Looking for a resolution for the New Year? How about “just say yes!”
While many of us may be glad 2020 is behind us, I think 2021 is likely going to be challenging year as well. It can be easy to look around our altered world, at the fear, the problems, the chaos, and be completely overwhelmed. We often think that big problems require big solutions, but change is often gradual and starts at the individual level – person to person.
Did you know that YOU are uniquely gifted and positioned to help the people in YOUR neighborhood, YOUR team, YOUR program, and YOUR circle of friends in a way that only YOU can.
Have you ever been going through your day and cross paths with a person that feel like you could do something nice for, or do something to help them out? Maybe an idea came to you to share food or money, or simply give a kind word. Have you ever been bothered by a frustrating problem and thought to yourself that there has to be a better way – there has to be something that can be done?
Usually, THE VERY NEXT THOUGHT is one of self-doubt and it talks you out of taking action. Something along the lines of “No, I shouldn’t do that, it might be weird,” “maybe that person doesn’t want help,” “it’s not my place to get involved,” or “I’m sure someone else will take care of that.”
I haven’t typically been one to help strangers. I usually talk myself out of it by quickly dismissing my value in the situation – I can’t help someone with a flat tire (because I’ve never changed a tire), I can’t pull someone out of a ditch (because I don’t know how to) and I don’t really know if giving money to a homeless person will actually help (because I don’t know that it will be spent on the right things), and so on. But I was challenged a couple years ago and have started pushing myself out of my comfort zone.
Last Christmas Eve, my husband, kids and I were driving to my in-law’s house. We stopped to get a coffee and as we were winding back towards the freeway we saw a guy standing near an intersection holding up a sign. We were in the wrong lane to try to give him anything and our light turned green… but my husband and I both felt like we should help. So luckily, we just said yes and quickly pulled into a parking lot. My husband nearly pushed me out of the car and there I found myself running across the road to meet the guy and give him some money. His name was Angel. He, his wife and his kids were living out of their car which was parked in the next parking lot. He had lost his job, they were out of money and he was losing his hope. He started crying. I gave him some money, a hug, shared some encouragement and gave him contact information for SLS… I have a feeling the interaction also gave him just a little bit of hope. Maybe enough to make it through Christmas Eve.
I don’t always get it right, but what I’ve learned when I push myself out of my comfort zone is that I do have something to offer – even if I can’t change the tire, I can stop and make sure the person has a phone and is able to locate help. Maybe I’m not the one to fix the problem in my neighborhood, but I can create relationships and pull people together to solve it as a group.
What would the impact be if we all acted on every thought we had to help someone or fix a problem? One thing we can do is pre-make that decision to pre-empt the thoughts of doubt. Make a decision today to just say yes the next time you have a thought to help, to do something nice for someone, or to step up and fix a problem. Don’t let those thoughts of doubt talk you out of making this world a better place!
Just say yes