Next week is International Peace, Friendship, and Good Will Week.
After nearly three weeks of raising awareness about serious, and often emotional, issues, it was encouraging to come across a recognition of something other than a medical problem or a social ill. Not to take anything away from the important issues that do touch us, we wanted to take some time to celebrate and promote positivity and happiness.
Here are some ways to focus on peace, friendship, and goodwill on a daily basis.
Peace (noun): A state of mutual harmony between people or groups
Who doesn’t want world peace? But the whole idea’s a bit daunting, isn’t it? Some parts of the world have been in conflict for centuries. While we may not be able to solve everyone’s problems, there are little things we can do to keep the peace in our own lives.
For instance, road rage is a recurring problem for me. I find myself sitting in the car and shaking my head at what goes on in front of me. My biggest pet peeve, in general, is rude behavior brought on by a sense of entitlement. We’ve all witnessed it: the obnoxious restaurant customer who treats his server with condescension, the shoppers who shove their way into Walmart on Black Friday….
Sometimes, though, people just have bad days, making them oblivious to their rude behavior. I’m sure I’m guilty of it myself, cutting someone off in traffic without meaning to, for example. So before reacting in anger when I feel wronged, I try to put myself in the other person’s shoes, have a little patience, and maybe even smile!
Friendship (noun): Amity, being a friend
In our busy lives, it can be difficult to maintain the friendships that we have, and even harder to make new ones. I’m a thirty-something introverted suburban wife and mom, so I haven’t ventured out lately in search of a lively social scene. But the possibility of making new friends is there, if you put in a little effort, such as attending a class or joining a book club. It all depends on your interests and how much you can invest, in terms of time and money.
Taking care of the relationships you’ve had for a long time is important too. A brief call or email to a family member or old friend is the easiest way to let them know they’re in your thoughts.
Goodwill (noun): Benevolence, kindness
Speaking of relationships, many people don’t even know their own neighbors. It might sound old-fashioned, but what ever happened to welcoming new neighbors with a baked good or a nice plant? Furthermore, in many places, the elderly are choosing to remain in their own homes rather than move to assisted living facilities. Despite their independence, most people still appreciate a friendly face stopping by to say hello once in a while.
Another way to show goodwill is by donating your unused items to others. A popular trend these days is simplifying one’s life by de-cluttering. It doesn’t take much effort to look around your home for items like old books, clothes, eyeglasses, and even cell phones, all of which could be passed on to people in need. You get an organized home while making someone else’s day a little better. It’s a win-win!