This week I’ve been reflecting on selfless acts of kindness, but what does even mean anymore?

Is it as rare as it sounds?

In my mind it relates to you doing something for someone or the greater good, with no expectation that this will help you or drive your personal agenda.

I guess the question is, but today we seem to be operating in a world of “what’s in it for me”?

There are times during a disaster where people come out to support those around them, a great example here in Australia were the bush fires back in 2019 or the recent floods in Queensland.

Where there was a groundswell of help and support from friends and neighbours. ❤️

Another noticeable example was in the aftermath of 9/11.

For the most part that event made mankind, almost universally a little kinder and more tolerant.  In fact, there were many selfless acts of kindness during that time.

Is it more difficult to act more selflessly today than it was in the past?   Or is that just a convenient excuse?

None of us are immune to this, me included.

I remember as a kid growing up in rural Australia, neighbours always seemed to be attending a work bee or helping someone out.  Dad was a great example of distributing fruit and vegetables to neighbours or those in need.  ❤️👍🏼

No one asked for compensation nor complained of doing something for nothing.

Nope, they just got on with it.

Is it that we don’t ask for help these days or the culture that we’ve created doesn’t allow us to feel okay about helping others without pay or recognition?

I know that when I help others it gives me a sense of well-being.  Selfless acts of kindness are good for the soul!

Can you imagine that if each of us got into the habit of providing just one selfless act a day, no matter how big or small what impact that might have on the world.

Yes, a pay it forward approach to living life!  👍🏼

Wow, can you imagine for just a moment what seven billion people all doing one selfless act per day would mean to the well-being of mankind?  It’s too much to ask I know…

Just imagine if each one of us committed to undertaking just one selfless act how powerful that would be.

I realize it’s one thing to say you’re going to do something and entirely another to actually do it…

Sure, all of the small, selfless acts of kindness can help you feel amazing, but the best way to truly improve your mental health is by being kinder to yourself.

Setting impossible standards or constantly beating yourself up over things will only put you into a tailspin of negative thoughts, eventually causing you to lash out at those around you or even worse, lose your self-confidence…

Practice kindness with yourself, and it will be much easier to do the same with others. ❤️🤗

I’m talking simple stuff, nothing too ambitious.

How about some of these to start…

  1. Donate old clothes that no longer fit or you don’t wear any longer
  2. Fix something for someone, or help them fix it
  3. Give or recommend a book that changed your life to someone
  4. Pick up litter when you see it on the street
  5. Encourage someone to pursue a dream or goal
  6. Give a compliment to a stranger
  7. Be kind to retail employees or servers
  8. Buy a coffee for a co-worker
  9. Send a handwritten note or thank you card
  10. Leave a positive review if you go somewhere or do something

Definitely not earth shattering or monumental in nature, but examples like these small acts of kindness can go a long way.

In time these can become habits that may encourage others around you to adopt similar practices just by observing you.

Over the course of my life that I’ve personally benefited from some of these items above where others have provided some of these for me.

A great example is providing a recommended book that has helped me change my thinking, and thus my life in some way.  A number of years ago my counsellor at the time recommended that I read the Alchemist.

As I’ve said many times in my essay, this book really changed my perspective on life.  It’s a “must read” in my estimation! ❤️

Another item from the list that I actively undertake where possible is to encourage someone to pursue their dreams or a life goal.  Life is too short not to live your absolute best life.

However, sometimes we’re afraid to take risks and go after what we really want in life.  There are all sorts of reasons why we may not feel we can take on life and go after what we want, but I am a huge proponent of following your dreams.

No matter how much I inspire someone to do this, they have to decide for themselves in their own time.  But that doesn’t stop me from actively encouraging them.

Selfless acts of kindness begin with you and a huge part of self-care.  These acts always start with being kind to you and your inner self – forgiveness, positive self talk and an open mindset.  ❤️

Until next week