Take a walk today, a long walk. Andrew Weil recommends regular walking as a step on the road to “optimum health.” I live in the midtown area of a large urban metropolis. It is an area where young urban professionals rub elbows with college students, gay couples, and homeless men. Renovated Victorian homes are nestled among lofts, apartment buildings, trendy restaurants, and shelters for the down and out. Though there are trash baskets every few blocks, there is always much litter on the ground–mostly beer bottles, empty cigarette packs, and fast food bags and cups.
Do you live in an area like this? Besides getting your exercise, you can turn your walk into an exercise in altruism. Here’s how:
- When you see a newspaper in your neighbor’s driveway, or especially if you see several, take them up to the steps. Your neighbor will appreciate it and wonder who put it there
- Pick up the trash on the street and put it in the trashcans along the way. If you’re worried about getting your hands dirty, bring a plastic bag, wear gloves. People might look at you. They might be inspired to follow your example.
- Give the homeless man on the corner three bucks for lunch. If you’re worried about what he’ll do with the money, bring gift certificates from a nearby fast-food restaurant instead. Pass them out.
- Wave to the bus driver and/or the letter carrier as you pass them along your route.
Record how your felt. What else did you think to do on your “community walk”?