I am a ridiculously nice man I know this. Until… The following is a true story.
My Google Home device: *ding* I have a reminder for Scott
Me: Hey, Google, what’s up?
My Google Home: I have a reminder called you have a doctor’s appointment in 4 days.
Me: thank you, Google.
My Google Home: thank you for thanking me. I guess we are caught in a thanks loop…
I think I broke my Google home device.
I believe the key to happiness is genuinely twofold. First, you must wear a smile and have gratitude for everything in life, whether big or small. This attitude means no matter what happens, keep a positive outlook and always have a sparkling sunny disposition. Second, when you need help and require assistance, people will be willing to assist you if you are gloriously glowing. Grumpy Gus’s get bitter rejection when support is needed the most, so no sourpuss faces on your mug.
My experience shows most people fear those who are different as they fit into the others category. Individuals who walk with a wobble, use canes, forearm crutches, or even use wheelchairs get shunned and chagrined. However, those of us who ambulate using these methods are the ambassadors of the disabled, meaning we need to put our best foot forward. We need to prove we should not be rejected and neglected but deserve the same respect as everyone else.
The second part is subjective yet more critical, in my opinion, which is to help people before they ask for any assistance. To insert true happiness into the mess we call society, I say pay it forward by helping others even when they cannot help you back. Asking is the hardest part of need, so if we can stand out to show we care for a stranger, it makes us better people. Be aware you do not have to do anything outside of your comfort zone. The list of volunteering options is just as long as the non-volunteering items that are desired. A kind word, an offer to do the dishes, a ride, a smile, and these seemingly simple stunts may seem silly but may mean the world to the recipient.
When I was growing up, my family was lower middle class, although we were a hare’s breadth away from being poor. Unfortunately, our family held onto the title of the lower middle class like it was the last Twinkie at a Weight Watchers meeting. My mother, a single parent, worked a full-time job and went to college, so we rode that tightrope between poor and poor-ish for seven years.
We were low-income, but I had no idea what being poor meant until I met some genuinely poor people in high school. I was not afraid to make friends with anyone, including those shunned and socially shamed because of their appearance or clothing. I made good friends with those who were the real impoverished individuals in high school. Freshman through senior year was the most challenging years for a kid to hide the family’s financial footing. So I had both rich and poor friends though I learned the most about life and the real meaning of friendships from those with the least.
I learned from seeing this downtrodden lifestyle and how some of my friends did not work so their parents could do so. Most days, Jim needed to watch his younger siblings because his parents could ill-afford decent childcare. I quickly realized that when we were going to eat fast food, Jim could not buy food for lunch. I did not want them to feel bad and look needy if I only bought food for him. The solution was to pay for the group as not to single out the most disadvantaged amongst us. It felt good to do good for others without making Jim feel embarrassed or ashamed for not contributing financially. My action was done with no expectation of payback, thus I began a life of utilizing opportunities to pay it forward or daily acts of kindness.
My mom tells me I am merely leading by example, yet I genuinely hope people are willing to follow suit. I understand not everyone can afford to do a lot, but little acts of kindness make a difference in this bitter-filled world. So the next time you are out at your favorite coffee place, buy a coffee for a stranger or do some other random act of kindness. I guarantee you it will make them feel good, but it will give you an incredible feeling as well. On the other hand, if someone does something kind for you, be gracious and say thank you while consider paying it forward.
Be the change in the world that you want to see- Gandhi.