I’m a huge believer in celebrating the small things in ones own life. But a small act of kindness that happened to me the other day, made me think about how one small act from a stranger can change your entire day. Now, that wasn’t the first time I’d had that thought, and I do what I can to try and pass that kindness forward. But I’m now actively trying to make sure that I do at least one act of kindness a day to help someone else out. In a world full of negativity and unhappiness, it’s one thing that I have full control over. So I sat down and created a small list of things that I could do to help me with my goal. This is by no means a complete list and I would love to hear from you if you have any ideas to add to it! :)
01) Leave post-it notes with positive messages and quotes for others to find. (I’ve been slipping them into my library books when I return them!)
02) Have some extra change? Drop some into an expired (or about to expire) parking meter.
03) Compliment someone on anything. Are they wearing nail polish? Is their shirt a great color? Do they have pretty eyes or are they smiling? Takes two seconds.
04) Surprise someone with a spontaneous declaration of just how much you love/appreciate them.
05) Buying a quick coffee or breakfast sandwich? Surprise someone by paying for the person behind you as well.
06) Ask someone how they are/how their day is, and actually listen to the answer.
07) Hold the door open for someone.
08) Wave a random and friendly hello to people.
09) Call someone you haven’t talked to in awhile, just to say hello and to them you were thinking of them.
10) Send a handwritten note/card/letter to friends and family. makes a welcome change from the common everyday junk mail and bills AND the art of a written letter should NOT become a lost art.
11) Offer to run an errand for a busy friend or neighbor or offer to watch their kids while they run their errands.
12) Bake some cookies/loaf cakes/muffins and drop them off to a neighbor/friend/family member or even to your local police/fire departments.
13) Ask someone for their favorite recipe. Even if they say no, it’ll make them feel good that you like their recipe enough to ask.
14) Ask someone for their advice/opinion because you value their thoughts.
15) Leave a mix cd for someone to find. It’s fun, you get to be creative and who doesn’t like good music?!
16) Bring someone a flower/candle.
17) Make your significant other (or even your kids!) breakfast in bed. Spend the extra time cuddling/talking/planning. No phones/tablets allowed.
18) See someone frowning or just plain emotionless? Try a quick, silly (and clean) joke. Even a bad joke should at least get a smile for the effort.
19) Is someone in your life expecting a baby? Or is there a child learning how to read? Donate some clothes or books to help them out!
20) The next time you go out to eat, tell their manager what a great job your waiter/server did. And also write a quick “thank you for the great service” on the receipt.
21) Ask someone who is struggling with overloaded bags, if you can lend a hand.
22) Share your lunch/snack with someone who doesn’t have one that day. Aside from being nice, it could even be the start of a new friendship.
23) Just SMILE.
So what random act of kindness made my day? Well, a few days ago I was attempting to catch my bus home after a long day at work and was still on the opposite side of the street, waiting for the light to turn. The bus driver did something I’ve never seen a driver do before: he took his time and waited for me. This may not seem like anything major. But if he had just left to keep to his time schedule, I would have had to wait over an hour for the next bus or would have had to walk two miles. I don’t mind walking, but after having already walked two hours that morning and having worked a 9 hour shift, constantly on my feet from 4am to 1pm, I would not have relished that walk home. I was so grateful to him.