Its that time of year again when everyone starts to feel the holiday spirit. We hear the christmas songs at the stores and on the radio. We start feeling a sense of gratitude for everything around us, life is great and theres so much to be thankful for.
Too bad those feelings go away January 1st. =(
One thing I have noticed is now a days people don’t seem to focus on three very important things; love, gratitude and service. Im not sure if thats happened over time or if thats just something that happens when you become an adult. Ive been an “adult” for ten years now and I feel like the world is becoming colder, saltier, more judgmental, easily offended, pessimistic, and straight up cruel. Again, I don’t know if its because we have access to all kinds of media now that maybe its always been like this and we are just now more easily able to see it or if we’re really slowly becoming heartless zombies.
I know there is still a lot of good in the world, but even the good people now hate and judge. So whats going on?
One of my conclusions is that people aren’t serving each other anymore. Without service, we can’t learn to love and without love we can’t be grateful. What exactly do I mean by service? I mean do something good for someone. Don’t think for one second that your showing up to work everyday and providing care or customer service to someone. Thats not service, thats just you doing your job to get paid so you can pay rent and buy food. I also don’t mean giving a homeless person a dollar every time you see him and then going about the rest of your day feeling high and mighty because you did the ONE good thing. Nope, I mean truly giving someone help, affection, time, acknowledge that others have stress as well and despite that help them with someone to make their day a little easier. You can take out the trash or help put the clothes in the dryer. Cook them a meal, go on a walk with them, listen to them, empathize with them.
Yes, giving a homeless person money so they can have a better day is great and you should continue to do it. However, you can’t stop there. If you’re not helping those you live with, work with, study with, and every thing else with, then you’re not really serving. Your life will never change because you will never change. Once you’re able to use that mani pedi money on helping your family member or a friend who may need it or instead of coming home and watch your favorite show for the 100th time maybe you can play with your dog for 15 minutes or your kids, spend some time with a loved one. We need to remember that time is a gift thats way more valuable than money. So use it wisely. Its ok to relax and watch TV or do whatever it is that distresses you, but like all good things too much of it can be more bad than good.
Gratitude is also something we should carry with ourselves at all times. Be grateful for the time people spend with you, for the money that friend let you borrow that one time and pay it back. Be grateful for your jobs, your home no matter how big or small, your family whether its two or 30 of you. Be grateful for your pets, your car no matter how crappy,. Be grateful for the food you eat, for the people you share it with. Be grateful for where you live, your culture, your traditions. Be grateful for being able to read this because even though I’m probably boring you to death you’re freaking ALIVE! You’re able to decide what you’re going to do next, you’re still able to change into a better you. No one is a lost cause, and some might argue not even when they’re dead. ;D
So this year set yourself a goal, not just for the months of November or December, set a goal to do one thing a day or a week that helps you be a better you. Serve others by being more patient, more kind, by giving time, helping out someone in need, showing up to work on time, being as productive as possible, showing gratitude, affection, and no matter what the reaction from other may be, don’t give up. It may seem like you’re doing too much for others, but what you don’t notice right away is that you’re serving yourself. When you do things for others you’re becoming a better human being, a better YOU. Thats the best thing you can do for yourself. =)
That raise, those great kids, your loving and trusting relationship, your trained dog, those smiles from the barista at Starbucks, your awesome mood, NONE of that will happen if YOU don’t change. So do yourself a favor and start serving others.
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi