Photo by Mallory

Photo by Mallory

Today is another day on our life's journey.

Perhaps here you can find encouragement

for wherever your journeys may take you.

Welcome to my thinking place where you can

read insightful posts.


Monday, January 4, 2016

A Force for Good

       "Whoever is happy will make others happy, too."
                                 -Mark Twain 

Lately, I’ve heard several people say they have stopped watching TV newscasts. They express the feeling that the news on TV is all bad, and getting worse. These folks don’t want to clog up their minds with resulting negative thoughts when they watch the news.

That sounds worthy because research continues to show that maintaining a positive attitude is beneficial in so many ways. People who try to stay positive seem to be happier than those with a negative, grumbling attitude. Another thing I’ve noticed about those who try to keep a positive attitude every day is that they try to be a blessing to others.

Trying to be a blessing to others shifts one’s focus from themselves to the important relationships, and fosters a sense that life is good, says Kristin Layous, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at California State University, East Bay.

Sometimes even the smallest thing we may do for someone becomes the one kind gesture on our part that may boost our own mood. Giving a friend, neighbor, or even a stranger a reminder that the world can be a happy place may make us happy too.

Here are a few unique suggestions I read in a magazine on how we can be a force for good:

Leave a coupon. “I’ll tuck really good coupons beside the product on the store shelf for a dose of random awesomeness,” says Cheryl Laughlin of Lodi, CA.

“If you’ve used a gift card and have just a few dollars left on it, hand it to the person behind you in line to pay.”

Be a snow angel. “Clear your neighbor’s driveway, sidewalk or snow-covered car, especially if he or she is old or sick. You will be making that person’s life so much easier and safer.”

Recognize hard work. “Police officers, healthcare professionals, social workers—these folks have tough jobs, and often must contend with people when they’re not at their best. Your words of appreciation mean a lot.” I think this would apply to folks in any job.

Appreciate. Show appreciation and encouragement to teachers, moms, daddies, ministers, store clerks, waiters and waitresses, grocery store workers … I could go on and on.

The above are some simple do-good acts that will make those around you feel blessed.

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Thanks for reading my blog! My next novel in the West Virginia Mountains Series is titled Promise Me. Look for it next spring.


  1. What a lovely post. You know I'm one of those who won't watch the news anymore for the very reasons you stated here. But I love the idea of paying it forward even if it's in small ways. Every good thing we do really does count.

    1. Tracey, thank you - I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I wish we didn't have 24/7 news stations. I find myself watching less and less TV news. Thanks for leaving your comment.

  2. Good reminder that it doesn't really require that much to be a blessing to someone else - just be available.

  3. Ann, absolutely! Thanks for leaving your comment.

  4. Thank you for a wonderful post, Jo! Small gestures of kindness is always noticed by our Heavenly Father. A simple card in the mail to brighten someones day, text message or e-mail with all the technology we have or a phone call. Seniors or individuals living alone appreciates hearing from someone. Yes, we all can be a blessing to someone in small ways even when there isn't a lot to give. Thanks again, Jo! Have a blessed week.

  5. Marilyn, you're so welcome and glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for leaving your comment.