We have all seen the November gratitude challenges. Each day you share what you are grateful for in preparation of Thanksgiving. I’ve personally participated in that challenge multiple times throughout the years. However, what if we changed that to a kindness challenge this year?
My kids started a new school this year, thanks to a summer PCS. On the first or second day of school my youngest came home and was so excited to tell me about “filling other’s buckets”. I asked her to explain what that was, and she began telling me that it’s simple. You do or say things to fill other people’s buckets and make sure you don’t take out of their buckets. She said it could be something as simple as opening a door for someone or even praising them for doing good on an assignment. It hit home that she was so excited about something that honestly should be habit for us all.
I understood that in third grade bucket filling was a way to teach their students the habit of being kind to one another. What I didn’t like is that such simple things are no longer a habit for us adults. We get so stuck in our own daily lives that sometimes we forget to just show kindness. Listen, I am guilty of it myself. There are times that I could hold the door open or tell a mom that she’s doing an amazing job even though her kids are screaming in the store.
Instead of showing kindness these days, we tend to judge or get annoyed. I personally struggle with anxiety and PTSD so some might assume I am being rude; however, I am most likely struggling being in public and on the verge of a panic attack instead. I have learned to deal with the comments and looks when I am just rushing out or in a hurry, but those comments stick with me for days. I beat myself up for having the issues that I do and causing them to affect others. You can read more about my PTSD on my post Living With PTSD – Overcoming Daily Struggles.
I say all of that so that you understand that each of us has no idea what anyone else is dealing with. I think we need to spend a little more time on being bucket fillers and not deplete them. So how about instead of a gratitude challenge, we do 25 random acts of kindness challenge this November. Starting today, that’s one act of kindness through Thanksgiving.
Now, I know some of you are saying “I can’t afford that”. However, acts of kindness do not have to cost you money.
Paying for someone else’s coffee or fast food is a nice gesture but it’s not required. I can’t tell you how many moms would love a simple “you got this mama” comment and smile when she is stressing over her kid screaming. Hold the door open for the person walking up instead of ignoring them. A simple smile and hello as you walk by someone can be a big deal as well.
I truly struggle being in stores. Some might wonder why I go at all but I am the only one that can get things done while my husband works and my kids are at school. I make the shopping trip as quick as possible to ensure I don’t have a panic attack and my husband doesn’t have to come pick me up. Almost every time I am in the stores, people are standing in main isles (blocking them) so that they can chat. That’s great for them but it hinders me and causes my anxiety to shoot up. When someone is in the isle and sees me coming so they move to the side, I make it a point to say thank you to them because that is a big deal to me. Seems simple right? To you it is but to me that is a huge act of kindness.
Do you think you can commit to at least one act of kindness a day? I think you can, and I can too. I do think you should track them because it will force you to be accountable. You can use the calendar above or you can just use a notebook to track them. You don’t have to share what the acts are either. It’s for you and for those who receive the kindness. But I think this world needs a lot more kindness right now so let’s be part of it!
With all that said, HAPPY NOVEMBER! I can’t believe 2021 is almost over!