Let’s face it, February doesn’t have a lot of gifts to give — a fickle rodent, a fat Cupid and, every four years, one extra day. But those gifts — of hope, of love, and of time — give poor, little February more value than we realize.
Aren’t those three of life’s greatest treasures?
So, what will you do today with your one extra day?
I propose we combine them all and spend the day sharing extraordinary kindness, that we take a little time, act with love and offer hope wherever we can.
We can start with an extraordinary smile, because that requires us to be brave. We smile reflexively at family and friends because we love them and they often make us laugh. Today, in an extraordinary act of kindness, let’s meet a stranger’s eyes and smile broadly at them with a universal message that says, “You matter and I’m so glad I got to see you today.”
Let’s follow that with an extraordinarily kind word. You’ve heard the expression, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything?” I’ve always thought that wasn’t enough. Today, if we can say something nice, let’s say it. Let’s tell the people we admire that we do in very specific ways. Let’s call an old teacher and thank him or her for a job well done, compliment a co-worker, mend a broken friendship. Life’s too short to waste a kind thought. Let’s share it, especially today.
And, because February has given us 24 whole hours of an extra day, let’s do some extraordinarily kind things. Let’s stretch ourselves on this one. Reach out to a lonely neighbor and offer our time for what my grandma used to call tea and chat. Let’s do something a little bit hard for someone whose life is a little bit harder than ours. Dealer’s choice on this one but I can offer some ideas. Invite someone to dinner. Don’t make a meal and drop it off. Let them share your table and treat yourself to some fresh conversation.
Call someone who hurt your feelings and enjoy a chance to make amends.
Offer an anonymous gift and don’t even tell anyone what you just did.
At the end of our extra day, I hope we’ll also take a moment to be extraordinarily kind to ourselves. I hope we’ll hit the hay and smile because, even though we’re not at all perfect and we may have chickened out on some of the extraordinary tasks we’d assigned ourselves, that we’d done the very best we could with our extra day in February and that, next time, we’ll do even more.
William Penn said, “If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
Today’s the day, man. Let’s do it.