As I am closing up my programs for the year with Bulldog Solution, I am finding myself talking more and more to students about love and kindness. It may be all the violence and pain that surrounds us, or the mere fact that we need to love more and hate less. With the Santa spirit and Christmas cheer, I want to share how you can make a difference in someone's day. The list below has easy ways to touch someone in need, and bring a little more glee to the Holiday Season. I challenge you to try to complete this list before old Saint Nick comes to town.
Your "Must Do" Christmas List to Bring a Little More Cheer
- Put hand warmers in your mailbox for your mailman or mailwoman. I did this a few years ago and now my mailwoman and I are "besties". She gave me the biggest hug and told me that on the coldest day of the year, she felt loved and warm.
- Throw some snacks in your car or in your bag and share with a homeless person. When you see a homeless person make sure you share your snacks or your extra change. I see a homeless man right off the Diversey exit. He knows I have a dollar and some snacks to keep him going. My motto is no matter how broke I am, I still have more than he does. I can spare a dollar or make sure I give him some food.
- Give a compliment to a stranger. Just try it! Find the beauty in someone else and share your words of kindness. We are too quick to judge or criticize others. We need to start being nicer and it can all start with a compliment.
- Say something nice on social media about someone or something. Instead of complaining, venting, or going on a rant, step back and think about something nice to say. We are too quick to be negative. Imagine if once a day we all said something nice, the virtual world would be such a better place.
- Write a card or note to someone special. Find someone that impacted your life this year. It could have been a friend that supported you, a co-worker that inspired you, or someone that helped you when you needed it the most. Write them a heartfelt note sharing why you are grateful to have them in your life. General Happy Holiday cards don't count!
- Put your phone down at the checkout. Don't be rude and ignore your cashier. They are people too. Take the time to say hi and start up a conversation. It will take you two minutes and you might learn a thing or two.
- If you see a child having a meltdown or tantrum, be kind and show compassion. Don't give a parent the evil eye or the "bad parenting" look. I often say, "Oh mine does that too!" and point to my hot mess of a child. Share words of encouragement and support. The parent is probably embarrassed, so don't make it worst by imposing your own judgement.
- Acknowledge people that pass you by. You are in the elevator, say hi to people and wish them a nice day as they exit. I had a special moment a few weeks ago. I was crying in the elevator about my mentor. Nancy is in a rehabilitation home and she was having a bad day. As I entered the elevator, tears rolled down my cheeks. I said hi to the lady in the elevator and forced a smile on my face. She said, "Oh honey, your friend will be out of here soon!" I shook my head and said, " That's why I am so sad, she is never going home." In that moment, the lady opened her arms and gave me the biggest hug. We both cried. That moment was what I needed. She gave that to me because I acknowledged her.
So don't miss out on these precious moments in life. It is by being nicer, helping others, and giving more hugs that we can reduce the hate, violence, and anger in this world. It is the little things that make the difference.
Until Next Time...
Be Brave*Be Strong* Be a Bulldog
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