"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
For the past few weeks, it seems that the world has been drowning in darkness and negativity. We wake up every day to more grim stories about acts of racism, violence, hate, and poor leadership. And as much as we try to bring awareness, voice our concerns and protest against injustice, it feels like nothing we do is quite effective enough.
It is difficult because we are trying to change patterns, habits, and systems that have been ingrained in our cultures for hundreds of years. We are trying to undo methods and mindsets that were the norm not so long ago. And we are creatures of habit, we don’t deal well with change. If you’ve ever tried to teach any senior how to type a message, you know they will always rather go back to their trusty pen and paper.
This is why it is imperative to teach people right from wrong from the start, so that we won’t have to deal with trying to change their habits later on when it might already be too late.
I believe it starts with each one of us. And I believe it is through our small daily acts of kindness that we can do the right thing, spread love, and have the biggest impact.
Here are 5 daily things I do to spread love into the world:
1. I wish everyone a beautiful day.
Whether I am at the post office, in a store, on a call, or writing any email, I always end my interactions with a quick and easy “Have a beautiful day!”. Every time I do it in person, I can see people’s faces light up, smile, and say it back. It changes the energy of the environment and our mood towards the conversation we just had regardless of the topic.
2. I thank people for anything they do for me.
This seems so basic to some but not all. It’s easy to forget to say it if it’s not part of your daily vocabulary, and especially when you take things for granted, but it is so so important. I always thank people for their help, their time, their call or email, and for even thinking of me. No matter how small the act, remember that nobody owes you anything in this life.
3. I always react to every message and post received.
No matter how trivial and insignificant the message, no matter if I’ve already seen the post on social media, I always respond to what I get sent. To me, it is an important sign of respect towards the person that not only thought of me but also took the time to share something with me. No matter if that piece of information is positive, negative, or neutral, that person contributed to my knowledge and therefore to my life. The least I can do is respond to it with a like, text, or an emoji. Love is respect.
4. I wish my family and loved ones good night.
I live away from all my loved ones but no matter how tired I am or how late it is, I always have the time to send a simple “Good night!”, “Sleep well!” or even a sequence of emojis ( ❤️😘💤) to everyone I talk to on a daily basis. In less than 5 seconds, I’m showing that person (or those people if you have a family group chat like I do) that I love them and I am thinking about them.
5. I say “I love you” as often as possible.
I admit this can feel daunting and awkward at times but it is only so when it’s not normalized in conversations. Showing love is a sign of strength, not weakness. I have been trying to push myself to say it every time I feel it even if I feel a little awkward. Start with family, they’ll always feel it too and say it back.
I believe in leading by example and treating people the way you want to be treated. I believe the love you give multiplies and creates a ripple effect in the world. And it is so easy.
I hope you will want to incorporate some of these in your daily life habits. If you have any other habits that spread love, please share them below. I would love to add to my list.
Become love and spread it.