“I will never forget where I was the day the Twin Towers collapsed.”

I think many can agree with this statement. For me? I had just started my freshman year of college and was getting ready for class. The dorm was full of people frantically calling their families and crying. You see, just because we weren’t there doesn’t mean it didn’t affect us too. It changed the world as we knew it. Before this life-changing event, I felt like the United States was invincible and nothing like this would ever happen to us. It seems like ever since that day I felt more vulnerable and reality set in; there are no exceptions when it comes to tragedies.

I think we can all relate to different horrific events that can happen in our life. Whether it’s losing a friend or family member, closing your business, your house catching fire or any other loss that affects you deep within your soul; it changes things. It opens us up and reveals just how human we are. I hate to start out so grim, but I say all of this in hopes that you can relate and want to have a hand in changing the way of our world.

Gandhi quote

There can be so many negatives in life with the news, cyber bullying or even the gossip magazines on the racks. I’m sure some of you might be asking, “How can I, one person, change the world?”

I say we start by treating the month of September as a month of good deeds. For any of the readers that are in the workforce and don’t know about 9/11 Day, I encourage you to read up on it and have your company participate. You can read all about 9/11 day by visiting www.911day.org. This 9/11 day doesn’t just pertain to businesses though. I thought I would share a few ideas of what “giving back” really means in our world today. I can tell you now that all ages can participate and some of the deeds might not even seem like deeds at all. Sometimes it can be a nice gesture. In the world of social media, a lot of times we miss out on that personal connection and forget to look up from our computer screens or cell phones and give our undivided attention to someone. Believe it or not that can make someone’s day. You know what that means? You just “gave back” to the universe. Good for you! I encourage all of you to read the suggestions below to inspire you to do 30 days of good deeds.

  1. Open the door for other patrons
  2. Buy gift cards to a coffee shop and pass them out to strangers
  3. Pay for someone’s toll behind you in line or maybe even a meal in the drive-through line
  4. Offer to babysit for free
  5. Pick up litter in your neighborhood, park or streets
  6. Sweep local businesses’ sidewalks
  7. Take goods to the humane society
  8. Smile at every person you come in contact with…maybe even say hello! 🙂
  9. Pay for someone’s gas at the next pump
  10. Donate goods to Goodwill or The Salvation Army
  11. Send “thank you” cards to veterans or active military
  12. If you’re handy, visit a store or neighbor’s house and offer to fix anything they might need help with
  13. Leave inspirational quotes on public mirrors or tables
  14. Give a generous tip
  15. Volunteer at a retirement facility
  16. Offer to mow someone’s yard or rake the leaves
  17. Give your already read newspaper or magazine to a neighbor that doesn’t have one
  18. Bake something and take it to work for your co-workers
  19. Give a compliment to a stranger
  20. Assist a friend if they are moving
  21. Let someone go ahead of you in line
  22. Ask someone how their day is going
  23. Give someone a ride to work or anywhere else they might need to go
  24. Dedicate a day to shop local businesses
  25. Donate books
  26. Send flowers to someone
  27. Send a card to someone “just because”
  28. Collect all of your spare change for a period of time and then give it to someone in need
  29. If you’re the owner or person in charge of a business, dismiss your employees a little early one day
  30. Spend a whole weekend “unplugged” and enjoy it with your friends and family.

I hope these 30 days of giving back inspire you to give it a try and start changing the world by one smile at a time.