How to Celebrate National Inconvenience Yourself Day
What is National Inconvenience Yourself™ Day?
National Inconvenience Yourself™ Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated every year on the fourth Wednesday in February. In 2014, the holiday will be celebrated on February 26th.
The holiday is a day on which you think of others rather than of yourself. It's a day when you do something for other people and refrain from doing "me" things—things from which only you will benefit.
The idea for the holiday was conceived in 2006 by Julie Thompson, an environmental consultant from Plantation, Florida. She observed that people were being inconsiderate, were forgetting to say "please" and "thank you," were forgetting to smile. People were forgetting that their actions affected other people. They were only thinking of themselves.
Ms. Thompson wanted people to realize what they were doing. She wanted them to change their ways, to act in a more civilized manner.
Inconveniencing oneself doesn't have to only occur on the fourth Wednesday in February. It can—and should—occur every day. Inconveniencing oneself should become a way of life.
I have compiled several examples of how people inconvenienced themselves on other than that one day in February. These persons inconvenienced themselves not because it was a holiday. They did it because they wanted to be thoughtful, considerate people.
Examples of Inconveniencing Yourself
Inconveniencing yourself can be as simple as helping a child balance on ice skates instead of your skating around an ice rink alone. Inconveniencing yourself can be spending a few hours improving a garden instead of seeing a movie (film) with one's friends. Inconveniencing yourself can also be bending down to help a child put their boot on, or tying a child's shoelace.
Volunteers in American Samoa Following Earthquake and Tsunami
Volunteers inconvenienced themselves by traveling to Leone, American Samoa to help clear debris following an earthquake and tsunami in the fall of 2009.
This photograph was taken by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) employee, Casey Deshong, on October 2, 2009 during the course of the employee's official duties. As a work of the US federal government, the photo is in the public domain.
In-Port Liberty of USS McCampbell Crew Members
The USS McCampbell (DDG85), an Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer which is part of the George Washington Carrier Strike Group, based out of Yokosuka, Japan is currently conducting a routine western Pacific patrol. Crew members spent some of their in-port liberty hours (free time) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia working on landscaping projects and interacting with the local children.
Operations Specialist 2nd Class Janis Jackson tutored a child on reading English at the Trinity Community Children’s Center. Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Declan Barnes took this photograph on October 8, 2012.
The photograph was taken by a sailor in the US Navy during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the US federal government, the image is in the public domain.
In-Port Liberty of USS Truxton Crew Members
Cryptologic Technician (Repairman) 2nd Class Richard Swank and Information Systems Technician Seaman Michael Cunningham took some time out of their liberty to volunteer at the Lowcountry Food Bank in Charlestown, South Carolina on April 20, 2009. The Sailors were assigned to Pre-commissioning Unit USS Truxtun (DDG-103). USS Truxton, a guided-missile destroyer, was commissioned in Charleston on April 25, 2009.
US Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Leah Stiles took the photograph which follows. Since the photo was taken during the course of the sailor's official duties, it is a work of the US federal government and is in the public domain.
In-Port Liberty of USS Essex Crew Members
This photograph was taken in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) on November 27, 2004 by US Navy Photographer’s Mate Airman Travis M. Burns. Culinary Specialist Seaman Barbara E. Rodriguez, assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Essex (LHD 2), spent part of her in-port liberty helping children draw pictures at the Dubai Center for Special Needs. The center is a non-profit, all volunteer organization whose purpose is to teach the children basic life-building skills.
The USS Essex Expeditionary Strike Group (ESG) was providing security and stability in the North Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The photograph was taken by a sailor in the US Navy during the course of the person's official duties. As a work of the US federal government, the image is in the public domain.
Suggestions for Celebrating National Inconvenience Yourself™ Day
- Be a good listener
- Be there emotionally for someone
- Cook a meal for a friend or neighbor
- Hold open a door for someone
- Make someone feel appreciated
- Make someone laugh
- Make someone smile
- Perform a random act of kindness
- Read a book to a child
- Offer to go grocery shopping for an elderly neighbor
- Spend time with your family
- Spend time with your significant other
- Take someone who doesn't drive to a medical appointment
- Talk quietly on your cellphone if others are within hearing distance
- Visit someone in a nursing home
- Volunteer for a cause in which you believe
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