By Madeleine Darowiche, Teens Take Charge Advisory Council Member
How did you spend Valentine’s Day? Were you thinking about cards, chocolate, and flowers? I have come to find that Valentine’s Day is about much more than what meets the eye. The true meaning of Valentine’s Day is often overshadowed by all that commercialized hype; it really entails showing love and appreciation to everyone, not just people closest to you. If it makes you feel good to shower those closest to you with love and gifts, think about how great it would feel to spread that love around a little with even more people. It also means showing this love and appreciation throughout the entire year, not just for one day in February.
This year Valentine’s Day fell within Random Acts of Kindness Week (February 10th-16th). I would like to make a special call to action this year. This year I encourage everyone to participate in Random Acts of Kindness YEAR – intentionally perform an act of kindness every day for the rest of the year. Try to show someone, anyone, how much you care – family, friends, romantic partners, business partners, teammates, and even that random person on the street. It is a win-win situation. They care that you took the time to reach out and be kind, while you are left with a nice feeling in your heart knowing you did something kind for someone else. Nothing can match the feeling of knowing you went the extra mile for someone. Actions do not have to be elaborate, they can be as simple as giving a smile to someone who seems down. Make it your most meaningful random act of kindness yet! Your actions may not seem like much, but to the person on the receiving end, that deed can really make their day.
Here is a list to get you started. Good luck in your efforts!
Random Acts of Kindness within the hydrocephalus community:
If you know someone with hydrocephalus, but you have not talked to them in a while, reach out to them to see how they are doing. With today’s technology you are not limited to just sending a card, which is great! You can text them, call, email, Facebook message, tweet or connect with them on social media. The options are endless!
Do you have a special doctor who has been there for you throughout your hydrocephalus journey? Send them a card expressing your gratitude for what they do for you.
If you know fellow teens or young adults with hydrocephalus, encourage them to get involved with the Hydrocephalus Association’s Teens Take Charge (TTC) program. You can connect with others on TTC’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
In addition, TTC is always interested in featuring guest bloggers on their website. Write a monthly blog yourself…and then invite a friend to do one! For more information on TTC, please contact Jennifer@hydroassoc.com.
Random Acts of Kindness at school or in your community:
- Pay someone a genuine compliment.
- Break away from your normal lunchtime routine and eat lunch with someone new.
- Send someone a handmade card; store-bought cards are nice, but most people really do appreciate the extra effort that goes into handmade cards.
- Bring cookies or other sweet treats to school and cheerfully hand them out to classmates and school faculty.
- Lend a classmate a pen or pencil if they do not have one.
- Let a classmate go ahead of you in the lunch line.
- Write a thank you letter to your favorite teacher and tell them how much you appreciate him and/or her. Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up soon!
- Express your appreciation to your school’s Principal, office staff, custodians, or cafeteria workers by sending a thank you note or putting up thank you signs throughout your school. It is easy to forget, but they do so much to help.
- Tutor a friend or younger student who might be struggling in a particular subject that you excel in.
- Shovel a neighbor’s driveway or sidewalk.
- Donate unwanted or unused clothes to charity.
- Thank your parents. It is a simple thing, but sometimes as teenagers, it’s hard to remember to do that every day.
- Do a chore without being asked – wash the dishes, vacuum, make a meal, pick up your room, clean the bathroom, or buy groceries.
- Volunteer within your community.
If you do just one thing, it can change someone’s life. You never know! Are YOU up for the challenge?
“No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted.” – Aesop