Is today’s world more stressful and disconnected than the one in which previous generations lived? Maybe. Maybe not. But it can sure feel like it. Here are seven little things you can do to help build community and make the world a kinder place.
1. BUY COFFEE FOR A STRANGER.
Tell the cashier at the coffee shop you’d like to cover the next customer’s order. That tiny boost of caffeine and kindness could make somebody’s day.
2. HELP OTHERS FIND THEIR VISION.
You know eyeglasses are expensive. But did you know they were recyclable? Organize a collection drive in your community to round up plastic and metal eyeglasses, sunglasses, reading glasses, and hearing aids for donation to those in need.
3. CLEAN UP YOUR CORNER.
We all feel calmer when the world around us is tidy and organized. The same is true of our neighborhoods. The next time you go out for a walk, stuff a trash bag and disposable gloves in your pocket, and spend a little extra time picking up litter. For bonus points, bring a separate bag for recyclable items.
4. PICK A FAMILY PENPAL.
You know your grandma as your grandma and your cousin as your cousin. But they’re people, too, with their own lives, histories, and struggles. Exchanging letters or emails with a family member is a great way to meet someone you love all over again.
5. GO HUG A DOG.
Like us, dogs are social animals. When they’re cared for, they thrive. But not every dog has a doting family of its own. Animal shelters almost always need volunteers to walk and socialize adoptable dogs. Bring a shelter dog your love and you’ll almost definitely get it back many times over.
6. GIVE KIDS THE FUEL THEY NEED TO LEARN.
You know how hard it is to focus when lunchtime meetings run long. Now imagine what it would be like if you hadn’t had a good meal in days. School breakfast and lunch programs are an essential part of helping kids succeed. To contribute, contact your local school board administrator.
7. DROP A POSTCARD IN THE MAIL.
Postcards are great. They’re fun to find, cheap to mail, and the limited space on the back means a short message is plenty. There’s someone in your life who could use some encouragement right now. Find a silly postcard, jot down a “thinking of you” note, and give them the lift they need.