Guest Post by Project Light to Life
– Committing a crime and getting away with it.
– Taking a shot.
– Arriving at the top of a roller coaster and going down the first hill.
It may seem as if these items should — or in some cases, should not — be on my “Activities & Adventures” bucket list. Yet, the feelings attached to each of these items reflect the rush of adrenaline I have felt after completing items on my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” bucket list. Of course, committing a crime or drinking alcohol shouldn’t be compared to doing acts of kindness, but the feelings that come with each item seem similar. Research finds that “altruistic (other-regarding) emotions and behaviors are associated with greater well-being, health, and longevity.” In other words, doing kind acts has been correlated with increases in happiness, good health, and life span.
I have mentioned before that one fear that came with creating a bucket list blog was that the hobby might be too hedonistic. To deal with this issue, I decided that each time I cross several items off my activities & adventures bucket list, I also have to cross an item off my kind acts list.
Another concern I often have is that by writing about doing kind acts, I defeat the purpose of them. Isn’t part of the adrenaline that comes with doing good deeds connected to no one knowing about them? Yes. However, something that gives me peace of mind and inspires me to continue writing about them is when readers comment that they too want to try whatever act I have written about. Still, I try to keep in mind that it is often more satisfying doing a kind act that no one knows about.
Listed below are some of the items on my kind acts list that I have written about on my blog:
1). Start and lead creative writing classes for children at local libraries.
2). Participate in a run for a good cause: The Mud Run
3). Leave inspirational messages on sticky notes in public bathrooms/places
4). Pay for someone behind me in a drive-thru line
5). Join freerice.com and donate at least 10,000 grains of rice
6). Leave $5 where a kid will find it
7). Leave flowers on a stranger’s doorstep
8). Spend time at a nursing home
9). Make a Shutterfly photo album for grandpa
10). Donate to the American Heart Association
11). Start a gratitude journal
12). Write a nice letter and leave it in a book for a stranger to find
13). Pay the toll for the car behind me
14). Anonymously mail letters of encouragement to strangers
15). Pick up a piece of trash lying in the street and put it in a trashcan
16). Hand out flowers at a nursing home (enough for everyone)
17). Bring old magazines to a hospital or doctor’s waiting room
18). Write a note to management about employees who do an excellent job
19). Open the phonebook, pick a name, and send someone anonymous gifts
I am continually inspired by other bloggers who not only try to fulfill their own goals, but also, try to do something for others. For example, one way Jessica at Turquoise Compass achieves this balance is through teaching others. Annette White at Bucket List Journey includes a Contribution & Life Enhancement section on her giant bucket list. Carl Honeysett at Volunteering Abroad Blog devotes his entire blog to documenting his international volunteering adventures and encouraging others to volunteer. On his blog Keith Maginn, author of Goodwill Tour: Paying it Forward, writes about how he paid it forward by traveling with a friend across the southeastern United States and giving handpicked strangers money.
If you have any questions about getting started or wind up making a list and want to share what you have accomplished, please connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
About Christine from Project Light to Life
Through her blog, Christine Barba hopes to inspire others to cross items off their bucket lists, while documenting her journey to fulfill her goals and help others achieve their own. Christine has crossed hundreds of items off her bucket lists. Her poems, short stories, and non-fiction pieces have appeared in over a dozen literary magazines. She is currently a master’s student, who studies rhetoric and composition and will teach the subject next year.