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Spread kindness

These 30 small-but-mighty ideas can brighten a person’s day

You know that warm and fuzzy feeling you get when a family member does a chore that they know you hate, or when a total stranger chases you down the block to return something you dropped? Nothing compares when it comes to random acts of kindness, for you and the party involved. That warm and fuzzy feeling goes both ways. Don’t you always feel a little better about yourself knowing you made someone happy or made their day a little easier? Ralph Waldow Emerson put it best when he said, “You cannot do kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” Here are a few acts of kindness that can easily be incorporated into your life.

Pick a number 

Random Acts of Kindness

You don’t have to wait until Random Acts of Kindness Day (Feb. 17) to make someone’s day better. Quick, pick a number between 1 and 30 and pledge to complete it by the end of the week. Email your ideas for random acts of kindness to [email protected].

  1. Compliment the first three people you talk to in the morning. Who wouldn’t want a little boost of confidence to start their day?
  2. Buy an extra bag of dog or cat food to take to the shelter. They can never have too much!
  3. Pick up litter on the beach. Think of what would happen if every beach-goer picked up the trash left around them.
  4. Let someone go ahead of you while driving. You know how frustrated you can get while trying to turn into oncoming traffic? It’ll take just a few seconds to let someone turn in front of you, and think how happy you’d be if someone did that for you. 
  5. Send a “thinking of you” card to a relative or friend. Nowadays, there’s nothing more personal than a handwritten note.
  6. Pay for someone’s morning coffee. While in line at your favorite coffee shop, grab an extra cup of Joe for a nearby customer.
  7. Leave a positive review for a small business. They’re usually the first things that pop up when Googling, and it could be a huge help in times like these.
  8. Bring a homemade baked good to your neighbor. Maybe brownies or chocolate chip cookies? With all of the proper Covid-19 protocols, of course.
  9. Cook a meal for someone. Whether it be a significant other, a friend, or a family member, it’s one less thing they have to do that day.
  10. Bring your neighbor’s trash bin back up from the curb. It’s a tedious little task — make their day easier!
  11. Donate outgrown clothes. It’s easy to toss these into the garbage and call it a day, but a quick drive to a local thrift shop could make all the difference for someone in need.
  12. Instead of asking a coworker if they need help, find something to do for them. This could be as simple as fetching their paper from the printer.
  13. Make a bet with yourself to see how many people you can get to laugh in a day. Laughter is the best medicine, after all. Start with three. 
  14. Pay for the person behind you in the drive-through. A tale as old as time, but you never know the chain reaction it could start.
  15. Hold the door for as many people as you can. Even if you think they’re a little too far away, it’s the thought that counts.
  16. Interact with a friend’s social media post. Especially now, with the lack of face-to-face communication. Rather than just liking a photo on Facebook, leave a comment that will engage others and start a conversation.
  17. On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year, remember those who have recently lost a parent or a child. Mailing a card or even sending a text to let that person know you’re thinking of them will be a simple act that could bring them a little bit of comfort on a tough day. 
  18. Offer to take a group’s picture. Selfies can sometimes suffice, but memories are best captured without someone’s outreached arm being the only thing in focus.
  19. Shop locally when you can. This is one of the best things you can do for your community.
  20. Return a stray cart to the cart return. It’ll make the employee’s tough job a little easier that day.
  21. Ask the grocery store cashier how their day is going. Especially with a mask mandate in place, it’s really easy to just unload your items onto the belt, swipe your card, and leave — all with no interaction. Engage in some conversation!
  22. Let someone go ahead of you in the checkout lane. This is especially considerate to do when they have fewer items than you.
  23. Endorse a friend’s skill on LinkedIn. Every little bit helps when it comes to job hunting. 
  24. Buy a stranger an item from their Amazon Wishlist. What a wonderful and thoughtful surprise! Maybe even try to find a first-year teacher — this could be especially helpful to them. 
  25. Donate flowers from a wedding or funeral to a local nursing home. Put them to good use, rather than tossing them.
  26. Call someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. If it’s a friend or relative, no doubt they’ll be happy to hear from you. 
  27. Assist someone in stowing their luggage on a plane. And, of course, help them retrieve it once you land. 
  28. Give your dog an extra five minutes of belly scratching. Furry family members are only here for so long — make them happy as often as you can.
  29. Cut up plastic six-pack rings. We’ve all seen how those can harm sea life.
  30. Do something that makes you happy! Take a night or weekend for some self-care. After all, the person you should be kindest to is yourself.