giving back

Service Ideas: Use the Power of Words

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This week's Season of Service challenge is inspired by one we offered a little over a year ago, based on the verb "talk." We dare you to do one small act of service this week in which you communicate, either orally or in writing, to uplift or to help. What we say can be so powerful, as Diane Setterfield, author of The Thirteenth Tale, wrote: "There is something about words. In expert hands, manipulated deftly, they take you prisoner. Inside you they work their magic.” Think what a difference you can make just by what you say.

10 Bite-Size Ways to Help by Talking

  1. Call a grandparent to say "I love you."
  2. Call (don't text, DM, tweet, etc.) a friend you haven't talked to in a week or more to see how they're doing.
  3. Write one Facebook post about an accomplishment or positive trait of your husband. Better yet, tell him directly.
  4. Write a letter to yourself, as if you were someone else, expressing your love and appreciation.
  5. Write your own obituary. Pretend you've lived a long, full life, and write down the qualities and accomplishments you hope people you will remember you for. Make a goal to do the kind of actions that demonstrate those qualities once a day every day starting today.
  6. Write your own family manifesto. Check out Isabel Kallman's for an example.
  7. Visit an organization that serves children removed from the custody of one or more of their parents, like The Christmas Box House, a group home, or a women's shelter. See if you can spend one hour with a few of the kids, hear their stories, and share some encouraging words.
  8. Ask a question like, "If you could be any character on TV, who would it be?" at the dinner table, and see what conversation ensues. See this post about conversation jars for more question ideas.
  9. Strike up a conversation with at least two people you haven't met before at your next church or school meeting.
  10. Ask your cashier at the grocery store how they're doing next time you go grocery shopping, and listen to their answer.

How Will You Give to Others This Week?

  • Have you ever done any of these things? How did it go?
  • What other acts of service have inspired you?
  • How have others given to you this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week’s challenge.
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week’s challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.


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