(Dr. Clayton Lawrence, founder and CEO, shares his thoughts in a weekly column focused on community wellness and inspiring others.)
We’re all busy. Each of us have responsibilities that keep us moving from sun up to sun down. There just isn’t enough time for all the things that need to get done, let alone extra time for the things we want to do. At LEAP Foundation DC, we talk a lot about donating not just financially, but of time and talent. This includes working with students, lending a hand to others and finding a personal way to have an impact on the world. This may sound like a hefty feat, but did you know that your impact can be made with a few small gestures each day?
Making an impact on the world doesn’t require a lot of time; it simply requires you to think selflessly, with an open mind and a giving heart. Not sure how to do this?
Lend a hand
There are so many things that you can be doing throughout the day that could not only make someone else’s day brighter, but encourage others to pay it forward. Consider doing the following today:
- Pay for someone’s restaurant bill
- Allow someone else to step ahead of you in line
- Buy a co-worker lunch
- Leave an encouraging note for someone who needs it
- Carry someone’s heavy bag
- Leave change next to the vending machine
- Tip well
- Invite someone to join you who looks lonely
Help a student
Being a student is hard work. There are not only demands to make the grade, but to develop leadership skills, make good choices, stay healthy and set and reach goals. When a support system is not in place and a strong foundation doesn’t exist, students often fall short of most of these expectations. Be the person a student needs to find the right path to success. You could help by doing the following:
- Offer to help with homework
- Help to organize a daily and weekly agenda
- Be there for the tough discussions
- Show up when you say you will
- Cook dinner or pack a healthy lunch together
- Start a regular workout with one another
- Celebrate success
- Offer thoughts and direction when things don’t go as planned
These suggestions may not seem to make an impact at the time, but it’s what happens later that really counts. Your kind gesture, your supportive words and your willingness to simply be a friend is the most impactful way to make a difference in the world.