Thursday, November 29, 2012

50 Ways To Do Something Good - Selflessly

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 “Even after all this time, the Sun never says to the Earth “You owe me.” Look what happens with a love like that: It lights the whole sky.” - Hafez

Selflessness is the sincere interest for the good of others and is connected to love and empathy. It is connected to faith and to making a difference. You might be one person but you are unique. You may not be able to achieve everything, but you can do something. Just smile and enjoy the fact that you have the possibility to make a difference. And as BKS Iyengar states in Light on Yoga: “He who works selflessly for the welfare of others with love in his heart is thrice blessed”.

Anahata (heart) chakra symbolizes the consciousness of love, empathy, selflessness and devotion.  Photo from here.

So go on and find a place for the following phrase in your every day thoughts: “How can I help?”. Well, you can start today and here are 50 really simple things you can do:

1.      Keep the door open for the person behind you.
2.      Introduce yourself. Make new acquaintances. Feel welcomed.
3.      Short out all your clothes and give what you do not need to someone else. You old clothes will be new clothes for someone in need.
4.      Praise a local business you like to people you know.
5.      Listen carefully to the stories of the people around you, without trying to control everything.
6.      Make a blood donation. One donation can save up to 3 people!
7.      Volunteer at a hospital, homeless shelter, nursing home etc.
8.      Spend a few mouse-clicks to Free Rice.
9.      Make a gift to your new neighbors.
10.  Share your umbrella with someone.
11.  Talk to someone that seems lonely.
12.  Let someone with only a few things in his cart to take your place at the supermarket queue.
13.  Spread the good news.
14.  Replace everything you have used. For example put some paper in the printer after you print something, get some coffee brewing at the office even if you don’t plan to have more. Your colleagues will.
15.  Encourage someone’s dreams, regardless how small or big they are.
16.  Let someone use your parking space once you leave.
17.  Babysit for a couple that rarely have free time so they can enjoy some time on their own.
18.  Find ways to save some money every month and donate them for a good cause.
19.  Shop at the local philanthropy store. The money spent there will help other people.
20.  Help someone to become active. Offer to join them for running or even for a walk.
21.  If someone you love really wants something (a specific meal, a favor etc) give it to them when they don’t expect it.
22.  Make a difference in the life of a child. Give them time and you full attention.
23.  Think twice before throwing something away. As Jack Johnson said “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.
24.  If you shop online find a store that donates a percentage of their earnings for a cause.
25.  Pack care essentials like food, medicine, clothing and give them to an organization that helps people in need.
26.  Redirect your gifts. Instead of presents, ask your friends and family to gather money for a good cause on your birthday.
27.  Next time you are in your car and you see someone on the side of the road with a broken tire or needing help pull over and ask how you can help.
28.  Become a mentor or a teacher to someone that needs it.
29.  Be a polite driver.
30.  Leave a few coins at a parking meter.
31.  Offer your seat to someone.
32.  Listen to someone’s pain and help them get through it.
33.  Hug a friend. Let them know how important they are to you.
34.  Give your taxi to the elderly person or pregnant woman next to you.
35.  Help a business with a donation at Kiva.
36.  Bake cookies and share them with your neighbors or colleagues.
37.  If you have a good book gathering dust on your library, give to a friend.
38.  Become a member of Freecycle and be an active member.
39.  Clean the garbage at a park or beach
40.  Send a nice email or card to someone you know when they don’t expect it.
41.  Leave encouraging post-it notes for your partner or family in random places.
42.  If you see a couple trying to take a picture of themselves offer yourself to take it.
43.  Make a donation box at school, work or worship place  and ask people to donate food. Then give them to homeless people.
44.  Participate in environmental protection activities
45.  Offer food to a animal shelter. Call them beforehand and ask what they need.
46.  If an accident or a dangerous situation has occurred, call the emergency line. You call may save a life.
47.  When you buy take away, buy an extra meal and give it to a homeless person.
48.  Stand up for someone, borrow them your voice. Often, the weak, the homeless and uncared for need someone to speak on their behalf.
49.  Every night you finish dinner don’t throw away the leftovers. Spend 5 minutes of your time to feed a stray animal.
50.  When someone owes you a favor ask them for something that will benefit someone else instead of you.

(Source in Greek here)

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