Oswald Chambers wrote, “If you allow physical selfishness, mental careless, moral insensitivity, or spiritual weakness, everyone in contact with you will suffer.” (from “My Utmost for His Highest”)
Are you guilty of a lack of concern? Have you been complacent, apathetic, completely unaware? You don’t have to live this way. It’s time to rewire your brain.
Don’t wait for an earth-shattering event. Step out of your comfortable routine now, and make some space in your heart for the rest of humanity.
Here’s a few ideas to stimulate your thinking. Plan out your year with them or come up with your own. Before you know it, you’ll be paying closer attention and will recognize the consequences or blessings that your daily actions have on others.
January ~ Lift Someone’s Spirits
Many folks have difficulty with this gray, dreary month. Help someone chase away the winter blues by inviting yourself to their home. Show up in bright colors with a comedy movie or a humorous board game. Even if you’re a terrible joke teller, the socialization will elevate their mood.
February ~ Give Blood (if you can)
It’s common for blood bank donations to drop during the winter. Give them a boost and save a life!
March ~ Alternative Spring Break
Trade in alcohol for altruism. Make this one as involved or as simple as you like. Travel with a charitable organization that alleviates suffering, or stay close to home and assist a local group that is doing good.
April ~ Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Shift your actions to be more in line with what is good for the natural environment. Give your home recycling station a makeover. When it comes to minimizing waste, the possibilities are endless!
May ~ Take a Hike
Go for a nature walk and bring a trash bag, gloves, and a whittled stick. Pick up trash along the way. When the bag is full, turn around and head back. Appreciate how you’ve left the place better than you found it.
June ~ Philanthropic Travel
Contribute to the well-being of a distant community by spending a day or more of your vacation volunteering. A travel agent can help you set this up. See the world and help it!
July ~ Practice Hospitality
Host a picnic! Be thoughtful about the guest list. Invite those who really need a blessing. Refrain from using any disposable products. It’s better for the environment and is downright classy.
August ~ Summer Reading
Read a book that will help you become more sensitive towards social injustices. Learn about the world from a distance. Become informed and develop a strong sense of responsibility.
September ~ Back to School
Fill a backpack with school supplies for an elementary school student. You can do this anonymously by giving it to a school official to have on hand for a child in need. Or offer to pay for a college student’s textbook to show that you believe in them.
October ~ Comfort Food
Fix an easy crock pot supper. Identify someone who could use a break from the stove (a single parent, for example). Call that morning to tell them not to make plans for dinner; you’ll be dropping off a hot, wholesome meal.
November ~ Share the Warmth
Clean out your coat closet. Find a coat drive to donate your excess cold-weather gear to.
December ~ Alternative Gift-Giving
Honor the memory of a loved one by purchasing a practical gift through an organization that will meet someone’s pressing need. Empowering others is a beautiful way to pay tribute to someone!
“Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.” ~1 Peter 3:8
Embody the spirit of altruism. Alleviate suffering; don’t cause it. Be willing to help by choosing to give back.
Your heart, mind and lifestyle will change. Most importantly, by the end of the year, there will be so many others who will be better off… because of you!