At times I feel that my life is going nowhere. Nothing is happening as it should be. There are so many people who are changing the lives of other people and communities around them. Even I had a plan of opening a charity but I don’t think so that this plan will materialize until my daughter is old enough to understand. This repentance was a regular affair with me.
But suddenly one day, everything in my life changed.
I met with a minor accident on the road and a man came running to help me and my daughter. What if he had not noticed us? What if in spite of noticing us, he would have carried on with his work? It haunted me to the point that i started doing good acts randomly. However, soon this enthusiasm wore off. Then, one day I gave myself a 7-day challenge. This is how I went about to fulfill my 7 day challenge of 7 good acts.
Day 1 – Brighten Someone’s Day
On day one, just try to smile. Smile to that old lady you saw across the street and the sweeper that is clearing up the dustbins. Smile to anyone and everyone. I am surprised when people say that they do not have anything to give. Well, I tell them that they are quite poor then. When I meet someone, I flash across a smile. And I get one in return. The smile is the best thing that God has given me to dole out. I found out that just by giving a smile to unknown people that I meet at grocer’s, in parks and at my daughter’s school, I have made many friends. This is because every good thing begins with a smile. In spite of staying alone the entire day, I do not feel alone. Whenever I am in trouble or feel lonely, there is someone or something that has always made me smile.
When you smile, you give a reason to someone to live. That lady you met at the stairways was going to quit her job because of her indifferent colleagues. But the moment you smiled, she was encouraged to hold it on.
Day 2 – Donating Essentials
On day two, find out what are the essentials that make your life – mine were food (of course), water, and clothes. I cooked some veggies, enough for a small family. Further, I filled empty water bottles that I had and cleared my wardrobe of extra pairs of clothes. Packed all this up and scouted the streets. Earlier, these things would have gone unnoticed by me. But this challenge made me find good acts that I can do. Just when I was thinking of returning, I found out small kids sitting on the street side in this sunny afternoon. They looked famished and I decided to give the food and a bottle of water to them. The smile on their face was priceless. Further, a group of workers were working on a drainage system. I handed them the water bottles and they took a break to drink water. The clothes were given away to a charity I found out near my apartment.
When you give away essentials, it is not necessary to give it away only to a needy person. You can even give them to a person who can afford it otherwise but at point of time, he or she is not able to. Like in my case, the workers who could afford water but were too busy to complete the work.
Day 3 – Cleaning the Clutter
Accept it that clutter is a part of our lives. It is good that you clear up the clutter in your apartment. But, how about helping clear someone else’s clutter? This idea came up to me when I saw a new mom struggle with her baby and her supplies, when I visited her home for some paper work. As it happened to be Sunday the next day, I asked her whether I could help her in organizing her home. She refused earlier, thinking that this would bother me but later, gave in. I visited her the next day and I got a very good friend in her. I even got to play with a cute baby. She thanked me enough but it helped me in organizing my thoughts as well.
This was my favourite in three days – Clearing the clutter. I liked doing it because organizing things is a great stress buster for me.
Day 4 – Take Care of Stray Animals
I am scared of animals, especially the stray ones. I crib about them and run away the scene the moment I spot one. However, to curb this fear, I tried this thing. On Day 4, I decided that I will take care of stray animals. On my way to office, I met a cow that was blocking the street. I got down and gradually made the cow walk across the street in a corner. I even fed some biscuits to stray dogs this day. Feeding biscuits to stray doggies became a habit thereafter. The doggies recognized me when they saw me and even chased me if I didn’t give them something to eat.
I very well understand that stray animals are a menace. However, they need love and care. When we start showing concern towards them, they become docile.
Day 5 – Teach Someone Something
I was pondering on what could be done on day 5. An idea struck me. I rekindled my habit of teaching. It gives me immense joy. Firstly, I taught the daughter of my maid. I asked my maid to drop her daughter in the evening at my place. Due to security reasons, she refused to do this. So, what I did was that I went to her place in the evening while returning from the office. The benefit of this was that I got to teach 4-5 girls in their vicinity too. It was a lovely feeling. They liked spending time with me, but more than that I liked to learn a thing or two from them.
It is not necessary that you teach only alphabets or such things. You can even teach someone how to drive a vehicle or how to operate a sewing machine. Imparting technical knowledge is equally important these days.
Day 6 – Taking Care of Garbage
The surroundings of our residence had been attacked by mosquitoes. I decided that I would try to clean up the mess post the festive celebrations. With the help of my neighbors, I took a tiny step of cleaning up the polythene bags at least. We took a huge bag and started filling it up the used polythene bags. Then, this momentum made us clean up other stuff like waste papers and stuff. Many people joined us in this endeavor and it became quite easy to clean up the area. Post this hard work, there was no dumping of waste near the residence as everyone was too tired to clean up the mess again.
It is easy to keep the home clean, but it is also important that the surroundings are kept clean too.
Day 7 – Share Your Skills
Do you think that charitable organizations just require money? Then you are wrong here. They even need your skills. For instance, I know a doctor who visits an old age home often to give his services for free, when he has some time on his hand. Do not worry in case you are not a doctor. Even if you are an accountant, help such charities manage their finances. And if you think that your profession will be not be useful to such organizations, just like mine is, then just sit with the residents here and share some time with them. I did that on Day 7. Sharing time is the greatest good deed you can do. Talk to them but more than that, listen to them.
I had a wonderful time. I went to a mental asylum. The kids over there had so many stories to narrate. I was inspired to write many stories.
In the End
What do you do when you meet a stranger? How do you react if an unknown person is in trouble? While I am aware that you are too pressed for time to indulge in charities and donations, you can at least do a small good act every day to make your life useful. This 7 day-7 good deeds schedule made me a different person in the end. The good effects rubbed on to my personality and I continued indulging in such activities. In fact, after a few days, I started looking for opportunities where I could be useful. You can try this schedule too. It is not necessary that you adopt the same order or the same activities. Look at your surroundings and find reasons to be useful to your community at large.