The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
I had the good fortune yesterday to lunch with two special friends after which we visited a community event that included displays of various organizations that do good work in our city. As we walked and stopped and talked it again became obvious to me that there is something extraordinary about both my friends and the people we met, they all care for others. Of course my pals are always warm, outgoing and caring, I think it is their nature to understand that life can be happy. But now I also think they, like the people we met benefit by the spirit of giving and helping others.
We had eaten our lunch in warm sunshine outside a city market and enjoyed one of my favorite things, watching the world go by. The day was beautiful, the food good, the companionship outstanding but it got even better when we had walked the few blocks to visit the circle in the center of our city where so many were waiting to greet us and others. The smiles and enthusiasm of the people we met sharing with us the opportunities they were offering to people like you and me to do something of value made the day even brighter.
After being there I again understood just how doing something for others can add to our lives and we can even do it without a lot of time and effort. In fact here are some tips offered by author, philosopher, and former Sandra Day O’Conner’s Supreme Court clerk, Gretchen Rubin on doing something nice in only a few minutes
Six tips for good deeds that take less than five minutes.
“Do good, feel good” is one of the great truths of happiness — but you may be thinking, “Sure, good deeds would make me happy, but I barely have time to get through the essentials of my day. I don’t have time to do any good deeds!” Wrong. Here are some ways that you can help other people—and make yourself feel great, at the same time—in under five minutes.
1. Be friendly. I’ve decided that there are five degrees of social interactions with strangers: hostile, rude, neutral, polite, and friendly. I find it very difficult to be downright friendly to strangers, but I always find myself energized and cheered by a friendly interaction. It only takes an extra minute to exchange a few pleasant words, but it makes a real difference.
2. Say “yes.” If you can, and if you should, say “yes.”
3. Say “no.” My sister, who is a TV-writer in Hollywood, once told me, “’Yes’ comes right away; ‘no’ never comes.” Meaning, for example, that when she’s pitched an idea, if she doesn’t hear “yes” right away, it means they don’t like the idea. I’ve found this precept to be widely true. In many circumstances, we find it hard to say "no" — partly because it will hurt someone’s feelings, partly because it closes a possibility that could otherwise remain open. But waiting to hear "no" saps people’s energy by keeping them hoping for an answer they aren’t going to get. If someone is waiting for your “No,” put them out of their misery.
4. Sign up on the national organ-donor registry. This takes no time at all, and the consequences could be HUGE! Tell your family that you signed up, too. Remember, the one minute that someone takes, right now, to sign up on the registry might save YOUR life six months from now. And vice versa.
5. Lead them not into temptation. It can feel generous, friendly, and fun-loving to urge people to take another piece of cake, to drink another glass of wine, or to make an extra purchase, or to urge them to give themselves a break by skipping the gym, skipping class, or quitting smoking next week instead of today. But when you see people truly trying to resist temptation, encourage them to stick to their resolutions.
6. Do someone else’s chore. Don’t you sometimes wish that someone would do one of your little jobs? If nothing else, to show an awareness of the fact that you faithfully do it, day after day? Emptying the diaper pail or starting the office coffee-pot, even though it’s not “your” job, helps people feel appreciated and cared for. One of my Twelve Commandments is to “Spend out,” which reminds me not to keep score, not to focus so much on everything coming out even – like chores.
Just think how much better our days would be if we all followed Gretchen’s advice be caring for ourselves by caring a little bit more for others.
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.
JOB SEEKERS FROM THE PAST
Julius Caesar: My last job involved a lot of office politics and back stabbing. I’d like to get away from all that.
Jesse James: I can list among my experiences and skills: leadership, extensive travel, logistical organization, intimate understanding of firearms, and a knowledge of security measures at numerous banks.
Pandora: I can bring a lot to your company. I like discovering new things.
Lady Godiva: What do you mean this isn’t business casual?
"A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future."
Sidney J. Harris
My sister had been ill, so I called to see how she was doing. My ten-year-old niece answered the phone.
"Hello," she whispered. "Hi, Honey. How’s your mother doing?" I asked.
"She’s sleeping," she answered, again in a whisper.
"Did she go to the doctor?" I asked.
"Yes. She got some medicine," my niece said softly.
"Well, don’t wake her. Just tell her I called. What are you doing, by the way?"
Again in a soft whisper, she answered, "Practicing my trumpet."
One is not rich by what one owns, but more by what one is able to do without with dignity.
To make it possible for everyone to attend church on Sunday, we are proposing to have a special "No Excuse Sunday."
1. Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "But, Sunday is my *only* day to sleep in."
2. They will have steel helmets for those who say, "The roof will cave in if I ever came to church."
3. Blankets will be furnished for those who say it is too cold and fans will be furnished for those who say it is too hot.
4.There will be hearing aids for those who say, "The pastor speaks too softly," and cotton for those who say, "He preaches too loudly."
5. Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list the hypocrites present.
6. Some relatives will be in attendance for those who like to go visiting on Sunday.
7. There will be TV dinners for those who can’t go to church and cook dinner too.
8. Golf clubs will be available for practice swings for those who like to golf on Sunday.
“What do we live for; if it is not to make life less difficult for each other?”
Mary Ann Evans
A doctor told Mrs. Stone to give her husband one pill a day and one drink of whiskey to improve his stamina. A month later when Mrs. Stone came in for another visit, the doctor asked, "How are we doing with the pill and the whiskey?"
Mrs. Stone answered, "Well, he’s a little behind with the pills, but he’s about six months ahead with the whiskey."
I long to accomplish a great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
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The editor is somewhat senile.