It’s those random acts of kindness that are the most compelling in everyday life. Maybe it seems extra special because we know there’s no agenda…with nothing to be gained by the giver other than knowing they’ve done something that is genuinely and unexpectedly kind, something that is exceedingly rare in this day and age. I personally make it a point to try and perform one random act of kindness per day…whether it’s holding the door open for a stranger on the way into the bank, scooping up a dropped shopping list for someone in the market, or allowing a car to merge in front of me during that every-man-for-himself time known as the daily commute.
I’ll admit that some random acts of kindness will genuinely surprise me. When a lone car stops to allow me to cross the street on a frigid day, even though they have the right of way, I’m grateful. And it inspires me to pay it forward for someone else.
There are entire sites devoted to random acts of kindness…helping people with ideas and inspiration on the concept of giving without expectations. The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation is a non-profit organization whose tagline is “to inspire people to practice kindness and to pass it on to others”.
Acts of Kindness Ideas
- Dig out your neighbor’s car after a snowstorm, or shovel their walk. Imagine how surprised you would be if you reluctantly dragged yourself outside to begin the back-breaking chore, only to discover someone had done it for you?
- Compliments are free…and unfortunately are oftentimes rare. Next time you admire someone’s hair or shoes, tell them! Everyone enjoys that boost of confidence that comes from a well-chosen compliment and chances are good that they’ll remember your kind words for years to come.
- Unexpected gifts at unexpected times have a way of expressing to someone that they are a valuable part of your life throughout the year. Consider surprising your boss, neighbor or friend with a colorful, fragrant floral arrangement. During this cold, dreary winter, where everything has become a sea of black and white, imagine the light in their eyes as they revel in the colors and fragrances of the seasons to come.
- Pass on your used books to your local library or community school district. It will feel good to pass the joy of a wonderful read on to someone else who shares your love of reading.
Performing random acts of kindness on a regular basis can strengthen your relationships with your coworkers, neighbors and friends…without making you feel weighed down by an expected form of responsibility. When you’re not being required to give, it oftentimes makes the act of generosity feel effortless…and just might become a part of your daily life. You’ll reap the rewards and make the world a happier place to live in the process.