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Welcome to ESM Kindness Counts!
"Change begins with you. It only takes a moment to make a difference in the lives of others." -Bobby F. Kimbrough, Jr.
According to the UN estimates elaborated by Worldometers, the world population was estimated to have reached 7,500,000,000 at 16:21(UTC) on April 24, 2017. Such a large number can prevent us from taking into consideration that each person has a story, some more difficult than others. Often the news portrays a world of negativity, failing to take into consideration the good acts people do on a day-to-day basis. Before this new generation becomes caught up with the negative aspects of our world, we need to remember that we have the power to make a difference, one small act at a time.
One of the most well known peace activists, Mahatma Gandhi, encouraged us, all of us, to "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Gandhi challenged us not to turn merely to his writings and speeches but to the very actions of his life. What he wanted to communicate or express to successive generations would be observable by his daily living. Gandhi’s life was dotted with many memorable quotes but one that is less well known is this: "You may never know what results come of your actions but if you do nothing there will be no results."
So how do we obtain results? First, we need to recognize that we have the power to change the world, one life at a time. One of Ronald Reagan's most memorable quotes on altruism is this: "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." Altruism is defined as the belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others. Simply put, altruism is synonymous with selflessness. A willingness to put others before ourselves. But how does it present itself? Here are some ways:
Limit Yourself, Donate your Abundance--think of the needs of others before you prioritize you. Take only what you need, make sure others have what they need as well. Old phone? Clothes? Donate them. Give an extra dollar to someone who needs it more than you do. Treating yourself to something does feel good for a moment, doing nice for someone else makes you feel good for a whole lot longer.
Avoid Entitlement, Recognize the Burden of Others--recognize that, at the end of the day, everyone needs food, everyone will pay rent, everyone will eventually experience heartbreak, rejection, failure, grief. These are all parts of being human, and that factors such as race, gender, family background, education, and past mistakes do not exclude us from these experiences. Experience humility by working for what you have, and being content. Do work just because you know the work must be done. Do nice things for people just because you want to do nice things. Remember, everyone is fighting a battle you may know nothing about.
Say Sorry, Be Forgiving of Others--be willing to put your ego to the side if you hurt someone, it takes a weight off yourself and will establish reconnection. Part of staying humble and kind is recognizing that we ALL have our downfalls, we ALL have reacted in emotional ways, we ALL have let our egos get the best of us. Forgiveness frees the perpetrator, but it also frees the forgiver.
Unlike other traits, committing to a humble and kind life probably means that people won't always recognize your "noble deeds." But what they will notice is just how much they enjoy your presence, how much they crave your wisdom and advice, how much respect you have earned. Even if they can't quite put their finger on it, they will notice something about you that makes them want to be in your company. And that life is much worth the sacrifice.