Turn the Tables: Give More than You Take out

“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” C.S. Lewis

If the 70s and 80s were the Me Generation, our era easily qualifies as the I-Me-My-Mine Generation. Unfortunately, it has infiltrated every segment of our society, and even good people with compassion and empathy are often impacted.

Too many times in this social media age, our sentences begin with “I will…” or “I did…” or “I can…” “I am…” or “My opinion…” or otherwise entwines the I-Me-My-Mine pronouns. But when we begin to turn the focus outward to you-them-yours, a funny thing happens. We quickly begin to forget our own needs, fears, anxiety, and concerns. Suddenly, even our successes and accomplishments become less important.

When we give more to the world than we take out, we’ve not only made ourselves happier, but God smiles too. Small deeds can have a huge ripple effect. Here are a few that you can easily do today.

  • Call someone by their name. You’ll be surprised at the response.
  • Pick up a piece of trash.
  • Do something for your neighbor. Cookies, stop by, wave, bring their mail from the mailbox.
  • Cook someone a meal. If you don’t cook, buy someone a meal.
  • Hold the door for the person behind you.
  • Buy someone their favorite candy.
  • Let someone come into your lane, even when you don’t have to. Yeah, I know.
  • Help someone with their groceries at the store.
  • Check on an elderly person. It can be a neighbor or someone in another state.
  • Put together some food bags and find a gathering of homeless people.
  • Come to someone’s rescue today. This can take the form of many things.
  • Pay a bill for someone. This can include anything from grocery items and coffee to restaurant and electricity.
  • Do something “just because”. You can really make someone’s day: flowers, hand-written card, gift card, steaks, a phone call or IM, or goodie basket.
  • In this day and time, offer to go to the grocery store or pharmacy for a shut-in or someone who can’t get out due to COVID-19.
  • Listen. Just listen. Hear someone out. Don’t get ready to respond, don’t turn the story to you. Listen.
  • Leave a bigger-than-normal tip for your server.
  • Leave a note for someone in their mailbox, on their desk, on their windshield.
  • Offer a ride to someone who doesn’t have a car or often walks somewhere.
  • Reconnect with someone from your past.
  • Return the shopping cart to its rightful place at Walmart.
  • Give someone your old glasses, old cell phone or maybe that pair of shoes in your closet you haven’t worn.
  • Text or write someone who’s having a hard time right now.
  • Leave your spouse a card or note when you leave for work.
  • Instead of buying that something you’ve wanted, buy it for someone else.
  • Smile and speak to the table busser, the janitor, the usher, the bus driver or the mailman.
  • “Please” and “thank you” aren’t the norms today. Use them genuinely and use them often. Moreover, when you use them, make eye contact with the other person.
  • Do one unexpected kind deed each day this week.
  • Send a care package. The surprise element is fun.

Most of these don’t require a lot of time, thought or money. Pick one and do it now. It will make their day, it will make your day!

If fear, chaos, discouragement, dread and worry are infectious, then a kind deed or gesture for others is quite contagious. It’s so contagious, in fact, you’ll likely find yourself doing it over and over.

Turn the tables. Give more to the world today than you take out. You will bless others, energize yourself and please God all at the same time! Spread hope!

“If selfishness is the key to being miserable, then selflessness must be the key to being happy!” Joyce Meyer


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