It’s been a bit quiet on the blog these days. I took some free time to enjoy this period and recharge my batteries.
I listened to this song over and over again and the lyrics just got stuck in my head…”It’s the most wonderful time of the year…”. But why? When I asked people of different ages this question, the answers sounded almost the same : the cities are covered in lights, it’s the month when you receive a lot of gifts, you can go to magic Christmas markets, it’s the period when you can eat a lot of festive food, drink and go to parties.
I wish one answer it was..it’s about being better. Being kind to others. Not about lighting the city, but about lighting someone’s eyes. About the good you can do.
I must admit I fell in the trap also. In the city that I moved this year, Birmingham, UK are a lot of homeless people. They beg for change and barely food and sometimes they become aggressive, that it scares me. If I can help them with food, I do it. Otherwise, I learned to ignore them. That much, that the other day, while heading to the office, a lady asked me something. Immediately in my head, I had the intention to ignore as I didn’t have anything to offer. It took me some seconds to realise the poor women was just asking for directions. She was lost and wanted to know where the station is. I helped her of course, even apologised that I didn’t answer from the start. I thought about this all the way to the office.
I can do so much more for the people around me if I just pull my head from the sand and pay more attention to others needs.
Thus, I’ve put together 5 things I can do and really hope you can be inspired to do the same to really make this period the most wonderful time of the year, but most important to continue throughout the year.
1. When you go shopping for food, buy some extra to give to homeless people.
It smells delicious all over the city, ‘orangy’, ‘cinammony’, ‘chocolatey’. Imagine how it is for them, not even having basic food like bread, sandwiches or hot meals, that they can barely think about something festive.
2. Declutter and donate.
I moved recently and I had to pack all my clothes. While I was doing it, I realised I have clothes that I don’t even wear. I even found ones with tags on them, forgotten in the back of the closet. Why? We all know the answer. We attach to things and it is hard to let go of them. “Maybe I’ll have a special occasion and I will wear it. Maybe I will loose some kilos and it will fit again. Maybe the style will become popular again”.
I’d say it’s time to let go. It would be wonderful for another person to wear those items that you’re so attached, but collect all the dust. The clothes are not beautiful standing on a shelf. They’re beautiful when someone that really needs them wears them and makes them happy.
3. Share your knowledge
Help someone to solve an issue or achieve a result by sharing the tips and tricks your learned throughout your experiences. I see people struggling every day, as they are not that good with technology, but they are trying to keep up with the younger generation, or they don’t afford to pay someone to fix their broken belongings. If you see someone overwhelmed by this type of situations, stop by and show them what to do. Sometimes it’s just pressing some buttons, but this action for sure will bring a smile on their face.
4. Pay more attention when walking
Now, that I moved closer to the office, I just need to walk for max 15 minutes and I often find myself lost in my thoughts, planning the activities for the day or just daydreaming, not being focused on what’s really happening around. Until one day, while I was waiting for the train to pass in order to cross the street, I saw one young man staying really close to the train rail while it was approaching. He was listening to music and didn’t hear the alarm sound. So, I just pulled him. He thanked me and smiled, while I could see, he was quite scared.
If I would have thought only about my stuff, fixing my eyes on the road, careless about surrounding, I wouldn’t have spotted this situation. Of course, beside observing, it’s important to decide to do something about it and help the person in need.
And maybe if your are listening to music, try to keep only one ear bud or lower the volume to be focused on what is happening on the street. I think this one is also important for your safety, not only to help the others. I
5. Smile more and compliment
The last one is the simplest thing you can do and believe it or not, it really matters. I have realised in the last period, people are kind of overwhelmed about feelings and different situations and forget that almost everything has a solution and they don’t need to stress that much. So, whenever you see a person without a smile, give them yours.
And if you like the way they dress up, how their hair looks like, the way they act, how well they’re doing their job or the fact they inspired you to change something, say that to them. Appreciate their efforts. Sometimes, these little things occupy a big part in their hearts.
That being sad, I hope you’ll spend the most wonderful weekend of the year, considering it’s the last one of 2018.
And don’t forget to be kind. That’s a thing you will never regret doing!