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quote over blue mandala - “Always have a willing hand to help someone, you might be the only one that does.” ~Roy T. Bennett

Do you know what one of the best secrets for living a joyful life is?  The answer might surprise you.

But before I give you the answer, I thought I would begin today’s post by sharing a few short stories to set the stage, courtesy of Readers Digest (I still love reading that little magazine!)

 My Granddaughter’s Dress

“I saw a dress in a consignment shop that I knew my granddaughter would love. But money was tight, so I asked the store owner if she could hold it for me. “May I buy the dress for you?” asked another customer. “Thank you, but I can’t accept such a gracious gift,” I said. Then she told me why it was so important for her to help me. She’d been homeless for three years, she said, and had it not been for the kindness of strangers, she would not have been able to survive. “I’m no longer homeless, and my situation has improved,” she said. “I promised myself that I would repay the kindness so many had shown me.” She paid for the dress, and the only payment she would accept in return was a heartfelt hug.”

~ Stacy Lee, Columbia, Maryland

Twice as Nice

“Two firefighters were waiting in line at a fast-food restaurant when the siren sounded on their fire truck parked outside. As they turned to leave, a couple who had just received their order handed their food to the firefighters. The couple then got back in line to reorder. Doubling down on their selfless act, the manager refused to take their money.”

~ JoAnn Sanderson, Brandon, Florida

A Family’s Food Angel

“While going through a divorce, my mother fretted over her new worries: no income, the same bills, and no way to afford groceries. It was around this time that she started finding boxes of food outside our door every morning. This went on for months until she was able to land a job. We never did find out who it was who left the groceries for us, but they truly saved our lives.”

~Jamie Boleyn, Emmett, Idaho

one hand on a rock and another hand reaching down to help lift them up

Okay, is your heart warmed up as much as mine is?  Alright, here’s the answer to the question I posed at the beginning of today’s post as quoted by the famous children’s writer Lewis Carroll who said: “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

I so love that quote.  And it’s the perfect one for the topic of this month’s joy habit theme from Chapter 32 – Be Helpful of my book Being Joy.

To recap, week one was about being a good helper to yourself by learning how to let go and let others in to help you.  Remember, if you’re burnt out by carrying the load all by yourself, you can’t really help anyone else.  It all starts with “the self.”

In week two, I challenged you to identify one family member who could use a helping hand and to do it without judgement or expectation.

Last week’s challenge was to help a friend in need. Again, open-heartedly and without conditions.

So, in keeping with the joy habit of helpfulness, I’m challenging you to reach out to a stranger in need this week.  You can draw some inspiration from the stories I shared or just be open to the occasion.  Trust me, there are always opportunities to be helpful to a stranger.  Big or small, it all matters.  Every gesture makes an impact and carries with it a vibration of positive energy that spreads like a good kind of virus.  And we need a lot more of those these days.

As I’ve said before, helping is healing.  Not only to the person you are extending help to, but to yourself as well.  Just like a boomerang.  And that my friend, is joyful living.

Love from your Joy Mama,

Gloria Stewart signature

P.S.    If you enjoyed this post, you may also like these:

Are you afraid of asking for help?
What’s your family like?
Do you have a friend in need?
When was the last time you smiled at a stranger?

Image courtesy of Pixabay.

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