Friday Five #15: 5 Small Ways You Can Make a Big Difference

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When we think about making a difference, we tend to think big. Making a difference to some can mean organising a huge campaign but to others it could be small gestures like I have featured below.

You’ll notice something about people who make these kind of gestures; they are happy, surrounded with love and laughter. People who think only about themselves are bitter and lonely. You get out of the world what you put into it and the things you put in feel a thousand times better than what you get back!

+ PAY IT FORWARD

Pay it forward is the concept of paying for the next person’s coffee or food and quickly jetting off so they never get to see who it was. It’s one of the few random acts of kindness that seems almost entirely selfless- as you don’t get to see the result of your act. There have been occasions (like this) where the concept leads to a huge chain of people paying for one another’s drinks, nawwwww!

+ WRITE A STRANGER A POEM

My friend and I recently discussed the idea of writing a short but sweet poem for a stranger while on a train. The idea is that you compliment their aura and look giving them a lasting confidence boost but you quickly hand them the poem while leaving the carriage. This way, awkward questions and looks are avoided. I think this is the sort of thing that stay with a person for years – both the poem on paper and how it made them feel.

+ LEAVE A BOOK

I love the idea of leaving a battered old copy of your favourite book on a bench or bus shelter with a short “please read” note. Use this note to encourage others to pass on their favourite book and this way you can boost a little chain of people within your town or city to do the same cute and creative gesture.

+ HELP THE HOMELESS

I must admit I have a special place in my heart for rough sleepers, people who not only don’t have their own home but whose circumstances have left them alone and sleeping rough in a shop doorway. We have a big problem with homelessness in Leicester and when you start seeing women out there you know that something really needs to be done*.  Approaching these people and making them feel like perhaps they’re not invisible can make a huge different to their mental health (the homeless are 8 times more likely to commit suicide than someone with a home) and rather than giving them change, give them CHANGE. Find out how you can help that specific person, what do they need to get by this week? Buy them a sleeping bag and toothpaste and baby wipes and deodorant instead of just chucking money in their cup and walking away.

+ COMPLIMENT PEOPLE

I recently read that complimenting others is a great way to spread positivity and since trying it myself I haven’t stopped. Whether it’s your colleagues, friends or just a random person in the street, giving a sweet compliment makes you feel better and makes a huge difference to the other persons day. Compliment the way they look or the idea they’ve just given you- people will remember this about you. How many times has a compliment from a stranger stuck with you for a long time? Now imagine how much of a difference you can make to a person with low self esteem – a lot!

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* 71% of the homeless in Britain are men so we tend to notice homeless women more so therefore when there are several women out on the street, you know that there is a BIG issue with homelessness.

 

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