I count myself blessed to have an amazing team who works with me. I call them Angie’s Angels and interestingly enough all of our names start with ‘A’ so that’s kind of our “thing”. We are more than colleagues, we’re family. And seeing that August 22nd is ‘Be An Angel Day’, I got to thinking about how blessed I am with the angels in my life.
Be An Angel Day was established by Jayne Howard Feldman in 1993. Its purpose is to encourage people to perform random acts of kindness and to help those in need.
When I think of angels, I don’t necessarily think of wings and a halo… although that’s a lovely image too. I think of all the kindness that has been given to me over the years. Shoulders to cry on, hands that held mine when I needed it, people who have given more to me in my life than I could ever repay. All the little things they’ve shown me that have nothing to do with money and everything to do with the heart. And I am filled with gratitude. So I’m always thinking of what I can do to be an angel to others in my life. What you sow… you reap.
From listening to work colleagues, to making more time for family… being an angel gives them AND you a gift.
But WHY should we be an angel?
In the world at large, we have seen so much pain and strife. So many lives needlessly ended. So much heartbreak and loss. It’s a normal reaction to want to protect yourself from all of that horror and isolate into your own safe space. The problem is that when everyone does that, we lose vital connections with our community and even ourselves.
When someone does us a kindness, we feel connected and more willing to cooperate with them. When we do something kind for someone, we earn trust and respect, and we feel good about ourselves for being a kind person.
Being an angel isn’t a feeling… it’s an action.
Being an angel is not about how you feel. It’s about what you do.
Showing kindness to someone you don’t like is especially difficult. But you just might surprise yourself when you are kind to them. ‘Taking the high road’ isn’t about the other person, it’s about us and who we choose to be in that moment. Practicing little things… like smiling and saying hello to a disagreeable neighbour, or NOT gossiping about a troubling co-worker, or choosing not to clapback at someone when you feel they’ve disrespected you are all ways you can be kind.
And, weird as it may seem, if you behave in a kind way, lending a hand, helping someone in need, then you’re more likely to feel better. You could even start to see someone’s good side or perhaps have empathy for why they act the way they do.
Being an angel can also be the ABSENCE of action.
Being an angel is just as much about what you don’t choose to do.
Not gossiping or not joining in with workplace bullies are pretty obvious ways to be kind. Perhaps you don’t need to make that witty sarcastic comment that would hurt someone’s feelings.
If something seems like an unkind thing to do, stop and ask yourself if it’s necessary or kind. Can you find a different way forward, instead? Or can you even just do nothing at all?
So what can we do to be an angel to others in our lives?
Use today to put others before yourself, and to reach out to those who need some extra support. Even a small act of kindness can go a long way! Fill a random parking meter, mow your neighbor’s lawn, or send an unexpected note to a loved one. All of these acts are great ways to be an angel for a day!
Every act of generosity can make a difference. Today, take the time to be an angel to someone. Whether you choose to do a favor for a friend or volunteer your time to assist others in your community, be sure to celebrate this occasion. Extend a helping hand, offer a kind word, or show someone your gratitude.
Anyone can be an Angel, and sometimes just a smile can lighten the heaviest heart. Here are some simple things that anyone can do to brighten someone’s day.
Call someone you have not talked to in a long time, and spend some time catching up.
Let go of old hurts and practice forgiveness in all your relationships.
Bake some cookies, or make a meal and invite your neighbours over.
Help out your older neighbours by grocery shopping, or taking out their trash.
Invite an unemployed friend to share in a special dinner or function and take care of the cost.
Send a card just because. It’s sure to brighten someone’s day to know they are being though about.
Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank.
Offer to babysit for a couple so they can share a night out.
Donate money or goods to a local charity.
Call an old friend and catch up with an old fashioned gab session.