Do Kindness And Service Make You A Happier Person

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Service and KindnessFall was definitely in the air this past weekend in DFW. It’s like the universe knows that school is starting so it’s time to get cloudy and cool down. This is the last week in the August task in the Even Happier Quest. I have to admit that the task to Contemplate a Higher Power hasn’t been my favorite in the project.

It’s definitely made me more grateful and focused on the little things in life, but I can’t say it’s made me happier. Some of the other tasks that I’ve tackled have definitely improved my happiness, but this one was just meh. Gratitude and taking time to smell the flowers has made me smile but not that fist pumping, jump up and down kind of smile.

Maybe my expectations were too high and I should adjust them and be grateful for smiles along the way. As I mentioned in the first post of the month…

Gratitude, mindfulness, service, enthusiasm, humility, selflessness, faith,
and kindness are among the virtues emphasized in a spiritual practice.

I’ve accomplished gratitude, enthusiasm, and mindfulness with success. See the enthusiastic rock climbing adventure that was accomplished last week. As the last part of the task, I decided to focus on service and kindness while contemplating a higher power. About five years ago, an assisted living home was built about a quarter mile from my house. The home is specifically for those with Alzheimer’s which is a pretty vicious disease that strikes those that aren’t necessarily of advanced age.

I pass the home at least twice a day in the car, and I also walk Thing Two past it daily. One thing that has always stood out to me is the lack of cars in the parking lot. On a busy day, there are maybe 5 cars at most in the lot. Usually it is less – 2 – 3 cars. Every day, even at peak visiting hours. This is a pretty large facility and I would assume that there are nurses, cooks, and other staff on duty at any given time.

I’ve always wondered where are the cars of the family members? Are the residents just left there alone without visitors? This has always bothered me so it’s time I do something about it. I’m going to walk over without Thing Two and ask if I can visit with the residents at a time that’s convenient. Hopefully they will allow me to spend some time and brighten up their day even if it’s just for a short time.

My grandmother suffers from dementia (not Alzheimer’s related) and they chose to keep her in her own home so that her confusion is less. Imagine struggling with memory issues and then having everything around you change too. That’s got to be rough for all involved. Hopefully I’ll be able to spend some time with the residents and provide a bit of companionship while I’m there.

It will also be good for The Kid and start her on the road to compassion for others. I’ll let you know how it goes. Have you ever done volunteer work in an assisted living facility, homeless shelter or something similar?

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