This article is part of a series of articles to promote Stay Positive: Daily Reminders from Positively Present. For more information on the book, visit StayPositive365.com. For details on how to win this week’s giveaway, scroll down to the bottom of this article.
This week, the Stay Positive giveaways are related to the Productivity and Beauty chapters of the book -- two topics I've been thinking a lot about over the past week or so. With the impact of Hurricane Sandy, so many people on the east coast (particularly in NY and NJ) lost power -- and for most of us, the lack of power means the lack of productivity. When Sandy was heading toward the coast, I'd been gearing myself up for a week (or more!) without power, trying to be as productive as possible in the hours before the storm arrived. Fortunately for me, and for many in the DC area, we never lost power. We didn't feel the wrath of Sandy the way the more northern east coast states did (and still are, in many cases).
Like me, I'm sure many other east coasters were worried about their productivity levels as Sandy approached. (You know how us east coast people are!) But as the storm took place -- and took lives and homes and electricity and hope -- the issue of of productivity became less and less important. With states of emergencies declared up and down the coast, how much work we were going to get done didn't seem to matter. In a matter of hours, priorities shifted dramatically.
A friend of mine heard a NY woman on the news say, "I just want to go home. But I can't." This woman's home had been destroyed, her memories and beloved things drowned in a flood. I cannot imagine not being able to go home. Even when the power is out and it's freezing, it's still comforting to be home. The woman who lost her home is one of many who suffered terribly in the aftermath of the storm. Initial worries about how productive people could be without power were dwarfed by the magnitude of destruction Sandy left in her wake. Concerns about unchecked to-dos and missed meetings were replaced by fear and despair, but also by something else...
Yes, amidst the disaster of Hurricane Sandy, there was beauty. The streets were a mess, the people were dirty, and the air was freezing and wet -- but still, beauty prevailed. They might not have been dressed up in their finest attire, but the people who had been through one of the worst storms were beautiful. They gave their time, their energy, their power (if they had it) to others. They saved people. They donated money. They did beatiful things they didn't have to do because, when the going gets really tough, people get nice.
The true beauty of humanity comes out when things get really bad. Look at the images above. A man saving a dog. A place for people to charge their phones. A whole wall of notes about Sandy. A doctor willing to give free care. All beautiful. And these are just a few of the many, many beautiful and inspiring images I spotted online of people doing kind things for others in the middle of a disaster.
Beauty is usually used to describe outward appearance, but these images reminded me that beauty comes in so many forms. It's not just the way someone or something looks. Beauty can be found in the way people act, in the things they do when they don't have to, in the little acts of kindness shown when disaster strikes.
Seeing the kindness, the beauty, of others during Sandy has been truly inspiring. And it reminded me that we can do beautiful things every day. Be nice. Give what you can. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. All it takes is one small act to bring some beauty into the world. Here are some beautiful things you could do:
- Hold the door for someone with a stroller or lots of bags.
- Donate books you no longer read to your local library.
- Write a kind note to someone you love (or to a stranger!) and post it.
- Sign up to volunteer for a local charity or charity event.
- Call a friend who is stressed and offer some encouragement.
- Smile and say "Good morning!" to someone you don't know.
- Donate $10 to American Humane Society by texting HUMANE to 80888.
- Smile at five (or more!) strangers.
- Let someone go in front of you in line (especially if they're in a hurry!).
- Pick up trash you see lying on the ground (even if it's not yours).
- Purchase and donate food to your local food bank.
- Clean out your closet and donate clothes you no longer wear.
- Say thanks to someone who does you a daily service (mail/trash/etc.).
- Leave a positive comment on a blog or website you really enjoy.
- Do something nice and out-of-the-ordinary for yourself.
- Pay for the person behind you in line or at a toll.
- Donate $10 to American Red Cross by texting REDCROSS to 90999.
It's amazing to see the kindness and beauty that has come out of the people impacted by Sandy, but we don't have to wait for something terrible to happen to be beautiful people. We can do it today. Even if you have no money to donate or no time to spare, there are beautiful things you can do for those around you that are completely free. So don't wait for disaster to strike to do something beautiful; be beautiful now.
STAY POSITIVE GIVEAWAYS!
To promote the launch of Stay Positive : Daily Reminders from Positively Present, PositivelyPresent.com is offering six weeks of giveaways based on the twelve sections in Stay Positive. Each week, readers will have the chance to win one of two awesome giveways.
HOW TO ENTER
1. Link to StayPositive365.com on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr,
Instagram, Google+,etc. and / or tell your friends about the book
2. Mention which giveaway you want to win (Self Love or Motivation)
3. Let me know how you spread the word in the comments section below
4. Leave your email address (or another way I can contact you)
* Every mention you post / tweet / like, etc. counts as one entry.
Enter as many times as you want!
* 2 winners (one for each giveaway) will be chosen + notified via email on
Friday, November 9, 2012.