As I reflect on 2017, I am proud of myself. I’ve never been one to keep New Year resolutions for more than a month. I was one of those people that had eventually turned my nose up at the concept of New Years resolutions, because deep down, I knew I wouldn’t keep them, and I didn’t want to have something to feel guilty about. But last year, I made them anyway. It started with a decision to get healthy, as I’m sure most of you who know me or have been following my blog already know. But a few weeks into my health journey, I started feeling so good physically, that I had a mental shift as well.
I (subconsciously) started being more empathetic, positive, and uplifting toward others. I didn’t gossip about people every time I got together with friends. I didn’t rant about the injustices of life or how the world has gone to crap on social media anymore because honestly, what good is that doing anyone anyway? Instead, I chose to see the good in people. I chose to be kind. I promoted the things I loved on social media, like healthy living, family, and adoption, instead of the things I hated.
“Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.”
Now, being positive on social media, doesn’t mean I was being fake. Life is hard sometimes (a lot of times), so I still kept it real with my friends and followers… we had a miscarriage this year, and it was definitely not the best time of our lives. But I chose to see the light in the darkest of times, and I think that made all the difference. And I know it made all the difference for a lot of people who had also experienced miscarriage. How? Because they told me it did. Having that community and support system of people praying for us was incredible.
I believe this world, and particularly social media, could use a little more kindness. There’s so much negativity, darkness, and despair. As Christians, it is our duty to be a light in that darkness.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of the darkness into His wonderful light.” – 1 Peter 2:9
So this year, I’d like to step it up a notch, and I hope you will join me.
I want to start a movement called #BeTheLight where people just simply make it a point to be more kind in 2018.
Here are some ways you can join us:
- Write a note of encouragement to someone.
- Leave positive and uplifting notes around your community (e.g. in a library book or menu, at the post office, on the cough medicine bottle at the pharmacy, etc. Be creative!)
- Reply to texts – remember, annoying or not, there’s a real person behind that screen.
- Show gratitude to someone.
- Offer to help an elderly neighbor with chores.
- Promote someone’s small business.
- Give someone a meaningful gift.
- Talk to the person sitting alone at social events.
- Spread awareness about a cause you believe in.
- Raise funds for that cause.
- Pay for someone’s meal.
- Offer to babysit for any struggling parents you know (for free, obviously).
- Be patient with your waiter/waitress/cashier. Ask them how they are doing.
- Volunteer your time.
- Donate clothes to someone in need instead of selling them on Facebook (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
- Be intentional about including people.
- Offer compliments to strangers.
- Send flowers to someone who’s having a hard time.
- Tell people the good you see in them.
- Give someone a copy of your favorite book.
- Thank a soldier, police officer, firefighter, etc. for their service.
- Make dinner for a busy family or sick friend.
- Take a sweet treat to the teachers at your local schools.
- Pick up trash and put it where it belongs.
- Smile at people as you walk by.
- Take an old friend to coffee.
- Visit a nursing home resident (family, or not).
- Donate to someone trying to go on a mission trip.
- Fill up someone’s gas tank.
- LOOK for ways to show kindness to people around you every single day!
Some of these things you may already be doing, but I encourage you to pick at least 3 ways to be intentionally kind this New Year. I can guarantee that if you stick with it, your 2018 will be the best year yet!