With all the shootings, wars, and violence in the world, not to mention the heat of the our current political environment, it’s easy to lose sight of the good.

Yet good there is, always. Good people striving to make the world a better place regardless of the turmoil of the moment.

Two stunning examples come to mind:
Weighted blankets – blankets that weigh 10% of the person’s body weight, made of what looks like small bean bags sewn together. For reasons science can’t yet figure out, these blankets are helping vets with PTSD and who are suffering from horrendous nightmares, children with autism and other sensory disorders, and elderly persons with insomnia all get a good night’s sleep.
Middle-schoolers in Connecticut came to the rescue of a penguin with an injured leg. They first made a 3D printed “boot” (which looks like a wide band just above its left foot) with the help of ACT, a 3D systems partner (and the support of their local aquarium). Then they constructed an even lighter-weight boot on their recently acquired high-school’s 3D printer allowing the beleaguered penguin more mobility.

These innovations may be beyond some of our ability to create (certainly waaay beyond what I could come up with!), but there are a multitude of ways to make the world we live in a better place; ways that take little time, little or no money at all, just a moment’s thought.

For example, smile. Smile at a stranger, smile at your spouse, smile at your dog/cat, smile at your boss (!), smile at a co-worker, smile at the barista, smile at whoever crosses your path. For no good reason. Not because they did anything special, just because a smile is such an easy gift to give and receive.

Oh, once in a while there will be someone who’s too deeply mired in a private sorrow or difficulty to receive your smile, but that doesn’t matter. Somewhere within them it may resonate, and if it doesn’t, nothing lost on your end.

Say “thank you.” A lot. Often. Not just because someone did something especially nice for you, but just ‘cause. Like thanking the cashier for bagging your items. Or your teenager for taking out the trash (it doesn’t matter that you had to remind her 15 times, thank her anyway). Or your spouse for giving you the opportunity to chill for a few minutes before diving in to the evening’s chores. Or the flight attendant as you get off the plane. Or anyone else in your vicinity.

People love to be appreciated, and there’s far too little appreciation that comes our way in any given day. Be an appreciator! Your every message of hope and good matters.

Go for the gold, combine your thanks with a smile, and you will indeed have made the world a better place--if only by reminding yourself and others, how good this amazing thing called “life on planet Earth” really can be.

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a psychologist, relationship expert, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of over a dozen best-selling books. Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. She is the author of “Happy Healthy…Dead: Why What You Think You Know About Aging Is Wrong and How To Get It Right” (MindLab Publishing) Visit www.noellenelson.com, http://anotefromdrnoelle.blogspot.com, https://www.facebook.com/MeetTheAmazings