Big picture problems seem daunting: terrorism, genocide, oppression, etc. By default, we fall into a place where we feel helpless. We think: how can I do anything that will have an effect on this very large issue?
However, you don’t have to make a grand gesture to do something good for the world. In fact, it can be the smallest, simplest act or gesture. It is absolutely free to help spread love throughout this beautiful place that we have the privilege to call our home. Let me show you how.
This week, Aaron posed a new and creative challenge to us. He wanted us to understand this concept that I’m getting at- the idea of just how simple it is to help someone else. So, at the beginning of our two and a half hour class, he passed out $5 to each of us along with post-it notes. We were all quite confused but knew that he was definitely onto something (seriously, you should have seen how giddy he was with excitement for this challenge)!
Aaron told us to take the $5 and to go do something kind with it by the end of our class period. The purpose for the post-it notes was to leave kind messages wherever we felt. Here’s the thing: while $5 is just $5 to most of us, it can actually make a significant difference to someone else. While, yes, post-its do cost something, the idea behind this portion of the challenge is that it’s absolutely free to say something nice to someone else.
In order to complete the challenge, I combined my $5 with three of my friends in the class. So, we had $20 in total to do something good with. We really wanted to give the most good and spread the most love that we could possibly could. So, it took some brainstorming and creative thinking, but we finally came up with a plan for the $20.
We took our $20 to a local grocery outlet. A grocery outlet is a place where groceries are sold for much cheaper than they would be in a big chain grocery store. Once we got there, we divided into two teams, meaning that each group now had $10 of the collective $20. We ended up giving $10 to two separate families whom we encountered in the store. While I could go into much greater detail about this experience, I’m going to spare you. I would rather you go out and find the same feeling that I felt. This feeling I’m talking about is literally indescribable. Even if I tried to put it into words, it wouldn’t really do the experience justice.
At the end of the day, the point is that it’s really EASY to help other people. While you can do many good things for other people with a simple $5, you can also spread love for free. It takes absolutely no money at all to be a decent human being. It costs you $0.00. I would argue, in fact, that you’re actually gaining something in return for being a good person. You gain an inner peace, a feeling of love, and a full heart. You will actually get more in return for spreading goodness and love, free of charge, without spending a single dollar.
Haven’t you ever just had a terrible day and simply a smile exchanged with a stranger or someone holding your door for you made you feel better? Then, you proceeded to smile at a stranger or hold the door for someone else because you wanted to make someone else feel better too. This is what I’m talking about. Love is contagious. Aaron passed it onto us in that classroom, we passed it onto the families in the grocery outlet, and I’m sure that those families passed it along as well.
If we all just shared a little more love, imagine what our world would look like. I’m not suggesting that these big picture issues (terrorism, genocide, oppression, etc.) would be fixed overnight. However, if we could all spread a little more love, I strongly believe that the world would be a better place.