The High Holidays are a great time to think about how we can improve ourselves. With Yom Kippur bearing down on us, and the promise that only “repentance, prayer, and charity can alter the severity of the decree” you might be feeling like it’s a good time to start doing a little better. But being a better person can be a daunting task. Here at MyJewishLearning we put together 10 easy things you can do right away that will help you do better and feel better as you get ready for the Day of Atonement, and we’ll be revealing a new suggestion every day.
1. Clean out your closet and pile up everything you haven’t worn in over a year. Call your friends and have them do the same. Bring the whole lot to a homeless shelter or charity shop.
Race for the Cure
2. Sign up for a charity walk, run, or bike ride. Send out the mass email to your friends about contributing towards your goal.
3. All that change sitting in a jar on your dresser? Bring it with you on your way to work, and give handfuls to every beggar you see. If you don’t usually pass by homeless people during your commute, bring the money to the back to deposit, and write a check for your favorite charity on the spot.
4. Flying for the High Holidays? That means you’re putting a lot of CO2, the leading cause of global warming, into the environment. You can offset your carbon footprint by supporting businesses and projects that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Terrapass and Carbonfund will take your donation and use it to make the world more breathable.
5. Call up a local nursing home and ask if there’s anyone who could use a visitor. Bring a deck of cards and head over to play a rousing game of gin rummy.
6. Didn’t get a chance to read all of your magazines this month? Call up the nearest hospital and ask if they need any current reading material for their waiting rooms. When you drop off the newer ones, be sure to pick up the older ones and toss ’em in your recycling.
7. Donate blood. Sign up to be a bone marrow donor, and tell your family if you’re okay with being an organ donor.
8. Donate airline miles that are about to expire to military families trying to visit injured soldiers overseas.
9. Bring your business card to Kol Nidre, and give it to three new faces you see in the crowd. Tell them you want to welcome them to the community, and ask if they want to join you for a meal sometime.
10. Think of the stupidest or most embarrassing thing you’ve done in the past year. Then apologize to someone to make it better — even if it’s yourself.