It’s easy to get caught up in the survival mode of life. In fact, it’s so easy that many people are unaware they live like this. As adults, we work in exchange for pay, we give money and expect a product or service in return, we offer an ear when a friend calls crying, and we expect the same attention in return. This mantra is what keeps the world spinning smoothly, and is critical in establishing a system of checks and balances.

The question is; how much do you do for others without expecting something in return?

It’s been said, “Character is How You Treat Those Who Can Do Nothing for You” and it makes a lot of sense.  Your authentic spirit is defined by the kindness you show others or the help you offer, without expecting something in return. When you choose to do something “just because” it’s a nice thing to do, you are exuding character. More importantly, character is reflected as kindness, and kindness is contagious.

If you are looking to change your character, here are a few great ways to give something to those who can do nothing in return for you.

  1. Help Homeless Organization: Contact a local organization that helps the homeless population. Offer to volunteer, donate money, or share a skill.
  2. Sit with a Senior: Many elderly people spend time in nursing homes because of health issues. It’s also often these same senior citizens are away from their homes and family. This causes loneliness. If you have the time, sit with a senior and listen as a friend.
  3. Adopt a Pet: Your local animal shelter houses stray animals every day. Check in with them and offer to volunteer time or money to assist in keeping these furry friends healthy. If you have, the means, adopt a pet, and make an even bigger difference.
  4. Inspire Children: There are many programs and organizations developed to help children of all lifestyles. Take the time to inspire a child by mentoring them, coaching them, or educating them.  
  5. Advocate for the Arts: Donate time, money, or labor to a local theater or art studio, and give back to the art programs that operate without assistance. Budget cuts are threatening to take music and art programs out of schools. Be a part of the revolution that keeps creativity flowing.

There are many ways to lead with character and live with an authentic peace. In addition, choosing to live with character is a great way to pave the way for others to follow. One of the biggest rewards for those who wish to inspire, is achieving recognition silently. Imitation, in this case, has the potential to change the world.