The Blog

5 Simple Ways to Demonstrate Love in a Hurting World

You will likely never know how much focusing on these five acts will brighten the world around you, and there is no better time to start making these points a part of your daily default than during the season of thanks.
This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

The world is hurting.

Once again the world has been hit with a display of violence, and that deeply affects the psyche of the American people. We hurt alongside our European friends. I say that with no intent to diminish the pain felt due to any other acts of violence, hurt, anger and hatred throughout the world. Simply put, as a group humanity is hurting.

All of this is happening in the month when we put aside time to give thanks. November is when we stop to pause and count our blessings. It is the month when we open our hearts and express our joy.

Yet as John F. Kennedy so poignantly put it:

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." -- John F. Kennedy

I believe in order for us to create a brighter future for humanity, we need to live from the place inside of us that knows gratitude. When we are feeling hurt, saddened and helpless, let us not forget that each of us has the capacity to brighten the world. We need to share our hope, and live from a place of love for one another.

Here are five simple ways I believe we can show our thanks and demonstrate love among the pain in order to make this world a little brighter.

• Smile

"Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love." -- Mother Teresa

A smile can brighten up a room and change the outlook of someone's day. I believe a smile speaks the language of emotion and has the ability to talk straight to our hearts. Smiles bypass our brains and connect two people in an instant. Make sure you are generous with your smile. Give it freely and often.

• Listen

As humans, we all share the fundamental need to feel heard. We want to know that we matter and that we are worthy of attention. Demonstrate your care by ensuring you take the time to truly listen to those you talk with. Give people your full attention, stay present and let them know they are heard. Look at them, and listen. Whether it is your best friend or a shop assistant in a passing transaction; in every interaction with another human we should focus on demonstrating that we are really listening.

• Give

"Happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give." -- Ben Carlson.

One of the most beautiful things about giving is that the giver often experiences as much joy as the receiver. I call this the blessing of giving. To demonstrate your love for others, be generous. Be generous with your time, your resources and your heart. You may volunteer your time, donate belongings or give money. But make it a priority to look for ways in which you can give to others.

• Create

I believe each and every one of us has unique talents, and we can brighten the world by sharing them. In fact, I believe it is our responsibility to find a way to share our talents. I'm not saying you need quit your day job, but if you get joy from painting, find the time to paint. If you love to write, then please write! I believe the energy with which we approach tasks can be felt. If we do things with great love then we will radiate this joy out into the world. Our creative works may well touch the hearts of others, but if they are just for us, they will still create the energy of love. We all deserve to immerse ourselves in doing things that we love.

• Appreciate Nature

We are supported by this great planet that we live on, yet all too often we take it for granted. We throw things in the trash, and consume our way through life without giving the impact on the environment a second thought. It is easy to overlook the things that you need most for survival, yet an expression of love and gratitude for humanity is incomplete without including Mother Earth. Look for ways to show your love for the planet. You may plant a tree, collect litter, recycle old belongings as opposed to throwing them in the trash, or take the time to walk through nature and truly appreciate the wonder of it all.

In times of great hurt and destruction it is easy to feel powerless to change anything. Yet the small actions in our daily lives do have an impact on the world. If we radiate love it will be felt.

You will likely never know how much focusing on these five acts will brighten the world around you, and there is no better time to start making these points a part of your daily default than during the season of thanks.

Kate is a Life & Executive Coach at www.thrive.how. She helps people who want the good stuff out of life, get it. Through her individual coaching programs, she helps people clarify their thinking, grow into their potential and re-gain balance. You can learn more about Kate by following her on Facebook or Instagram, or can sign up to her mailing list and get a copy of her free guide "8 Steps Towards a Thriving Life" by clicking here.

-----------

HuffPost's GPS for the Soul app is based on two truths about human beings. First: We all have a centered place of wisdom, harmony and balance within us. Second: We're all going to veer away from that place, again and again and again. What we need is a great course-correcting mechanism -- a GPS for the Soul -- to help us find our way back to that centered place, from which everything is possible.

Because no one knows better than you what helps you de-stress and tap into that place of peace inside yourself, it's important for you to create your very own GPS guide -- a personalized collection of whatever helps you course-correct. Email us at GPS@huffingtonpost.com and we'll set you up with your very own HuffPost blogger account to share your guide on the site. If you're already a blogger, we encourage you to upload your personal guide today. We can't wait to see what you have to share.