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  • Writer's pictureSheryl Lake

How do we navigate through life in troubling times?

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

I can only go by how I know I feel so if this doesn't resonate with you, that is okay. I know everyone deals with their own personal struggles, I do too, but as a collective we are watching while so many people are dyeing, fighting, and protesting. I have moments when I sit and think of how crazy it is to be going to work and living my life like none of this is going on. People are struggling and I am fortunate enough to buy groceries. The houseless population has grown, a constant reminder of the fact that many of these people were unable to keep up with the demands society had left on them and how fortunate I am to have a house to come home to. I can understand how it can all be too much. That is when I have to evaluate what it is I can do, if anything, to push through these moments in our world. For me, I know that on a global scale, I can not do much, but if I focus on bringing positivity to the moments I am with others I can help create even a small ripple effect in the lives around me. Sometimes that is all we can do, and that is enough. When we focus on the impact we have on the people we interact with day to day we can be sure to inject kindness and compassion to those around us. This in turn gives someone else the kindness perhaps they needed that day and now they will be kinder to that next person and so on. Paying it forward is such a simple concept that can create great ripples of change all around you. Here are some suggestions on how you can pay it forward and spread kindness in your day to day life:

I always make sure I have a few dollars in my car to hand to a houseless person on my route. When the weather is hot, hand them a cold water, in cold weather perhaps some socks would be great. I myself am going to create some hygiene packets- just little care packages with a toothbrush, toothpaste, a bottle of water, snack and some clean socks. Imagine how you would feel if you were given this by a stranger. Houseless people oftentimes feel invisible, this will let them know they are seen and can be the act if kindness needed to get them through that next day.

Another thing I have done is pay for someone's coffee or food order. I will go into a coffee shop I frequent and ask the counter person to take a $20 and use it for or towards any of the next orders coming in. You can also do this at a drive through. This is a simple act but you never know what kind of day the person behind you is having. I have seen this go a couple of ways. One, the person ends up returning the favor to the next person in line, and this just continues repeating itself in a wonderful example of human kindness. Another way, is someone is having a really bad time and that act of kindness lets them know they are not alone.

Spreading kindness does not cost anything and can be done very simply. When you see an opportunity, take it! Smile at the store clerk, Pick up the bag someone dropped, feed the stray cat, talk to the elderly person in line, these moments pop up everywhere and we can help create a positive interaction with someone and that is more important than we realize!

Yes, I know, this seems small and meaningless in the grand scale of war, hunger, poverty, homelessness, and everything else, but it is an important stand to make. I feel as though we as humanity are much better united than divided. Kindness, it is simple, but it unites. If everyone started being mindful of being kind to those around them the ripples created would be huge! Small steps to a greater world, all start with an act of kindness.

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