Texas resident Julie Young gathered her children around the fireplace and huddled together. They were layered in all the clothes they could manage and took turns warming their pet gecko. Day two of no power was starting to feel overwhelming.
So they hung a poster and labeled it “Snowpocalypse Blessings Chart.” The mood in the frigid home was transformed. After seeing their own blessings, the family began reaching out to help others also in need. Julie said that although the freeze in Texas was a challenging time, the family’s relationships and the service exchanged within those relationships, have been the silver lining.
The Benefits of Relationships
Looking outside of yourself—especially in your hardest moments—will allow you to discover the power of relationships. It fulfills your inner desire for connection and helps you develop respect for those with differing opinions and values. A solid support system and new friendships can be found when you prioritize helping others.
The benefits of service in relationships extend to physical and emotional health. The Harvard Women’s Health Watch reported: “People who have satisfying relationships . . . are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
There is something inherently spiritual behind connecting with other people. Relationships remind you that everyone is interconnected. A simple stroke on a canvas isn’t nearly as impressive as the hundreds of tiny details coming together for the final product. Similarly, when you work together with your community, family, or close friend to serve others, you create something truly beautiful, greater than the sum of its parts. Combining your efforts and reaching out with kindness allows you to make a greater impact and share more light.
Your Daily Dose of Service
You don’t have to travel the world building shelters or helping with food shortages to make a positive difference. (Although props to you if this is your thing!) Simple acts of service in your own home or community will give you a renewed perspective in the relationships you already have.
When you try to center your daily goals around helping others, you can find balance in life. Imagine how powerful this simple change can be. If each person looked for an opportunity to show kindness every day, our world would be a very different place.
There are people hurting all around you. Think of something innovative you could do that would alleviate their burden. Not every hurting person needs a plate of cookies delivered to their door. (They would probably find an extra fridge more useful because of all the meals people will deliver!) What could really help? Perhaps you could send them a funny video, give them a puzzle, or play music for them.
If you’ve recently experienced someone else’s creative gesture—start a list! As you brainstorm out-of-the-box ideas, you’ll see opportunities to share in a creative way.
So, let’s try it. Take a moment of quiet and listen to your inner voice. When you ask yourself who needs your attention, who comes to mind? Write down a simple way to serve that person today.
Try this exercise again tomorrow. As you plan your days, reflect on the people in your life and create space to share your love with them. Don’t let the negative voices of the world convince you that we live in a divided world and that all hope is lost. Fulfilling relationships can be created and sustained. And they will be—one kind gesture, one person, one act of service at a time. It starts with you. Are you in?