In honor of kindness week at my schools this week, I thought I’d dedicate this post to the many ways we can show kindness toward others.
Kindness is defined as “the state or quality of being kind” or engaging in “a kind act or favor”. Just one small gesture of kindness can make such a difference in a person’s day! So… let’s see how many ways we can demonstrate this!!!
1. Say “Good morning” to a person standing next to you.
2. Pay the toll for the driver behind you.
3. Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you’re rushing.
4. Write a letter to a child who could use some extra attention. Kids love getting mail.
5. Offer to pick up groceries for an elderly neighbor, especially in extreme weather.
6. Give a homeless person your doggie bag.
7. Say “I love you” to someone you love.
8. Each time you get a new item of clothing, give away something old.
9. Bring your assistant coffee.
10. Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend.
11. Say “please” and “thank you”—and really mean it.
12. Don’t interrupt when someone is explaining herself.
13. Let a fellow driver merge into your lane.
14. Offer to baby-sit for a single mom.
15. Put your shopping cart back in its place.
16. Call or write to a teacher who changed your life.
17. Bring a box of doughnuts to share at the office.
18. Forgive someone a debt–and never bring it up again.
19. Listen with all your senses.
20. Write a note to the boss of someone who helps you, and explain how great a job that person is doing.
21. Simply say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong.
22. Throw away your trash—and someone else’s—after a movie, picnic or visit to a park.
23. Encourage someone who seems despondent.
24. Volunteer to take care of a friend’s dog while he is vacationing.
25. Help a friend pack for a move.
26. Ask someone “How are you really doing?”—and then really listen to her response.
27. Offer change when the person in front of you at the register comes up short.
28. Leave a generous tip for a pleasant waiter.
29. Pass along a great book you’ve just finished reading.
30. Pay for the person behind you at the drive thru. Whether it be a coffee or a whole meal. Make sure to stay anonymous and relay a friendly message to the person like “Have a nice day!” or “Spread kindness and pay it forward”.
31. Praise someone at work for a job well done when the occasion arises. Best to do this in front of other coworkers or his or her boss.
32. Tutor a younger person in reading. You can find a local literacy volunteer organization through a Google search on “Literacy Volunteers Your State.”
33. Send someone you know who is going through a difficult time a card, flowers, cookies or some thoughtful expression that lets them know that you care and are thinking of him or her.
34. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, helping serve a meal or with any organization that you feel passionate about. VolunteerMatch is a great website where you can find many organizations in need of help and searchable by zip code, state and keywords.
35. Be compassionate for a person’s situation next time he or she is rude or inconsiderate to you, instead of getting defensive. They might be having a bad day or need to hear a kind word. This doesn’t mean to be a doormat, but to consider what someone may be going through and giving them a pass.
36. Organize a clothing or food drive with your neighbors for a local shelter.Your taking initiative to collect and distribute items to the shelter will not only make it easy for them to give, but will also inspire them while helping others.
37. Lend an elderly person a hand, if you see them struggle to reach something in the grocery store or while doing another activity.
38. Express your gratitude to a teacher or someone who has made a difference in your life. With a letter or in person, share with them how their kindness, support or a gesture has affected you and how grateful you are to know or have known them. You can be sure that you will make their day and even move them deeply.
39. Buy a dozen donuts or bagels for a sports team at a local school, a firehouse or police station.
40. Thank a service person such as your postman, military, a police officer or fireman for their hard work and dedication to serving others. You can simply say thank you or even create a special surprise for them.
41. Talk to the person at the party who is struggling with socializing. You never know what incredible, life-changing conversation you may have with them.
42. Buy 10 lottery tickets and give them out to people on the street, wishing them good luck.
43. Take a child or group of children that you know on a special trip somewhere such as a zoo, the circus, a museum, or the local playground.
44. Cheer up a loved one by giving them an unexpected gift. You don’t need to spend a lot; it’s the thought that counts.
45. Hide notes of encouragement in your spouse’s or child’s lunch box or in a coat pocket, shoes or other place where he or she will rceive this nice little surprise.
46. Start a campaign to help an individual or a group.
47. Call someone who you haven’t talked to in awhile and let them know that you’ve been thinking about them and that you are sorry you’ve been out of touch.
48. Enroll your children in going through their toys and donating the ones that they don’t want. This teaches children to be of service at a young age. Bring them with you to the place where you will be making the donation so they can see the appreciation of the organization and feel good about themselves.
49. Offer to babysit a friend or neighbor’s child so that they can have a well-deserved night out.
50. Plant a tree or flowers in a neglected area in your neighborhood.
51. Help a family in financial need by cooking them a meal, bringing them groceries, giving them clothing, or even money. Do it in a way that makes them feel good about your gift.
52. Sincerely compliment someone every day, whether it be their physical appearance, their character, or what they’ve accomplished in spite of difficulties.
53. Let someone into traffic who looks like they are in a rush.
54. Shop for someone who is homebound or ill, especially in bad weather.
55. Talk to people you encounter every day like at your coffee shop or on your commute, even if it’s for a minute or just to say hello. This small exchange helps to make people feel recognized and valued.
56. Blow up a bunch of balloons and randomly hand them out to children at a beach, park or ball game. Watch their faces light up with surprise and gratitude.
57. At dinner every night this week, talk about kindness with your family. Ask questions like, “What kind act did you do today?” and “What kind act did someone do for you?”
58. The next time you have exceptional service at a restaurant make sure to tell the waitperson’s manager what a fine job they did, either in person or in writing.
59. Donate your used books and/or magazines to a local library.
60. Let a debt go that someone owes you whether it be monetary or something else which has them feel indebted to you. Only ask that they “pay it forward” in the future when there comes an opportunity to help someone else.
61. Greet people with a smile and an enthusiastic hello. You can do this in person as well as over the phone. People will appreciate your warm reception of them and feel welcomed.
62. Send someone an e-card for a special occasion or to let them know that you are thinking about them. A great website for e-cards is www.gratefulness.org.
63. Grow your hair long and donate your ponytail to Locks of Love, an organization that makes wigs out of real hair to give to children who have lost their hair during cancer treatments.
64. Listen to people with interest, concern and compassion, giving them your full attention. Hugh Elliot said it in a nutshell: “All people want is someone to listen.”
65. Treat a friend to a nice dinner and movie for no special occasion, just to celebrate a friendship.
66. Write a referral for someone who you know is looking for a job without them asking.
67. Leave a newspaper, magazine or even a book at a coffee house once you’ve read it for the next person. You can add a note that says you hope they will enjoy it as much as you did.
68. Mentor an at-risk child or teenager by becoming a big brother or sister with the Big Brother Big Sister Foundation and help them achieve their potential.
69. Say good morning or hello to passersby during your day, even if you don’t know them, simply as a friendly gesture.
70. Use less plastic or none at all because it’s kind to the environment.
71. Bring your co-workers a special treat such as donuts, homemade brownies or cookies. This will brighten their day!
72. Adopt a soldier and help a soldier in a variety of ways such as sending note cards, donating items, or hosting an event for a veteran.
73. Be kind to someone you dislike by going out of your way to say hello and how are you. This could be the start of an unexpected friendship.
74. Donate blood to the Red Cross and tell of your experience, encouraging others to do the same.
75. Encourage someone who may be at a low point in life. Whether a parent, sibling, child, coworker, friend, or neighbor, a little support can help motivate them to see things differently.
76. Write a thank you note when someone does something nice for you,letting them know how much you appreciated their generosity. This extra effort leaves lasting goodwill.
77. Forgive someone who has wronged you. This can be difficult and challenging, but by making amends either in person, in writing or in your thoughts, can have a transformative effect on your life.
78. Buy an inspirational book for someone who needs some uplifting.
79. Make a child’s wish come true through the Make a Wish Foundation, the nation’s largest wish-granting organization. You can help give hope, strength and joy to children with life-threatening medical conditions.
80. If you see a car on the side of the road, pull over and offer assistance such as help with changing a tire or offer your cell phone for their use. Be sure that you are safe and away from traffic.
81. Get together with some members of your community and lead a projectthat can benefit a nonprofit organization. Perhaps you can collect items or make crafts to donate, organize an outing for the people in need, or have a celebration of some sort with the nonprofit.
82. Start a blog or website that can help people. You can also sell advertising and then donate some of the proceeds to a nonprofit.
83. Read a book to a child or an elderly person.
84. Visit a senior center and make a presentation on a favorite topic of yours or organize a game or movie night.
85. Be kinder to yourself by embarking on a self-care crusade. This can mean taking better care of your health, getting regular massages, meditating, taking a yoga class, watching your finances by going on a budget, leaving a bad relationship, going after what you want in life, and avoiding negative self-talk. Make it your priority every day to take better care of yourself!
86. When you have finished mowing your lawn, mow your neighbors too! Be sure to ask them first and let them know that you are practicing kindness, and they would help you if they agreed to your offer.
87. This year, pay special attention to your children by reading to them, taking them on day trips, playing with them outside, helping with school projects, and truly listening to what they have to say. These are the things they will remember forever!
88. Enter someone in a competition who you think deserves recognition in some area such as “Business Person of the Year”.
89. Donate your expertise to someone in need. For example, if you are a marketing consultant, offer your services to an entrepreneur who needs help in developing his or her business. If you have a knack for fixing things, lend a hand to a neighbor who may need some handy work done around their house.
90. Volunteer for Meals on Wheels and prepare and deliver meals to homebound seniors in your community.
91. Say “thank you” and “please” as generously and often as possible.
92. Think about a loved one or friend who has a need and respond to that need. Whether it be to lend support in their job search, helping them with a project, or just offering your ear whenever they need to talk.
93. Tolerate a loved one’s behavior a little more than usual. This may have them wondering what’s gotten into you, and you can respond that you are practicing compassion to be an even kinder, better person.
94. Wave to someone on a school bus, on a boat, from your window, whenever you see an opportunity.
95. Stick up for a person who has been treated wrongly.
96. Do some internet or library research for a family member or friend on a topic of interest to them. Print out this information you find and mail it to them with a heart-warming note saying that you thought they might like this.
97. Comment on a blog where someone is making a special effort to educate or help people. Not often enough do people who do good in the world everyday get acknowledged for their efforts. You can even aim to do this once a week on a new blog.
98. Pick up the clothes from the floor of the department store that others have mistakenly dropped.
99. Let someone, who only has a few items, go ahead of you in the checkout lineof the supermarket.
100. Adopt a pet from the humane society near you. You can even search for a pet locally through Adopt-a-Pet.com.
101. Help out the new co-worker by graciously answering questions, going out of your way to show them things, inviting them to lunch, and even becoming a friend.
102. Help your child with small acts of kindness such as giving a small gift to their teacher, serving free lemonade on a hot day or washing cars.
103. Invite someone new for dinner such as a neighbor, co-worker, friend, or family member. Don’t worry if you can’t cook. The gesture is what counts.
104. Write your “Bucket List”, a list of all the things you want to do with your life and include at least one act of radical kindness.
105. Help someone who wants to lose weight by being an exercise buddy. You can offer to go to the gym with that person or be an attentive ear when the person needs help sticking to the goal. This can be offered for anything for that matter, to someone who drinks, smokes or shops too much.
Sources and Great Resources
Now go on out there and do something kind for someone else!!! Would love to hear something that you did or saw someone do! Comment and tell me all about it! 🙂
Happy Kindness Week!!!! 🙂 Cindy