We often take life for granted, not realising how fortunate we are in so many small and simple ways. We wake up in the morning and open our taps to find clean, safe drinking water, take a shower with running water in our taps and make a hot cup of tea. We wake up in a warm cosy bed; we step out into a warm room, having the ability to switch on the heating at our convenience. We can walk on the streets feeling safe and have the freedom to express our opinions in a society where freedom of speech is valued.
However, have we ever stopped to think what life would be like if we did not have access to such basic rights? We regard access to clean water, a good education and healthcare system, to live in an area feeling safe and secure as basic human rights. Unfortunately, millions of people around the world are not so lucky.
We can share our good fortune with the less fortunate in ways that bring us great self-satisfaction and benefit. When we help others our brains release the hormone oxytocin, a ‘feel-good’ hormone, this allows us to feel loved and valued. This plays an important role in our health and well-being through social bonding.
In this article, we will explore some simple ways in how to share our good fortune with others and benefit from the ‘good’ feeling.
Simple Acts of Kindness
We do not have to go to great lengths to help others feel good, simple acts of kindness can help people in their daily lives. You can perform these acts without a lot of effort on your part:
Smile at a passer-by – Today’s technologically globalised world has meant social isolation is on the rise, people are feeling greatly disconnected from one another. This has played a role in feelings of reduced mental health and well-being. The social act of smiling could be such a small effort from your part but for the receiver it could play such an important role in lifting their spirits, helping them to feel part of the larger society. In some cultures smiling is an act of charity which should be shared abundantly.
Say hello – Greeting someone or asking how they are, especially for a homeless person, maybe the only communication they have with people all day. Taking a moment out of your busy lives to ask someone, even a fellow colleague, how they are, can lead to opening channels of communication for yourself and the other.
Buy a hot drink for a homeless person – homelessness is on the rise, it doesn’t matter where you live, it is inevitable you will come across a person made homeless through unfortunate circumstances. Buying them a hot drink or a sandwich every now and then is a great way to help the needy in our society.
At times, we all seem to feel consumed by life’s demands on our time and energy, if we are not careful this can lead to burn out. Including recreational and social activities in our lives is a sure way to take the reins of our life into our own hands, to feel in charge of life rather than feel controlled by life. One of the best ways is to volunteer with a charity or a cause you feel passionate about. This way you will be helping the needy as well as ensuring you live your life by your own rules. Undertaking an activity which is rewarding is a great way of maintaining good health and well-being.
Befriend an Elderly
The elderly are one of the most vulnerable members of our society. At one stage in their lives, they were fit and healthy, leading productive lives. Unfortunately, age has an effect of deteriorating their physical abilities. Many elderly people still feel mentally capable of living a rich life but physically their bodies won’t support them. The elderly can feel very isolated in their homes or in care homes, a weekly visit would greatly uplift their spirits and give them something to look forward to.
You can enquire about an elderly neighbour, pop in to say hello, or play a game of cards with them. This can add great cheer to their lives.
Donate to Charity
Donating to a charity is a sure way of helping the needy. You can declutter your house, the kitchen or the garage and donate the goods to a local charity that can support the needy. Donating warm clothes to charities for the homeless, especially in the winter, is a sure way of keeping a homeless person or the family warm this winter.
Donating money to a charity is also a great way of ensuring people in your hometown and abroad, in countries such as Yemen, could be supported with basic amenities necessary for their survival, for example, access to safe, clean drinking water, healthcare and education.
Sponsor an Orphan
According to UNICEF statistics, there are 140 million orphans in the world. By supporting an orphan through a monthly donation you can ensure that at least one child is provided with shelter, education and healthcare as well as a loving foster carer. Imagine the ‘feel-good’ feeling this act of kindness and fortune sharing can bring.
We can do so many simple acts of kindness that can support people who find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. Spreading our fortune is so very easy; it ensures not only our mental health and well-being but also contributes to our society in general and humanity at large. I hope these simple acts will help you live richer and fuller lives.