Tag Archives: supporting a cause

Support Through September

29 Aug

When I put Aidan to bed at night, the ritual involves a couple things. The first part is a bedtime story. Sometimes I’ll read several stories or make up a story to share. (Tonight’s story involved the toy box at my grandparents’ house and how wearing a vest from it gave us special powers.) The second part of the bedtime ritual is a series of questions for her to answer.

1. What did you accomplish today?

2. What do you want to accomplish tomorrow?

3. How can you help someone tomorrow?

I believe it’s important to remind her that we can make a commitment to help someone else every day, even when our own lives are busy and challenging. It’s an idea I lose sight of at times. Between finishing one book, developing another, auditioning, acting when booked, taking on writing assignments, looking for new clients, marketing my services, taking my daughter to school, picking her up, spending quality time with her, blogging about our experiences together, and making time for myself, most weeks seem to provide little time to focus on helping others.

But that’s not really true, is it? As one of my former clients likes to say, “what you focus on is what you get.” By consciously setting aside time to provide a helping hand, and selecting the individuals who are deserving of that help, I can incorporate problem solving, advice, aid, guidance and support into any week—regardless of how busy my life seems.

I want to go a step further starting September 1 by devoting time each day to lifting someone else up. This form of daily support will be dedicated to using anything within my reach to assist a friend, family member or colleague. Now I can’t drive you across the country or write a term paper for you. I won’t be able to handle the responsibility of telling your boyfriend or girlfriend that you want to end the relationship. And I certainly don’t want to tell an employee of yours that he’s fired.

There are numerous lists online that describe ways to serve others. One list I read contains 100 ideas, a great place to start for anyone who has not been living a service-oriented life. While many of the ideas are brilliant, I am going to focus on the top 5 ways I can provide support in September.

1. Writing a recommendation letter

2. Promoting someone else’s idea/project

3. Volunteering for a charity or an individual in need

4. Teaching a skill that I know well

5. Giving honest feedback

That’s not to say I’ll do one good deed a day and call it quits. I’ll continue to provide help whenever I can. But the mission of devoting one act of service a day to a specific individual will help me demonstrate to Aidan that helping others is an essential step in cultivating balanced and healthy relationships. It can also empower us by keeping our energy flowing in positive ways. Those are important lessons for an only child who still believes the world revolves around her.

When this works like I expect it to, my new tradition of helping people daily will have a long-term impact as my daughter carries it forward over the course of her lifetime. She’s already got the right nickname for the role. I can even envision the headline 30 years from now:

AID HELPS MILLIONS!