We all woke up to the American presidency decision and for most us, we felt shock, bewilderment and an overwhelming sense of fear. Turning on social media and reading the headlines, we asked a shared question of WHY? 2016 has been an interesting year - I felt grief at the loss of Bowie and Prince even though I didn't know them, I felt bereft at the Referendum vote but this time I feel different. This time I refuse to let "The Fear" win.
This time I want to show the world that love is possible and that it will ultimately win. Here are just 6 ways we can share that light and to quote Margaret Atwood in The Handmaid's Tale (where we see a totalitarian state in the USA)
"Don't let the bastards grind you down"
Leave a surprise gift for a stranger
Emma Watson recently left books with a personalised message inside, on the underground to spread to joy of words. This is such a wonderful idea and will work for most gifts. Leave a box of chocolates on a park bench, a de-icing kit on a stranger's car, or even a £5 note inside a magazine in your local shop - just remember to leave a handwritten note to share the love.
Give your time away for free
Our time is precious so how about sharing just a bit of it with someone that needs it, before they ask. Offer to babysit for a couple who haven't had a night out in months, bake a cake to take to a friend or how about offering to sweep the leaves for an elderly neighbour. Get your children involved so they too can see how important it is to be abundant with their time.
Buy an extra tin of beans
The Trussell Trust has recently reported that over 500,000 emergency three day food parcels were given out in the first half of 2016, with over 188,500 to children. So this week when you go food shopping this week, buy something extra to give to your local food bank. It doesn't have to be much, a tin of beans or some long-life milk - you can make a small difference for as little as 50p.
Make a mix tape
Remember making tapes for your friends back in the 90s? Spend an hour or two creating a playlist for someone that is struggling to show that you recognise this, choose uplifting tracks that will take them to a happier place. Research taken earlier this year by Durham University and University of Jyväskylä in Finland, revealed that even sharing sad songs can help us to feel better. David Nield writing for Science Alert describes this as,
People like to listen to music that mirrors the tone of their current life circumstances - the songs act as a sort of tuning fork for our own situations, and they resonate with us.
Create a Pay What You Want scheme
For businesses, large and small, find something that you can afford to give away and create a Pay What You Want system. You will be surprised that many people will pay you more than you wanted in the first place but it also gives people the opportunity to spend only what they can afford. Whether it be an hours training or your new book - your customers will have appreciated it and more than likely come back to you in the future.
Talk to your kids
Finally, we tell our children that bullies will never win yet sometimes they seem to which is a message that they will not understand. Sit down with them tonight and read to them, share the positive stories in the news and show them, really show them, that love makes the world go around.
And after you have done these 6 things, give someone a hug.