Dignity and Respect- For Yourself and Others

Helping Others Needs to Be a Two Way Street

Most of us have been raised thinking it's appropriate to be generous, kind, loving and helpful to others.  In in today's world with so much suffering, we are increasingly asked to reach out and help. And if we can and are willing to do so, without strings attached, we should. Sharing the wealth of heart and wallet is a good thing.

But the key here is to do so while allowing the other person to have dignity.  Every human being has a sense of pride and self-worth, and truly no one wants to beg for assistance if they can help it.  When giving aid in any form, whether it's advice, money, clothing or food, be sure to allow the recipient to have dignity.

Kevin Hall, in his wonderful book Aspire, explains it eloquently when he tells the story of Pravin and "genshai."  Genshai means never treating another person in a way that would make them feel small.  So if you are giving money to a beggar, you don't toss a coin to them, you get down to their level, look them in the eye and smile. Then you give them the money and say "bless you." You are treating them with respect.

An interesting twist on this is to practice genshai with yourself.  Never treat yourself in a way that would make you feel small.  And most of us do this regularly. We criticize ourselves mercilessly, judging our actions and finding fault.  All that does is lower our self-esteem and create guilt and resentment patterns against ourselves.  If you feel you did something in a less than perfect way, forgive yourself and move on.  Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.

___________________

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Turn Your Anger into Action!

Don't Let Anger Make You Bitter- DO SOMETHING POSITIVE

gavelLRThere are a number of disturbing things going on in the world. The Ferguson case continues to sadden us. Legislation blocking voter rights is very upsetting, and on and on.  And yet you CAN do something about it.

• Take action. Channel your anger and frustration into working for a cause you support. Volunteer for children's safety. Help out at a shelter. Write letters, grants, sign petitions, contact Congress. Do something positive with that energy.  Join me on Oct 25 Make a Difference Day and clean up a park.

• Be FOR something, not against. Be FOR the safety of our children, for justice, for integrity and ethical behavior rather than against others. Take the higher road and model it for others. Complaining and raging all day does nothing. Taking action and being a force for good does make a difference. Speak
up for those who need you.

• Look for the good. There are many great inspirational stories happening all the time, but they get very little play in the media. Here's a wonderful story  about two black teenagers who rescued a 5 year old white kidnap victim. They didn't let race or hate stop them from being heroes. Here's the link to watch the story.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/15/justice/pennsylvania-teen-heroes/index.html

Focus on the positive happening in your world. Avoid the news, because it is mostly bad. Get inspired by beauty, by kindness, by small acts that make a huge difference.

And remember this statement by Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Remember that YOU DO make a difference.

 

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Want to Get Fired Up?

October is International Fired Up! Month

Fired Up CoverLR"Enthusiasm is the greatest asset you can possess, for it can take you further than money, power or influence." Dada Vaswani

 I created this month in 1997 to celebrate attitude and success. Your positive attitude determines your success in life, and we know from the research that optimists sell 56% more than pessimists, and are more effective leaders.

You can Host a Fired Up! week at work or in your community. employees, students or association members can:

• maintain a daily success list of all you accomplish
• share inspirational music, movies, quotesl books or stories (movies like Dolphin Tale 1 and 2 or the Blind Side, The Butler, Mr. Holland's Opus are all good starters)
• talk about their dreams and goals, successes, victories
• form Fired Up! Inspiration Circles where they support each other's dreams
• track group individual successes on a Fired Up! bulletin board/ victory wall.
• participate in a community service event on Make a Difference Day, Oct 25, 2014!

Be sure this is a sincere and meaningful exercise and give special attention to it. Let your people know you value them and encourage their positive attitude. People who know they are valued as human beings are more loyal and productive.

"Enthusiasm spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment." Norman Vincent Peale

Oct 25 Chamber All Council Community Involvement Project

If you live in the Jacksonville Fl area, participate with me in a park clean-up, painting and education project.

Playground EquipmentThis morning project will include:
• painting the picnic shelter
• building benches
• painting the utility building and
kids' log cabin
• adding flowers to the playground
• converting the shuffleboard court into educational hopscotch areas with colorful paint and stencils.
Location is Home Gardens Park, 6367 Mockingbird Rd., Jacksonville. If you would like to join me, whether you are a chamber member or not, go here to sign up: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b0f4fa8ac2aa46-october

You can make a difference, too, and reap the rewards of volunteering. It's an amazing stress reliever, You help others and you help yourself. It truly gets you Fired Up!

Have a great weekend and get Fired Up!
Snowden
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Can You Really Feel Better By Helping Someone?

Relieve Your Stress and Depression through Volunteering

Holding the hand of another“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” Leo Buscaglia

One of the last things you might think of doing when you are very stressed is to take the time to help someone else, volunteering. But it can truly be the best thing you can do. I know this from my own personal experience.

Not too long ago, I was tired, frustrated and upset over a business issue, not sure what to do about it.  I was very stressed. Heading home with my husband that night, we turned down our street. He said, “There’s a girl sitting on the corner crying.” We immediately stopped the car and I got out to talk to her. Turns out, she was working for one of those magazine sales companies where they drop off youths and pick them up at the end of the day. She had no phone and no money; her ride was two hours late. So we called her manager and he said a ride was on its way. She waited in the car with us, shared her tragic life story, and when no ride arrived after 45 minutes, we turned around and drove her the half hour distance to her motel. When we arrived, I spoke to the manager about taking better care of this young woman (she was 20,) gave her some money and hugged her goodbye with some encouraging words. As we drove home again, all thoughts about my problems had completely vanished. My concerns were for her and how I could help others like her in the future. I realized my problems were far less pressing. There are those who are struggling to get by every day on the streets. It gave me a whole new appreciation of how fortunate I am.

A new study by Dr. Suzanne Richards and the University of Exeter Medical School, UK, confirms what other studies have said in the past:  volunteering is associated with lower depression, increased well-being, and a 22 % reduction in dying.

There are infinite ways to volunteer:
• mentor a child • help a neighbor repair their home
• organize a fundraiser for the arts
• work at a soup kitchen
• help at a homeless shelter
• participate in a “clean up your park” project
• volunteer at an animal shelter
• read to seniors at a senior center or hospital
• collect diapers for newborn centers
• help out at elementary schools
• collect books for literacy programs and then read for them

Try it.  No matter how upset you are about your life, you will experience an instant turn-around.  Always come from your heart and volunteer for something that matters to you.  And just like that, your problems will seem insignificant.

For a free report on how to get and stay Fired Up!, go here http://firedupnow.com/top20tips/  This will also subscribe you to Kindlings, my weekly email newsletter.

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Helping Others in a Crisis

When a crisis occurs, whether a sudden storm, hurricane, tornado, earthquake or even car accident, people often wonder how they can help.  And while donating to relief organizations is fine, your actions can make a huge difference.  Here are a few ways to help:
 
• Reach out - check in regularly with those you know have experienced trauma or damage. Show them your love and caring, mail them food and toys for the kids, call often and give hugs.
 
• Refuel- many people without power are at risk of cold, starvation and dehydration.  If you have a generator or extra food and water, share with others.
 
 Routine- help others get back to some of their regular routines. Even small rituals are soothing and bring back a sense of familiar
 
• Renew- if live you close by and your loved ones are in trouble, invite them to stay with you or at least have some meals at your home while they sort everything out
 
• Rebuild - you may not be a general contractor, but you can help save someone thousands of dollars by organizing  your friends, getting some gloves and removing damaged walls etc
when it is safe.We recently experienced a big problem with mold and having friends come over and help move our furniture out was a huge help.
 
• Spend time listening.  Often the shock of an act of nature takes days and weeks to set in.
Be there for them and offer hope. People in crisis can go into depression very easily.
 
• Change their mindset - give them new things to think about, share good news of things they can look forward to, focus on the improvements.

©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

Inspiration from a 12 Year Old

 Osjah Castro and Snowden McFallNot too long ago, I had the privilege of delivering the keynote speech for Community Connections Volunteer Appreciation Event.  This non-profit organization in Jacksonville, FL does an amazing job of fighting homelessness, poverty and hunger, helping families, and homeless women and children. The luncheon saluted all the wonderful 1100 volunteers who do so much.   They are all so impressive and give so generously of their time and money.  But every once in a while, there is a volunteer who truly stands out.


One such volunteer is Osjah Castro. How many 12 year olds do you know that have 1000 volunteer hours for each year of their lives?  (Yes- that's over 12,000 hours, folks) That's Osjah's story, and she is amazing. Poised, confident and enthusiastic, Osjah is bumble about what she has done and enthusiastic about the future. Now organizing a concert fundraiser with national teen stars, Osjah is passionate, positive and committed. When I asked what she likes best about volunteering, she said "The way it makes you feel."  I couldn't agree more. Giving back touches your heart, lifts your stress and inspires your soul. Osjah has inspired me; I can't wait to see what she does next.

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You Do Make A Difference When You Volunteer

Building a garden at a local schoolPlus It's a Great Stress Reliever    

One of the last things you might think of doing when you are very stressed is to take the time to help someone else. But it can truly be the best thing you can do. The value of volunteerism is that it gives you perspective, awareness of how blessed your life really is, and away from the anxiety of stress.

Volunteering:
• promotes connection and sharing
• decreases stress and depression
• improves interpersonal skills
• increases gratitude and empathy
• improves understanding of community issues
• strengthens your ability to cope
• makes you feel good about yourself and your gifts and talents

Cornell University studied  the impact of environmental volunteerism on seniors, and discovered  those who volunteer  outside became more physically active and benefitted from being in nature. They had more energy, a greater ability to cope, and stronger emotional well-being. Younger nature volunteers had increased concentration, reduced aggression, decreased stress and improved self-esteem.

If you have not volunteered lately, there are so many groups who need your talents and ideas.  Check your local listings for area non-profits and get started. You DO make a difference.

 

 

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©2012 Snowden McFall All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or reprinting without permission and author reference

To sign up for Snowden’s ezine newsletter on stress, happiness, marketing and motivation, go to: http://firedupnow.com/firedupemailregister.html