I read an article about a support group that was helping high school age students deal with the loss of a parent. They met once a month to share pizza, cookies, and share their stories about their losses. Even teachers who participated in the group shared their own stories of loss and grief. They saw them as human beings who were once children growing up without a parent or parents.
It was a comfortable and safe environment where these young people could share their feelings and show their emotions whether it be sorrow, anger, fear, etc. Rather than turning to drugs and alcohol, they could turn to each other.
Then one day someone in the group gave them a challenge. Each day they were to take three pennies and put them in one pocket. During the day they would offer to help someone or offer a kindness to someone. Each time this kindness was completed, they would move one of the pennies into the other pocket. The goal was to have all three pennies moved to the other pocket. The challenge would be repeated each day.
Why were these acts of kindness so important to the healing process? It took the focus from the pain these students were feeling and, instead, they were trying to make a difference in someone else’s life. How do you feel when you have helped someone else? It makes you feel so good and brings some sunshine not only into your life, but into the life of the person you have helped.
Usually, the person receiving the kindness is motivated to “pay it forward.” These three pennies can remind us of how we can enrich each other’s lives. Are you willing to accept this challenge? Do you have three cents? Who can you help today?