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We Need Mindful Heroes Now

by Dr Kathleen Hall

A lot is going on in the world today. Divisive rhetoric, fear, and ignorance have caused harm within our communities, our country, and our world. Many of us have focused on creating barriers between us instead of focusing on what unites us. Right now, the world needs more than just peace for the holidays. It needs compassion, humility, kindness, and good deeds. This year, it’s time for all of us to listen to our higher angels. With a plan and determination, a team of Mindful Heroes can do wonders.

Calling All Mindful Heroes

A Mindful Hero can be a vast number of things. Over the years, the Mindful Living Network has highlighted a Nobel Prize laureate and activist, an innovator, and wealthy NFL players giving back to the community. But being a hero doesn’t necessarily mean making a huge courageous or financial gesture. You don’t have to be a Nobel laureate like Malala Yousafzai to transform a person’s life. Simply helping others with what you have right now is enough. So, why not give it a try this holiday season? Give not just money, but your time and skills as well. When you help others, you experience what scientists call “Helper’s High.” You increase oxytocin, dopamine, and other healthy, healing chemicals in your body when you help others. Listed below are a few tips to help you get started.

We Need You To Be A Mindful Hero Now

  1. Start a blood drive. blood drive can do a lot of good for a lot of people, especially now. The Red Cross needs blood, platelets, and plasma desperately. Consider organizing an online blood drive in your neighborhood, at your job, religious center, or community center.
  1. Help a single parent. The holidays can be overwhelming for single parents. We can help with online or Zoom babysitting services for a single mom or dad so they can get some self-care time. You can read to a child, play a game, or do an art project with children on Zoom.
  1. Be an outside hero. Help an elderly or disabled neighbor by shoveling snow, blowing leaves, or helping them clean up their yard.
  1. Use your decorating skills. You can help put decorations on a neighbor’s lawn to help brighten up their home for the holidays.
  1. Lend a hand at shelters or food pantries. Lots of people need food, and some are living in shelters. Contact your local food bank or community shelter to see if they need volunteers for the holidays.
  1. Create and send a care package. Put canned or boxed food and a few toys and games in a box and send it to a family in need. Contact local volunteer organizations to find out how to help.
  1. Donate some much need winter gear. At this time of year, winter coats, scarves, hats, gloves, and even blankets are in high demand in shelters. Donate some of your old gear or consider donating new purchases.
  1. Be a shoulder to cry on. A lot of people experience seasonal depression during the winter. Being a confidante and good listener to your friends and family can be incredibly beneficial. Someone hearing your caring voice can make a tremendous difference in their loneliness and isolation. For an added boost, you can Zoom or FaceTime, so they sense your physical presence.
  2.  Forgo gifts this year. Do you have everything you need this holiday season? If so, consider asking people to make charitable donations to your favorite charity instead of giving you a gift. You can also quickly finish your holiday gift list by giving donations to charities in their names.

Create a Legion of Mindful Heroes

If anyone asks to repay you for your deeds, encourage them to pay it forward. When they show a little kindness to someone else, the chain of good deeds continues. Live as if you believe we all are, “One People, One Planet, with One Future.”

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