Photo Credit: Leo Reynolds under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
by Robin Bortner
All those clichés about starting with yourself to make the world a better place are clichés because they’re true. It’s the small good deeds that make big ones. Here are 8 small choices I make to I give back.
1. Remain patient while waiting in line. No, finding the sweater shouldn’t be that difficult. Yes, really, the woman with the full cart should let me and my one item go first. It’s clear the open bank teller is avoiding my eyes. Even when I’m late, I avoid looking impatient. It’s rude, for one, and it doesn’t get you through any faster.
2. Eat food I don’t like. Even if I hate it, even if I am possibly scared of its legs and read somewhere that it causes cancer—unless I’m deathly allergic—I will eat it if you prepare it for me. And I say, “Thank you. That was great.”
3. Ask about other people’s day. Sometimes, the stories are interesting. If not, they feel better for sharing, and I feel better for listening.
4. Let cars merge in front of me. At the end of the day, 10 seconds doesn’t make much difference in my drive time. I know it’s frustrating to idle with my turn signal sadly blinking like a heart monitor or to end up going on the highway to Chicago because I couldn’t get over in time.
5. Tell family and friends I’m alive. This means a lot of phone calls with eerily similar conversations. But it’s less awkward at Thanksgiving and it makes Grandma’s week.
6. Wish acquaintances happy birthday on Facebook. I might not talk to them any other day all year, but I like all those notifications on my special day. I will take a few seconds most morning and write a greeting.
7. Pick up trash and refrain from littering. This is possibly why my car looks like a trash can, but it confines the ugliness to my back seat. Once a month, I even throw it all away.
8. Compliment strangers. If I’m wearing something pretty, I love to hear it. It validates the purchase of the necklace or the extra time spent on my make-up. I pay it forward.
How do you serve others every day?