During this crazy and challenging year, everyone could use more kindness in their life.
The ongoing uncertainty of COVID seems to be hammering away at people’s feelings of well-being. Even the healthiest people I know are feeling the pressure of the constant changes.
What can we do to compensate and stay refreshed and elevated?
I read a timely article in the WSJ, Why Being Kind Helps You, Too––Especially Now by Elizabeth Bernstein, which gave perspective to this issue, and a solution based on the art of being kind.
To sum it up, you can gain a higher level of happiness for yourself by helping others. The inspiration is in the details.
Two ways to help, in my view:
You can either help an organization by giving your time, money, access, and ideas or, you can help an individual person in need.
I plan to do both by supporting Son Of A Saint. It is the New Orleans version of Big Brothers Big Sisters. It was started by Sonny Lee, who’s father, Bivian Lee Jr. (a New Orleans Saints’ defensive end), died tragically at the age of 36. Sonny was just three years old but had plenty of support growing up. He started this foundation at the age of 29, as a way to pay it forward to all the single moms and fatherless sons out there. It has really taken off, and I am proud to be involved.
How about you? Many local associations need your help.
According to the WSJ article, you can help people in two different ways.
1. Giving where a return is expected:
- Giving to a community project where you expect a boost to your company
- Donating money to get a tax break
- Helping your employees in times of need
2. Giving where no return is expected:
- Handing out gift cards unexpectedly to people who are serving you
- Buying the coffee of the person behind you in line
- Anonymous donations to help the needy
- Taking on low profile community projects where no PR is involved
According to the WSJ article, giving and helping others creates a chemical reaction in your brain that increases good feelings and decreases anxiety. Studies have shown that people who regularly give look more confident, beautiful, and generally more attractive. Who knew?
I’m proud of the fact that in the US, we have a history of giving and charity. I also see that proud tradition in our green industry.
Give yourself a break.
Find ways to weave kindness into your life:
- Inside and outside of work
- In planned and impromptu ways
- In anonymous and recognizable ways
Even a kind word and a smile to the person serving or helping you will make everyone happier. Personal happiness starts with you.