“28 Ways to Spread Sunshine,” New Era, Feb. 2014, 24–25
One possible meaning of the old Anglo-Saxon word for February is “mud month,” and for many youth in the Northern Hemisphere, that name makes sense. It’s the middle of the winter, and the snow and rain and cold can make “mud month” feel like a pretty accurate name. On the other end of the world, however, youth in the Southern Hemisphere are enjoying one of the warmest months of the year, where there’s more than enough sunshine to go around.
Regardless of the climate you’re in, you can bring sunshine into the lives of those around you now and any time of the year. Doing so will bring joy to you and those you interact with.
Here are some ideas to help spread sunshine every day in February. Try them out, or try some of your own. Just try something to bless the lives of those around you.
Tell a family member why you love him or her.
Find out more about someone you don’t know very well.
Give a sincere compliment.
Visit someone who may be lonely.
Sienna G., 13, from Utah, USA, says, “One of the ways I scatter sunshine is by visiting the sick, lonely, and elderly. If people my mom knows are in the hospital, a retirement home, or a rehabilitation center, we go to visit them. These people love to see the smiling faces of youth.”
Eat lunch with someone who needs a friend.
Share your testimony.
Deliver a treat to a neighbor.
Reach out to a ward member.
Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has said, “Our wards and branches should be places where the Golden Rule always guides our words and actions toward each other. By treating each other kindly, speaking words of support and encouragement, and being sensitive to each other’s needs, we can create loving unity among ward members.”1
Express gratitude to a family member.
Pray for someone.
Encourage someone to do something good.
“In your morning prayer each new day, ask Heavenly Father to guide you to recognize an opportunity to serve one of His precious children.”2
Be kind to someone who seems lonely.
Share a scripture with a friend.
Help someone do something he or she can’t do alone.
Brendon P., 17, from Wyoming, USA, picks up his friend Kenly for seminary each morning. Kenly, who has Down syndrome, does not have her own driver’s license, so she cannot drive herself to seminary.
Text a friend and share what you like about him or her.
Teach someone about family history.
Be aware of how others could use your help, and act on promptings to serve.
“Often small acts of service are all that is required to lift and bless another. … If we are observant and aware, and if we act on the promptings which come to us, we can accomplish much good.”3
Share a spiritual message through social media.
Give a friend or family member a call just to say hello.
Communicate with someone “heart to heart” so you can understand and help meet his or her needs.
President Thomas S. Monson has said, “Often we live side by side but do not communicate heart to heart. There are those within the sphere of our own influence who, with outstretched hands, cry out, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead?’ (Jeremiah 8:22). … We are the Lord’s hands here upon the earth, with the mandate to serve and to lift His children. He is dependent upon each of us.”4
“Sing some happy song.”5
Do an extra chore around the house.
Write a note.
Lucy T., 15, from Utah, USA, says, “In my Young Women class, we were challenged to write a note to one of the widows in our ward. I decided to drop a note off at a widow’s house that I pass on the way to piano lessons. This woman loved the note so much that I decided to leave her a note every week. I also started visiting her in person. She tells me hilarious and inspiring stories and sends me cards every holiday. I’ve made a fabulous new friend.”
Introduce yourself to someone new at school or at an activity.
Ask someone about his or her family to show you care and want to get to know him or her.
“The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead.”6