13 Steps From Selfish To Selfless With 30 Steps Of Free To Freedom
We as humans are an interesting lot. You never know which child you’ll get at any given moment of any given day. I personally have come to find that at different stages we all return to the early teen years which are strikingly similar to the toddler years in many ways, but that gives me hope because I know that this too shall pass.
One characteristic of the middle school set (at the least the girl side of it) is the propensity toward selfishness. There is a lot of thinking about THEMSELVES; what they’re going to wear, what their hair looks like, what someone else’s hair looks like compared to their hair, who their friends are, who likes them, who they like… I’m pretty sure it’s “normal” and I’m PRETTY SURE we all grow out of it. That said, when a “normal” American girl wants to spend her 13th birthday planning & performing random acts of kindness with a group of her friends and then they all actually have FUN doing it, it’s pretty heartwarming and even more heartwarming when we’ve grown, life has taken direction and somewhere the child inside is lost.
Make time for the following: gather blank note cards & envelopes, a roll of quarters, gently used blankets, jackets & shoes, canned food and $100.00 so you’re already armed with a few ideas. Decide to write notes to leave wherever you’re adventures take you… over 65 notes of kindness and encouragement when you are finished.
You will start really paying attention to people… cashiers on a smoke break, the custodian at the shopping center, parents with crying babies, children on the playground. Here is the list of 13 things to become the best you with each act of random kindness:
1. Leave handwritten notes in cards on park benches, cars and restaurant tables. Get really bold and start handing them to people you feel led to encourage or thank personally (“Thanks for working at my favorite store. You do a good job and I love this place.”).
2. Hand out water bottles to joggers, walkers & bike riders (a favorite is the lady whose job it is to stand on the side of the road and wave at cars to advertise a new pizza place. She was quite the dancer and had worked up quite a sweat!)
3. Load quarters into soft drink, gumball and game machines at a grocery store.
4. Dropp off blankets, jackets & shoes at the homeless shelter.
5. Donat canned food items to the local food pantry.
6. Tape microwave popcorn bags to Redbox Movie machines.
7. Pay for someone’s ticket at the movie theater (have fun secretly watching the guy’s reaction when the ticket master tells him his ticket has been paid for).
8. Drop change around a playground for children to find.
9. Hand out balloons to little children shopping w/ their parents.
10. Purchase & donate coloring books and crayons to the waiting room at the hospital.
11. Leave tokens for games taped to notes on games in the arcade.
12. Leave dollar bills in your favorite books at the book store (I originally wanted to do this at the library but it was closed).
13. Buy $5 gift cards and hand them to people walking into Starbucks or your favorite coffee place, your favorite restaurant or even your favorite fast food place.
The day ended with a bonfire on the beach complete with roasting hotdogs and ‘smores. Several of the girls declared it was “one of the best birthday parties ever!” and asked their parents if they could celebrate their next birthdays the exact same way! *Success*
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