|Sara Roizen 2011 ~ acrylic, aluminum foil, and sand on canvas|
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”
The idea for this post came to me a few days ago, when I was thinking about some of the suggestions I have given my clients who are struggling with depression and other life difficulties. Sometimes when we are feeling overwhelmed by the intricacies of our own life challenges, it can be very healing to step outside of ourselves for a moment.
One way to engage in an act of kindness is to extend ourselves to someone else who is struggling. Although it might seem counter-intuitive at first, engaging in acts of kindness towards others can be part of our own healing process. It helps us to remember how connected we all are in reality, and this can be a powerful reminder when we are experiencing an emotion or situation in which we feel isolated and alone. It can divert our attention from our own suffering, and broaden our perspective. It also aids in the re-directing of our energy and provides us with a creative and productive outlet.
Art making provides us with a direct way to engage with others and share our creativity and vision. Below are just a few ideas to get you thinking about ways that you might use your own art-making in acts of kindness.
Some artful acts of kindness to try
- Donate a piece of your art to a local hospital
- Create a hand-made card and send it the “old fashioned” way in the mail – send it to someone who might need a little extra TLC at the moment
- Join in the creation of a community mural, in an environment that could use some new energy and creativity
- Donate a piece of art for a silent auction that raises money for a local organization you would like to support
- Looking for wedding gifts that you won’t on the gift registry? Create a unique book of photographs for the couple that highlights their life together – for a great site where you can create your own books go to: Blurb
- Similar to the previous idea, create a book of photographs full of images that you know the other person will find inspiring and uplifting (and add any words/poems/quotes to the book that might also help heal!)
- Volunteer for an afternoon doing art projects with children, adults, or the elderly…Here are a few organization’s sites that offer arts-based volunteer opportunities: Free Arts (NYC), New York Cares There are many organizations like this all over the U.S. so just do a search for one in your area 🙂
- Donate art materials or any material that could be used for art projects to an organization or a school
Here are a few sites to inspire you:
Have you performed a random act of kindness for someone you know, or someone you don’t know? Have you ever received an act of kindness from someone else? What are some experiences that have really stuck with you and touched your life in some way?