Doing WHAT for Other People, Makes You Feel Good?

this is what kindness looks like

Acts of Kindness.  Funny how it works but it truly ends up making you feel good about yourself.  

As we enter into the holiday season, it’s a good time to remind ourselves of all that we have to be thankful for.  Take that feeling of gratitude out into the world and spread some kindness and compassion.

I read a story about a Buddhist Monk who never just gave money or food to the less fortunate.  He made sure to really see them as human, to ask them their name and wish them well.  This really spoke to me so I made sure to try it the next time I was approached by a homeless person.  It took less than a minute but the look on his face made me want to cry.  All I did was ask him his name, told him mine and said I hope you have a nice day.  So simple for me to do, yet I could see in his face how much he appreciated that simple act of recognizing his humanity.  It impacted me as much as it impacted him.

It reminded me of my son, Matt, who after doing volunteer work said, “Wow, when you do something good for other’s it makes you feel good.”  That is so true. 

Go out and make yourself feel good.  Spread some kindness. 

If you want to try talking with the homeless, here’s a few tips:

  1. No matter the struggle a person may go through, they are, before, during, and after their homelessness, just another human being on this planet, worthy of interaction.  Look them in the eye.  Smile.  Have a conversation or just a quick “hi, what’s your name?”
  2. Be respectful if they don’t want to talk or share their story.
  3. It is a personal decision whether you feel comfortable offering money directly to an individual struggling with homelessness. If you do, don’t tell them how to use it. If this is a concern, check to see if there is a shop or restaurant near by; you can ask the family if they would like a meal, and then get it for them.
  4. Familiarize yourself with the homelessness resources in your area so when you are speaking with the family you can direct them to the nearest shelter or soup kitchen. A simple, “How are you doing? There’s a soup kitchen over on 17th Street, and I think they open for dinner around five. You should check it out!” might be a great gift to them in itself. However, if they say they aren’t interested, don’t push them.
  5. Another easy way to give someone a helping hand is to create some simple “blessing bags” and have them on hand as an alternative to monetary donations. Blessing bags include small items that make the struggle of homelessness a tiny bit easier for the individual, such as socks, packs of peanut butter crackers, lip balm, or travel size toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc.)      
    –  tips from
    Operation Warm

Next time you see a homeless person remember, they are somebody’s child, lost and alone. 

Have you done an act of kindness – or had one done to you – that just stayed with you and truly impacted your spirit?  Let me know in the comments below.

 

As always, I’d appreciate it if you would help me get the word out about the Matt Kurtz Kindness Award of $250 (nominate someone who inspires you) and the Matt Kurtz Kindness Grant of $250 (submit an act of kindness you would do with $250).

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4 thoughts on “Doing WHAT for Other People, Makes You Feel Good?”

  1. Jackie, It is so true about making it personal. I make several trips back and forth between two of my offices and there are always homeless people on the corner. I always have some money ready to give them and I have asked them their names. Michael is my favorite, I am always happy to see him, and he is always happy to see me. Last year I made him a Christmas bag with all kinds of things in it, warm gloves, hats girft cards to restraunts near where I see him, I put some cash in there too and asked him to share it with someone else he knows that it would bless. I also gave him a Christmas card with his name on it. It blessed me so much. I didn’t see him for a while and I was so worried, but he is back now and doing ok. Like you said these folks are human beings, they are just in a bad position right now and need help and compassion from those around them

  2. It is exactly what Matt said, it does make you feel good to do good and we should do it as often as we can. I was looking to buy for a child from the Salvation Army tree for Christmas and when I was in Wal-Mart, the tree had Senior Citizens names on it, as well as children. They put their ages and their wish list on the card. The one I randomly picked was for a 92 year old who asked for wash cloths and socks. I thought to myself, what a wonderful idea to include the Seniors as well as children for everyone has needs and wishes.

    1. so true. but it made me sad that she was asking for wash cloths and socks instead of something frivolous. good for you for making her life a little easier and making her feel good to get random gifts. hope santa brings you everything you need too!

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