It seems that almost everyone gets excited when the holiday season comes around. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there is just something magical in the air that makes people a little bit happier, a little more cheery, and a little more giving. The Salvation Army bell ringers are out, Toys for Tots donations are flowing in, and donations for food pantry's and shelters are racking up. It is as if the holiday season is a light bulb for people to start giving and caring more than they normally do. Everyone loves this time of year because of this and the cheerful hearts that are all around. But what if I told you that this feeling could last all year round? Would you believe me?
Part of this feeling is due to all the kind acts that are happening during this time of year. However, these acts of kindness don't need to begin and end here. Paying it forward is a year round thing and should never be marked by a holiday or time of year. Below I have just a few ways that you can help and simply make the world a better place.
1. Hold the door open for someone.
These days, everyone is in a rush and has somewhere to be. Take the time to wait for that person behind you and hold the door open. It will only take you a few more seconds, maybe a minute. This will not hinder your day, and it will only make the other person's that much better. No one likes when someone is a few inches ahead and leaves the door to slam into your face, or that beautiful cup of coffee you just spent money on.
2. Smile at people when passing them.
Think of all the people you pass as you are on your way to your destination. Hundreds of faces that you pass each day and no nothing about. Instead of putting your head down and sticking your nose in your phone, look up for once and see who is around you. Don't give them that cold blank stare, smile at them! They could be having an awful day and your beautiful smile could turn that around for them.
3. Pay for the drink order behind you at a drive thru.
This is another simple thing that will take almost no effort. If you have enough money on you, ask the cashier what the order behind you is and just add it to whatever you ordered. I know when I am getting coffee in the morning it is what is getting me through the day, and if I didn't pay for it and someone else did, my heart just becomes filled with happiness. It is such a simple thing but can mean the world to others.
4. Pay for the toll behind you on the highway.
This one is a little more difficult with all the ezpass' and other forms of payment, but if you are paying the toll with cash, just through in the extra for the person behind you! They will be so surprised and you can feel good knowing that you just helped someone else.
5. If you see someone having difficulty with something, offer your assistance.
Whether you are at work, grocery shopping, or in a restaurant, sometimes people have their hands full and just can't handle everything! Offer an extra hand and a smile, it will help more than you know.
While these are only five things to pay it forward, there are so many other things you can do to make this world a better place. The best thing about paying it forward besides feeling good about yourself, is that when someone sees these acts of kindness, they continue the trend. No one just sees a good act and think about it, they act and continue giving and caring. So remember to be a little happier and a little more caring all year round, not just during the holiday season.