Doing Good Together: 50 Family Acts of Kindness
By Sarah Aadland, Doing Good Together™
If you’re awake and near a screen, it’s likely you’re feeling a sense of urgency. The endless connectivity of our devices can’t help but give us an endless feeling of lagging behind. Whether your anxiety is generated by an overflowing workload, bulging schedule or the ongoing parade of alarming headlines, now is a great time to take a breath. Find your inner quiet, and focus on family acts of compassion right in your own community.
Kindness is a powerful antidote to anxiety, and stepping away from the noisy aggravations of screen time is a healthy move for kids and adults alike. Doing Good Together has followed the research on this for a long time.
We know that keeping screens in their place makes you feel better. And we know that when people feel daunted by everyday life, doing good for those in need may be the best first step. Emerging research suggests that volunteering measurably improves our physical and mental well-being.
Sharing compassion with others meets critical needs in our communities, even as it heals our spirits. With each act of service, our families can be a force for love and kindness, helping to heal our fractured country and connect meaningfully with those around us. Along the way, our children will discover what it means to live an engaged and compassionate life.
Doing Good Together offers many ways to get involved, feel better and make a difference as a family. It’s all part of what we call a kindness practice. By starting a kindness practice, your family commits to bringing a sense of compassion to simple, everyday habits. It also will inspire your family to share intentional acts of service in your spare time, whether that is five minutes or a week-long service vacation. Through a family kindness practice, you might employ DGT’s conversation starters and extensive book lists to discuss big ideas with respect and curiosity.
Give it a try and start your commitment to kindness right now! Here are a few tools to get you started:
1. Put one of these 50+ Family Acts of Kindness on your calendar.
Schedule a specific time to do good together or browse our projects, each with its own set of conversation starters, book recommendations and instructions.
2. Create distraction-free family time.
If you’re feeling stressed, a little screen-free family time is a powerful tool to renew your sense of connection and joy. You could:
– Banish screens from the dinner table.
– Do something joyful together, like trying an outside activity, family game night or creative service project together.
– Refine your media diet. Be careful to choose – and subscribe to – news sources you trust. Turn to social media with intention (set a specific time) and once there, be social and courteous.
3. Nurture big-hearted daily habits.
Our newsletter Live Kind: Compassion as a Way of Life offers tips to make the daily routines of family life a little more compassionate.
4. Read widely together.
Great literature is a wonderful way to be still together while providing a creative backdrop for a conversation about big ideas. You may enjoy books from our Read Together Collection. Strive to choose a wide variety of titles that introduce many different issues, themes and life experiences.
Whatever you do, do good.
Even in the best of times, the world can feel full of impossible problems. If we let the sheer enormity of them overwhelm us, we can no longer be a part of the solution.
If instead, we do what good we can for those around us, we will make an impact; if we share kindness widely, we will make an impact. If we approach others with curiosity and compassion rather than fear and judgment, we will make an impact.
“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”
– Edward Everett Hale
Together, let’s each do the something we can do, as author Edward Everett Hale said, and bit by bit our communities and our world will grow a little more big-hearted each day.
This post was originally published on Doing Good Together’s website and is re-published with permission. Doing Good Together™ is a Minneapolis-based national nonprofit that works to make volunteering and service, along with daily kindness, easy for every family.