People have told me that I am one of the most happiest, bubbliest people they have ever met. Full of life. Full of energy. Full of joy.
They couldn’t be farther from the truth.
While I am not one to breach my own personal privacy walls, I will say this: my feelings are not always as they seem, and, more often than not, the smile reflected on my face is not a result of my insides brimming with sunshine and flowers and rainbows. And it’s not a facade. It is my way of doing the one thing I have always aspired to do: bring a little kindness into humanity. Bring a little faith. Bring a little change-the-world-one-step-at-a-time magic.
I have always been determined to be the girl who could brighten up anyone’s day even if she couldn’t brighten up her own. Any action taken, no matter how small, can truly change someone’s life. And that action, as Newton so eloquently put it, can have an equal reaction. And if everyone, in their own little, tiny way, were to put a combined effort into spreading this action, into spreading kindness, love, and warmth in the most unselfish way possible, without expecting anything in return…well, hey, let’s just say we could change the world.
Here are a few ways we can make a difference in humanity:
1. Give to charity.
Donate to those less fortunate to you. It doesn’t have to be money — it can be clothes, food, etc. Start a food drive. Make a trip to the blood bank. I’m a broke college student, but if I ever pass a homeless, struggling person on the street, I can always find spare change to give. Altruism is not dead — you could save a life. You could prevent sickness. You could feed the hungry and clothe the poor. Count your blessings, and be thankful for what you have — and make it possible for others to be just as thankful as you.
2. Spare a little time.
In this day and age, time is one of the most valuable possessions we have — some don’t have enough of it, and others waste what precious amount they have. Use your time wisely — spend it with your loved ones. Lend a helping hand to someone who needs it. Accomplish your goals, your dreams. Pursue your passion. Take the time to get to know someone — even the dusty inner crevices of their minds. Lose yourself in a thought-wrenching book. Travel the world. Discover yourself. Spend your time on things that are important to you and that are important to those you love.
3. Forgive all debts and sins — whether physical or emotional.
We spend so much of our lives keeping people at bay, burning bridges with other humans, and obstinately grappling with grudges that could frankly make us miserable. What’s the point? Yes, these people could have hurt you. Yes, the situation could be complex. But is it worth your time and effort to hold those grudges? Move past the things that keep you from being the best, most human version of yourself, and forgive past misdeeds. What is done is done — you can either be stuck in those erroneous chains, or you can break free of the iron-clad grasps and live your life.
4. Tell someone you love them.
Tell someone you are sorry. Tell someone please, and tell someone thank you. Do not forget to express compassion — emotions are the pinnacle of human existence. There will be those times where emotions truly render us decapitated in their clutches, and we will wish that we can never feel again. But there will also be those times where they fill us up, stretching our souls, expanding our minds, and rejuvenating our hearts. By spreading this kindness, by truly expressing our love and appreciation for others, we can attain a state of euphoria that we previously thought impossible. We can be at peace with our humanity, and at peace with others.
5. Smile at a stranger.
Yes, this may sound trivial, but this small gesture of kindness can make the type of impact that will be far bigger than either you or could ever possibly imagine. And, yes, it may also sound creepy, so if you’re not totally comfortable with expressing facial emotions to people who don’t know jackshit about you, then fine — try these instead. Smile at a friend. Smile at a family member. Smile at someone who looks like they haven’t seen the sun in days. Smile at someone who needs it. Who will cherish it. And make sure you look for the people who are smiling right back at you.