make someone smile

Causes and Contrariness

I must be feeling contrary this weekend. Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for following instructions exactly as laid out. So I’m going to veer slightly off the path of today’s Bloganuary writing prompt, which is:

What is a cause you’re passionate about and why?

There are causes I care about.

  • Fighting racism is a cause I care about.
  • Preventing rape and helping rape victims is a cause I care about.
  • Dealing with climate change is a cause I care about.
  • Preventing abuse of animals is a cause I care about.
  • Suicide prevention is a cause I care about.

I’m sure there are others as well. And all of those causes are ones that I talk about or donate money to or volunteer for.

But my contrariness makes me want to not focus on any of those in this post. Instead, I want to talk about a personal cause. This cause isn’t one you’ll probably find on a list of top charities to donate to.

This cause is tiny in is scope but one that I think has more widespread effect than it might seem. That’s just my own guess though. I don’t have any kind of scientific research at hand to back me up on that.

The Tiny, Personal Cause That I’m Passionate About

Ok, get to it, Donna. Quit with the preamble.

Lifting Others Up

First I think I’ll share some quotes I found online. (I have no idea if the people attributed to these quotes are accurate or not, and I don’t intend to try to verify).

“Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics already.”

Jenn Stevens

“Be a star in someone’s dark sky.”

Matshona Dhilwayo

“We rise by lifting others.”

Robert Ingersoll

We can lift others up in so many ways.

  • We can lend our support and encouragement to people who are trying to make a change or to do better.
  • We can remind people that we recognize the beauty that lies within them.
  • We can point out a great aspect of someone’s personality.
  • We can thank someone for the smallest of things.
  • We can compliment someone. Tell a stranger that you love their shoes, for example.
  • We can encourage someone’s budding talent.
  • In a work environment, leaders can help team members succeed and grow by rooting for them and encouraging them instead of degrading them and controlling them.
  • We can let someone know that we believe in them.
  • We can put a smile on someone’s face.

These are things that I intentionally try to incorporate into my days. When I think of all the causes I care about – this is the one that I think I’m most passionate about. It’s not something I’ll organize a march around. It’s not something I’ll turn into a charitable organization for. It’s so much smaller and more personal than that.

But I truly believe that if we focused more on lifting others up, giving them a tiny reason to smile and feel better about themselves, so much would improve. We would not only improve others’ lives but our own as well.

I’m not perfect at this. I realize that the closer we are to someone, the better we know the person, the more likely it is that we will throw occasional daggers. Arguments happen, and whether it’s with a spouse, or a sibling, or your BFF, there’s a good chance you’ll sling negative words towards the person, criticizing some fault of theirs. We all do this. I do this. It’s important that I at least recognize this and try to do this less in the future. I hope that the times I fail at this are at least somewhat made up for by the times I lend my support, encouragement, and complimentary words to those people.

Others That Are Also Focused On This “Cause”

I searched the net to see if there are any organizations out there that are also championing this cause. I didn’t find much, but I didn’t come away completely empty-handed, either.

Happe.Life

This site has an initiative aimed at teaching children how to be a person that lifts others up. They call it “Mission I’m Possible”. It looks pretty cool. The idea behind it is to send kids who sign up for the challenge a weekly “mission”. The child watches a short “debriefing video” that explains the challenge. For example, a mission might challenge the child to say thank you to 3 people who sometimes go unnoticed, like a new kid in school.

Random Acts of Kindness Day

We are all aware of the movement to do random acts of kindness. And this definitely aligns well with what I’m talking about, but it’s really just a small part of my bigger, yet still tiny cause. This organization reminds people to participate each year on RAK Day, which is February 17th.

Do you know of any other organizations that are focusing on this kind of cause? If so, let me know in the comments. I would like to follow them, donate to them, or volunteer for them.

This post is part of the WordPress Bloganuary Challenge for 2022, where everyone participating is provided a writing prompt each day. Today’s prompt was to write about a cause I am passionate about.

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