Apr 25, 2011

100+ Small (But Meaningful) Ways to Change the World

  • Smile from your heart at strangers.
  • Bring your shopping cart (& maybe a couple others) back to the coral
  • Bring coffee/donuts to someone usually overlooked
  • Buy flowers for someone who’s sad or having a rough time.
  • Deliberately choose to shop at small “Mom & Pops” stores instead of a giant multi-national corporations.
  • Offer to babysit for new parents so they can sleep or spend time with each other.
  • Listen with complete attention and sincerity.  Be fully present while someone else is speaking.
  • Return lost belongings to their owner.
  •  Cook a meal or buy groceries for someone elderly in your neighborhood.
  • Leave a good book at a bus stop.
  • Chat with a sales-clerk. Look them in the eyes, say hello, treat them like a real person.
  • Adopt an animal from a shelter.
  • Host an international student.
  • Just ask if you can help!
  • If you’re a student bring extra pens/paper to class in case your peers need them.
  • Buy organic food.
  • Create  carepacks for the homeless with toiletries, snacks, gloves, socks, calling cards & seal in a waterproof container.
  • Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room.
  • Leave an extravagant tip.
  • But dessert for the table next to you.
  • Help restore a hiking trail.
  • Stop to help someone change their tire.
  • Be kind to someone you dislike.
  • Cook a meal for someone who is sick, elderly, or just had a baby.
  • Pay someone’s expired parking meter.
  • Weed a flower bed.
  • Wave someone into your lane – allow them to merge.
  • Introduce yourself, and eat lunch with someone who’s alone.
  • Tutor or donate books to someone in jail.
  • Say something nice about someone to someone else! Spread the love!
  • Bring your own canvas shopping bags to the grocery store, and travel mug to the coffee shop.
  • Let someone go in front of you in line while you’re doing your grocery shopping.
  • If someone provides great service, compliment them and tell their manager.
  • Let people know every time you feel appreciation for them.
  • Plant a tree
  • Make someone laugh.
  • Teach an someone how to use the internet.
  • Don’t squish that bug!
  • Send a care package – just because to someone unexpected.
  • Make a bird feeder, or a birdbath.
  • Leave the coupons you didn’t use at the register for someone else.
  • Pay someone’s toll
  • Help your teacher by being a good listener, attentive & interactive in class.
  • Call an elderly relative just to say hello.
  • Unexpectedly pick up someone’s check.
  • Pass over the best parking space for someone else.Use non-toxic cleaning supplies.
  • Help someone to get something that is out of their reach.
  • Visit or call someone lonely.
  • Start a “Random Acts of Kindness” club
  • Volunteer to care care for someone’s pet or take their dog on a walk.
  • Stop to make sure that everyone is alright at the scene of an accident.
  • Donate books to a library.
  • Ask someone, “How are you?” and REALLY mean it.
  • Write a thank you letter to someone to a police person or fireman.
  • Make eye contact with a homeless person.  Stop and talk with them. Ask their name. Buy them dinner. Eat with them.
  • Volunteer to tutor a student.
  • Create a community potluck dinner to promote a sense of community and goodwill in your neighborhood.
  • Offer the handyman/porter a cool, refreshing drink.
  • Offer to help a neighbor with their yardwork.
  • Choose to give the benefit of the doubt instead of assuming the worst.  Trust & have faith.
  • Give up your seat for someone
  • Offer to help your coworker with their work.
  • Write to a role-model or mentor and let them know how important they’ve been to you and why.
  • Ask someone about their culture & past.
  • Volunteer
  • Answer calls/emails promptly to communicate that you care.
  • Cook a healthy meal for someone.
  • Adopt a solider
  • Collect canned foods for a food-bank.
  • Help a friend/neighbor/coworker/acquaintance/stranger move.
  • Apologize
  • Choose to not to complain.
  • Hand out treats to folks stuck in a super long line who aren’t able get out.
  • Hold your tongue when you are anger
  • Call an old friend or relative
  • Tell a joke!
  • Eat locally – shop at a Farmer’s Market.
  • Choose to re-frame a stressful situation into something positive.
  • Write a thank you letter
  • Invite folks home for the holidays.
  • Be a peacemaker.  Help to resolve conflict.  Mediate.
  • Leave change in a vending machine as an unexpected delight for the next person.
  • Carpool – offer to give someone a ride
  • Do what you say you’re going to do, and be where you say you’re going to be on time.  Follow through with promises.
  • Say hello to a complete stranger
  • Leave a few quarters behind at the laundry mat for the next person with a note that says, “just because”.
  • Help clean your friends house.
  • Visit a nursing home and mingle.
  • Mentor a child or teen.
  • Donate your vacation days to a coworker who is seriously ill.
  • Send flowers to someone just because
  • Laugh freely & easily.
  • Leave something beautiful in an unsuspecting person, at an unexpected place for no particular reason.
  • Recycle at home. Start & facilitate a recycling program at work or at school.
  • Instead of stepping over litter, pick it up.
  • Create a “Welcome Wagon” committee to welcome new folks who move into your neighborhood.
  • Bake someone a cake.
  • Write a positive tweet, Facebook status or bl ogpost.
  • Make a wish come true.
  • Adopt a highway
  • Plant some flower bulbs in a public space to make it a more beautiful place for everyone.
  • Offer hugs and touches.
  • Donate clothing & shoes  that you’re no longer wearing.  Donate clothing that you love!
  • Wear a t’shirt or button with a positive, uplifting, or funny message.
  • Pay compliments to strangers
  • Offer to guide a person who is blind.

What did I leave out?  
Thanks for your reading, and please leave your suggestions!

Apr 2, 2011

“So, how’s the job search?”

The dreaded words.  Enough to make me stab my own eyeball with a plastic spoon.
When you’re unemployed, this seems to be all that anyone wants to know. Why does it suddenly seem the sun, the moon, the stars – the solar-system itself revolves around the status of your venerated job-search?  Here’s something nutty.  What if you’re NOT looking for a job?  What if you aspire to CREATE your OWN job instead? (Crazytalk! I know!)   My few delicate attempts to broach this fragile terrain nearly incited a riot.    Family, friends, coffee baristas… everyone I know seems to reflexively tailspin into a frenzied panic at the mere mention of what you’d think was pure non-conformist heresy.  So,  how DO you cop to having entrepreneurial aspirations, should you happen to have them?  Should you mention them at all?

Apr 1, 2011

Embracing the Unknown

Unemployment is existing in the unknown. Humans don’t like that. It feels unsafe. We’d much prefer to cling to certainty and solid ground.  Even if that solid ground is toxic or weed infested. But with courage and support, we can leverage this shaky time as our greatest strength – an opportunity to expand beyond our preconceived notions of  who we are, and what we’re “supposed” to be.  Letting go of our former selves (whether forcibly or not) can be a  true gift of liberation – a chance for re-creation and hope.