Being a parent really can make certain aspects of your personality break through and shine. Usually, the moment that someone finds out that they are having a child, or the second that their little bundle of joy makes their way in the world, something lights up within them. So many people report feeling a whole new sense of tenderness, sensitivity, and love that when they claim that their child has made them a better person, they are telling a genuine truth. There are all sorts of scientific reasons for this unique, immediate sense of bonding that so often prevails following the birth of a child. For the mother, powerful hormones kick in before birth, encouraging you to protect and nourish the unborn infant. Oxytocin is released from the brain, laying out the groundwork for the formation of a long-term relationship between mother and child. Raising a child also nurtures caregiving qualities in any parent. For example, patience, tenderness and the general ability to put another person’s wants and needs ahead of your own. But why restrict this tried and tested parental compassion to your own home and members of your own family. There are plenty of ways that it can be put to good use in the external world. So, if you feel like spreading the love a little and making a positive change in the world, here are a few different things that you might like to try out.
Perhaps taking time off raising your little one has made you rethink your career choices. There are plenty of compassionate careers out there that can see you make a huge difference to others’ lives in the most positive way possible.
Social workers are professionals who work with families and their children during times of difficulty. They are a form of support and their main role is to ensure that vulnerable people are safeguarded from harm and have someone to turn to in times of need. While they offer a means of comfort, they still remain professional at all times, acting as guides and advocates rather than a mere friend. After all, sometimes people need more of an authority figure to push them in the right direction for their own wellbeing and the wellbeing of those around them. If this sounds good to you, why not consider taking an MSW? Most people’s answer to this proposal would be “what is an MSW?” Well, MSW stands for masters in social work. It is a short degree course that will endow you with the official qualifications and skill set necessary to become a professional social worker!
If you can bring up children of your own, there’s a good chance that you have the right mindset to teach a whole class of children. The needs of students vary drastically depending on their age group. Younger children will be more dependent on you, require constant stimulation and supervision. The knowledge that you pass on to them will be limited and simple. However, it is of the utmost importance, as it will form the foundations of their education. After all, how can you ever expect a child to write an essay or solve an equation if they can’t read, write or count in the first place? By secondary school, children will need more specialist teaching, and by college level education, they will need a highly qualified doctor or professor. The level you wish to teach at will determine the amount of training that you require. However, if you are determined, you are likely to find a way to achieve this and put your compassion, care, and patience to good use by nurturing the minds of the future.
When people come into contact with a nurse, they are generally in a time of need. After all, you don’t head to the hospital for the fun of it, do you? Nursing is a deeply rewarding career that will see you tend to the needs of all sorts of patients, from infants to the elderly. While you will eventually choose a specialist field, a degree in nursing will endow you with the basics, allowing you to choose the path that you want to take. Whether that’s nursing children, tending to people in accident and emergency units or helping women to give birth to their little ones.
Who said that your help needs to be restricted to people? There are hundreds and thousands of fluffy, feathered and scaled critters out there who could do with a little love and affection too! There are plenty of job roles that can help animals in need. The most obvious is perhaps a veterinarian. However, there are plenty of other important roles that require less formal medical training. A wildlife rehabilitator takes care of all sorts of sick, orphaned and injured animals who would not survive if left in the wild. They take daily care of them, including the administration of medication, feeding, grooming and encouraging them to undertake regular exercise. Once they are healthy and strong having made a full recovery, they are carefully returned or reintroduced to their natural habitat.
If you don’t want to change up your career, don’t worry. You can still engage in voluntary work of all kinds to spread your caring nature outside of your family home. There are all sorts of options available to you. First, choose a cause. Perhaps there is a certain issue that lies close to your heart. Then do your research and see what charities there are out there and contact ones that you are particularly interested in or moved by. Inquire as to whether they need any volunteers to help them with any aspect of their mission. Good examples that will only take up a few hours of your time each week could be working in a local charity shore (for example, restocking the shelves, running items through the till and taking in donations), signing people up to give money to a given charity (some of these jobs are commission based, but others are purely voluntary with all proceeds going to the charity in mind), or raising general awareness of causes (through protesting, campaigning or distributing reading material). Giving your time and effort for free will truly help these causes to gain success. Perhaps you will work towards helping the environment with Greenpeace. Maybe you want to raise awareness of certain illnesses or conditions, such as heart disease. Have a think through and choose wisely, ensuring that the charity is officially registered, legitimate and morally and ethically right. You don’t necessarily have to stick to one or another. You can easily move between charities if you have numerous interests and any work that you do undertake will make a tremendous difference.
Small Acts of Kindness
If you have a hectic schedule and find it difficult to dedicate specific slots of time to helping out those in need, take solace in the fact that you can still engage in small acts of kindness every single day. These acts can be small or big: they will always be helpful, positive and truly brighten up someone’s day. But what actually is a random act of kindness? Well, it’s generally considered to be a selfless action taken with the sole purpose of improving another individual’s day. Whether you know them, whether they are a stranger, whether they are already fortunate or whether they are misfortunate. Essentially, the purpose of this act is to solely improve someone else’s day. There are endless possibilities of things that you could do. Consider buying a homeless person lunch or paying for their night at a hostel. Smile at a stranger as you pass them by in the street. Give an old friend or relative a call for a catch-up. Pay for someone else’s coffee when you pick your own up. These small acts of kindness put positive vibes out around you and improve the atmosphere of any given place. You never know how another person is feeling and your small act could really change their outlook for the day for the better.
These are just a few different ways that you can put compassion to good use outside of your home. It’s a skill that will have been acutely developed in the process of having a child, so expand its use to those who you are in contact with less often. Whether they are friends, family members, animals or strangers in the street. Give it a go: it’s easier than you’d think. There’s a saying that being nice never got anyone anywhere. But this couldn’t be any less true. Not only will you be able to take comfort in knowing that you have helped to improve another person’s experience of the world, but you will also come to realize that the more kind and caring you are to others, the better an experience of the world you will have too! After all, you will be exposed to new people, new situations and the new perspectives and ways of the understanding the world that come hand in hand with them. So why wait? You don’t necessarily have to wait until the New Year to start making resolutions. You can start improving the world beyond your doorstep today. It truly is time to start putting your parental compassion to good use outside of your family home!