It’s an interesting time of year. I always notice how the energy of the holidays is like a can of mixed nuts. There’s the cashews, the sweetness of generosity and giving. The pecans, that wintery nut giving us tradition. The walnuts, ahh, the all knowing ancestors, the family unit, the sense of community. And finally, the peanuts, highly allergenic and full of mycotoxins, symbolizing the mad rush, the panic, the “I have to get this person a gift, because they are getting me one, because what will the think of me if I don’t” kind of attitude. Face it, most of the country wind up being peanuts. I like to think that we who reside in the most radical and conscious area in America are cashews. And, yes, sometimes it’s not that easy.
I am proud to say yesterday, I was a cashew. I went to volunteer at an organization called “Little Brothers” Friends of the Elderly. It is a fantastic, San Francisco based organization that visits the elderly in residences or convalescent homes. These are typically people that wouldn’t otherwise have any visitors at all. Christmas and Thanksgiving are great days to do this, but they need volunteers all year long. When I was waiting in line yesterday, I met a father and son from Moss Beach who was also volunteering as well, they do this each Christmas and after their visit, they take a ton of blankets and jackets that they have collected from friends and family and hand them out in the Tenderloin. A great idea for next year!
But, while we are on the subject of generosity, here are some other suggestions that are anonymous and way fun, those of you who know me can just see me running around giggling like a maniac….
Buy a few individual flowers wrapped nicely and put them on people’s cars in the parking lot. Who doesn’t want to come out to a flower on their car for no apparent reason.
Donate clothes, blankets or food to shelters who to someone you see on the street who looks like they need it.
Be a meter angel and feed people’s meters.
Pick up trash when you see and dispose of it.
Throw money (dollars preferably, coins can be dangerous) out your car window as your driving or just drop some on the pavement as your walking down the street. Very fun! Totally anonymous, leave it up to the universe who will get it, and don’t worry someone will!
Go into the office early and buy breakfast for everyone once a week, but don’t tell anyone it is you. See how contagious it gets when everyone else starts doing the same thing. Hysterical!
As your leaving a cafe or restaurant, ask your waitress if you can pay for someone’s bill and don’t tell them it’s you. I love this one, I always wait by the door and to see their face and then dash out.
Use acknowledgment as your weapon! Call or send a card to a shelter, a free clinic or charity and let them know what a great job you think they are doing and how much their work means to the community.
Now, I’m all jazzed up and hopefully you are too! Here’s the challenge, do something this week (or each week), and share it with us in a post so we can all be inspired! It’s so easy and it really doesn’t need to take a lot of money or time. Thanks for stopping by and have a great and safe New Year!