
- Are you sitting pretty in some excellent floor level seats at your favorite sporting event or concert? If you came with someone, see if they will double-team this spontaneous effort and give the seats to an enthusiastic fan you see with a poster or jersey in the nosebleed section. Grab a drink, toast to kindness and enjoy the show!
- Now that winter weather has hit, grocery stores can have lines for days if the news calls for flurries. The next time you find yourself in a stretch of a grocery line and have made your way to the front, see if there is a senior citizen behind you who you can switch places with and let them be on their way and off their feet sooner.
- Pull a copycat! You can totally duplicate the efforts of my sweet Persian encounter and the next time someone compliments your necklace, chunky bracelet or sassy new headband, offer it up to them and insist they enjoy it for nothing more than pay it forward style.
Giving doesn’t have to be about a season. The best gifts are extended from that place inside us that chokes up a little and then kindles a glowing beam from ear to ear – and that place is different for all of us. When the “moment” to give presents itself, grab it. That is the “season” we are all going for.
“We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
If you enjoyed this post you will also like, “12 Days of Christmas Giving”