When we provide or receive a random act of kindness we feel great. Giving, in particular, has been proven to make us far happier than receiving.
What if you made a conscious effort each day to give by positively impacting the people you interact with?
What if you went so far as to set a goal for the number of people you would help?
That’s exactly what Zack Scicluna, a real estate agent in Placer County and OAAT Agent of Change, decided to.
“My goal is to positively impact the lives of 7,500 people this year,” Zack told us.
At One At A Time, we’re firm believers that giving without expecting anything will more often than not fill that karma jar and come back around. But what does Zack count as an act of kindness?
“Good deeds. You see needs and you help. And that’s as simple as making a friend at the grocery store like the grocery store clerk. Being nice to the grocery store clerks is kind of one of the things that I count because a lot of people don’t even acknowledge the existence of a lot of employees in the service industry. And so that’s one thing that I try to positively influence their lives by spreading encouragement and compliment to a lot of people that I interact with. And so bottom line is I try to just be a ball full of encouragement. If I can help a broken down car push through the intersection, that’s something I’m getting out there doing. It’s getting a door for somebody. If someone’s hands are full I offer to help and with a smile. I just want to help them because if I was in that scenario; sometimes you wish there was just a helping hand.”
But Zack doesn’t do it for attention or with expectations. “I’m just going to help people and it’s going to help me be a better person.”
He may not expect anything in return, but we’re betting that Zack has one heck of a year ahead of him by helping so many people.
Setting a goal to help about twenty people per day is one thing, but how do you keep track of it?
“I have a daily checklist that I work through and I have these notepads that I put my to-do list into. These act as my way of not forgetting anyone. I do little tally marks in them for folks as I do good deeds. I’m sure I’ve helped a lot more people than I can really account for but I try to count each one.”
Setting the bar so high peaked my curiosity. Why at all and why so high?
“I can’t really attribute it to any near-death experiences where it hit me like an epiphany. I’ve had near-death experience. Don’t get me wrong; it makes you appreciate life. But nothing like that triggered this. I think it was more of just trying to be a better person. Asking myself, ‘What am I leaving behind? What legacy am I instilling?’ And then the thought of me actually having kids and now knowing that we are going to have a kid, it really made me think, ‘What do I want my kids to see and know about me?”
As Maya Angelou put it, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
And that’s the point. Zack’s small efforts are probably not going to change the world. But that doesn’t mean that he won’t change the world for some individuals. Even if only for a moment, Zack knows that however small his good deed, it could be a big deal to someone.
TED speaker Drew Dudley, called these lollipop moments. Sometimes you don’t realize just how much your kindness means to people. And often you’ll never know.
But you do it in good faith.
You do it because you know that we’re all human, facing similar challenges, sometimes feeling unappreciated, ignored, or invisible. And when someone comes along and for no reason other than empathy shows you compassion and kindness, it restores your faith in humanity a little bit.
So to Zack, we say, thank you for making the world a better place one small act at a time.