What About The Other 364 Days?

Tomorrow is “Make a Difference Day.” It’s not a national holiday or anything … it’s a day that USA Weekend Magazine has designated as a day to help others (always the fourth Saturday in October). People all over the United States are making an event out of helping others. Some of the projects might even win a cash award from Newman’s Own and get national headlines. Don’t get me wrong … I think it’s marvelous incentive to get people involved … but what about the rest of the year?

According to the USA Weekend Magazine website : “In 2009, 3 million people cared enough about their communities to volunteer on that day, accomplishing thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.” Imagine what we could do if all of those people who got involved for one day carried that over to EVERY day!

Being part of a big community project is a marvelous thing, but the act of giving — of making a difference — should be as natural to us as breathing. We need to reach past our differences and reach out to each other.

reaching out

It doesn’t take that much to make a difference!

  • The simple act of opening a door for someone and offering a smile makes a difference. Try it and see.
  • Let someone merge into the lane of traffic. You’d want them to do it for you!
  • Tote the trash cans for an elderly neighbor. It might make all the difference in their day! While you are at it, offer to pick up some groceries for that elderly neighbor when you are on the way to the store. Check on them when the weather is inclement to make sure their home is a comfortable temperature. Or, drop off a plate of chicken and dumplings (in a container they can freeze) when you make a big batch.
  • Offer to babysit for a single mom. Or, buy her some diapers. Make sure her kids have warm coats and school supplies. Is Santa going to be able to make it to their house this year?
  • When you see someone at the store counting pennies to buy milk and bread, drop a five dollar bill on the floor and say, “I think you dropped this” and walk away.
  • Don’t walk past that McDonald’s bag that someone tossed near the trash can on the street. Bend down and pick it up … it’s good exercise.

The list could go on ad infinitum. In fact, why don’t you leave a comment with a suggestion or two?

On Make A Difference Day, don’t hesitate to join with others to volunteer for a good cause. But, remember that we can “make a difference” in our world every doggone day. We just have to open our eyes to the possibilities.

“We must become the change we want to see in the world.”
~~Mohandas Gandhi

Let’s make a difference 365 days out of the year.

  8 comments for “What About The Other 364 Days?

  1. October 22, 2010 at 5:58 am

    This is beautiful Shelly, and you are right on. I like the bumper sticker, “Practice simple acts of kindness”
    Too many people equate kindness with weakness, but it is the giving of ones self to others that make us all strong.

    peace.

    • October 25, 2010 at 6:27 pm

      Thanks, Joe. I’ve always thought that showing kindness was an act of strength. Sometimes it takes all the strength one can muster.

  2. October 22, 2010 at 7:36 am

    Shelly, this is a message that needs to be circulated today and every day. I’m always amazed by how often something as simple as a smile gets repeated on the faces all around. A few minutes to lend a helping hand can brighten the world in so many ways.

    • October 25, 2010 at 6:28 pm

      I notice you spreading a message of peace yourself these days :-). I love that you are gearing up for November 4th.

  3. October 22, 2010 at 11:47 am

    What a great inspirational post – and something we all need to do more often. In the words of St. Francis – “It’s in giving that we receive.”

  4. October 24, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    I love that quote by Gandhi.
    I don’t think I do something good every day…unless you count the number of times I don’t say what I want to or don’t do what I would really like to do…which would not be positive. So it could be considered like I’m helping. 🙂
    I do think that holding the elevator door, saying hello, letting people go in before me are nice things to do. Doing the dishes so my boyfriend doesn’t have to.
    But it shouldn’t have to be a special day. These things should be done every day.

    • October 25, 2010 at 6:37 pm

      We’ll count when you don’t do what you’d really like to do :-). I agree. The little things can be done every single day. Keep it up (I heard your boyfriend say so, too :-))

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