One of my favourite poems by vegetarian mystic Teresa of Avila is:
Christ has no body now on earth but yours;
Yours are the only feet with which he can go about the world,
Yours are the only eyes through which his compassion can shine forth upon a troubled world.
Christ has no body on earth but yours.
We can look up to Him and make the world a better place or we can look down and focus only on ourselves. Do you know which one will truly bring happiness? It is a proven fact that doing good for others increases the feel good chemicals in our brain. Plus the more you spread goodness and light and love the more there is in the world and the more comes back to you. Levavi Oculos--lift up your eyes. I have this tattooed on my arm to help me always to remember this fact. If you approach every situation with the thought, “What can I give here?” instead of “What can I get here?” how much more blessed will your life be? I’m not talking about being a doormat, I’m talking about basic kindness.
There are lots of things you can do to make the world better, small things that make a big difference. Thanks to Peas and Thank You for the ideas.
- Pack resealable plastic bags with toothbrush/paste, soap, socks, granola bars, etc. and drop them off at shelters or with the homeless.
- Let someone go ahead of you at the bank or the grocery store.
- Leave a kind, supportive comment on a blog or website
- Donate gently used grown-up books to your local retirement homes and care facilities and used children’s books to libraries, churches and shelters.
- Leave an Operation Beautiful note.
- Go through your pantry for canned food/dried goods donations for the local food share (here are the most requested items).
- Push your neighbor’s empty garbage cans from the curb to the side of their house.
- Write a thank you note to someone who you appreciate (your mailman, garbage man, the local fire or police department, that extra nice grocery clerk).
- Give a stranger, a friend, a child, a spouse (or all four) a sincere compliment.
- Take a picture of yourself wearing a superhero shirt or logo (or any shirt + a huge smile) and send it to “Superman Sam,” a Wisconsin six year-old battling Leukemia
Things like “pay it forward” or “random acts of kindness” fit into this category. Most of these things are easy to do and at little to no cost to us because we have so much—we are so wealthy with enough food and shelter over our heads, whilst many have none. We feel loved and supported whilst many feel alone. There is a remedy for that.
Be the remedy.