Who Wants To Get High? Giselle Marrinan
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” -Greek Proverb.
Years ago, I saw a movie called ‘Pay It Forward’ which left an indelible mark in my brain. It is about a young student who pays forward favours and starts an unprecedented wave of kindness in his community. A must see!
There is no doubt about it, there is nothing quite like that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you are either the recipient of an act of altruism or the giver, Professor Jennifer Aaker at Stanford Graduate School of Business says ‘Acts of kindness, not only benefit the recipient but also creates a pleasurable “helpers high” that benefits the giver’.
During one of my recent walks down to my favourite park in Rinville, I walked out to the point with a pal and noticed that someone had strategically placed a chair looking out to sea with stones holding it securely in place. The locals love to sit a while and enjoy the view. No one knows who did this, but I am sure many, like myself, have started the conversation about the kindness of the person who must have done it.
So, this idea of altruism got me thinking. How inventive could we all be with this?
I played around with some ideas and those from a website called ‘The Happysmarts’ and here is the list which appealed to me which is a mixture of both my suggestions and theirs:
- If you have apple trees or other fruit in your garden and you have a surplus, rather than letting them go to waste, leave some in a basket outside your house with a wee note to say ‘help yourself’.
- Sign up as a volunteer in your local community to serving lunch once a month to the elderly.
- Give a homeless person a camera and ask them to take a walk with you and shoot the images that they find interesting. Treat them to a good lunch later and find out why they took the picture of the things they did. Develop the pictures and give them copies later.
- Keep an eye out for those in your circle who have gone silent on your radar and connect via phone or face to face. Let them talk.
- Offer to cut an elderly neighbours’ lawn or sweep away the leaves.
- If you have a relative or friend who has meant something to you, sit them down and tell them why they are so special to you. Never wait until it is too late.
- Collect a bunch of flowers, make a bouquet out of it and leave it at a neighbour’s doorstep with a note saying, ‘Thanks for being a great neighbour’.
- Make a CD for a friend with a musical compilation of their favourite songs.
- Offer to help someone carry their shopping to the car.
- If you are in a queue in the supermarket, turn around and talk to the person behind you and or, offer to let them in ahead of you.
- If you have loose change in your pocket when checking out of your hotel room, leave it for the nameless people who tidy your room.
- If someone you know is struggling with a college assignment, offer to give them your input if it is your area of expertise.
- Give a ‘You Matter’ card to those you think may need to hear this. These 2 little words, can mean so much to people. I gave them to the nurses who so tenderly took care of my mum in her last months of life and the reaction from them was huge. In years to come, I am sure they will still have them.
- I know of someone who is leaving positive notes anonymously around the city. You never know who will pick these up and how it will change their day.
The list is endless, but the idea is to have fun with this exercise and be as creative as possible.
As you can see most, if not all these ideas, do not involve large financial outlay but just let others know that you are aware of them. They are more about giving a little bit of your time.
I would love to hear your ideas. Time to get high!
Giselle Marrinan is a Life Coach and the author of the book, ‘Another Zero’ published in December 2018 with The Book Hub Publishing Group.