Being kind is a win-win situation. It makes you feel great, and it gives the person on the receiving end a buzz too. Here are 10 straightforward things you can do to improve someone’s day – today.
“No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
1. Thank somebody
Let’s start you off with something simple. All you have to do is think of someone you are grateful to, and let them know. It could be that your mum always has your favorite meal in the oven whenever you visit. Does she know how warm this makes you feel inside? She won’t unless you tell her.
2. Make a playlist
Do you remember how touched you were when that boy you liked in school brought you in a mix tape? You can do it today too! Simply open Spotify, Grooveshark or SoundCloud and list your favorite tracks. Pop the playlist into an email with a nice message, and hey presto! You’ve made someone’s day. Maybe a friend who is trying to get fit needs some fast techno to get them round the park three times, or perhaps a co-worker has trouble relaxing and could do with a few yogic chants to chill out to before bed.
We all get upset at people sometimes. It’s only human. But you know what? It probably doesn’t matter that much. It might be that your girlfriend was late to your last date, or maybe your dad hasn’t called you enough lately. But the fact is, both you and them will probably feel a whole lot better if you simply let this one slide. Life’s too short to be angry at the little things.
4. Give someone chocolate
This one’s easy. However you want to do it – whether it’s leaving some coins in a vending machine after you’re done, or buying a packet of individually-wrapped sweets and leaving them on people’s desks at the office – chocolate cheers everyone up. So make someone smile with chocolate today!
5. Compliment a stranger
Find some Post-It notes and write nice little messages on them, like “You’re beautiful” and “You matter”, “You’re doing great!” Then, leave them on mirrors in public toilets, on train windows – anywhere they’ll be seen. Sometimes we all need reminding of our worth, and all the better if this comes unexpectedly from a pure stranger.
6. Send a letter
Nobody writes letters these days, yet we all love receiving them. Whoever it is – your long-lost auntie, a friend from school you keep meaning to meet up with – they’ll be touched that you took the time to get out pen and paper, sit down for half an hour, then actually seek out their address AND go and buy a stamp.
7. Talk to a bored person
Next time you’re at the store, or go through the toll booth, think about the person serving you. Their job is probably a bit monotonous. Sometimes they’re bound to have pretty low moments sitting there, wondering what their purpose is in life. Why not crack a joke as you pick up your groceries, or tell them about an interesting fact you just found on Google? It’ll really help them reach the end of their shift to know somebody didn’t just want them for their ability to scan a bunch of bananas through the till.
8. Make a co-worker food
Choose someone in the office and send them a quick email before they leave for the evening: “Don’t bring in lunch tomorrow – it’s on me!” Every day, office workers all over the planet have to think about what they’re going to have for lunch. Millions forget to bring anything in, and end up going for a dried-out, over-priced sandwich – yet again. Well, why not make lunchtime easier for someone in your life tomorrow?
9. Donate to the needy
I know, it’s hard to tell whether that homeless person outside the station is going to spend your hard-earned cash on drugs or alcohol. But what does it matter? If they want to spend their money on these things, that is up to them. By giving them a couple of coins you are showing them you care, you’ll without a doubt make their day. In fact, if you’re really worried about how your money is spent, opt for a hot drink or a sandwich instead.
10. Wash a friend’s car
It’s the sort of thing that it’s always hard to fit in – but the grime certainly builds up. Why not surprise your neighbor, relative or friend by doing the job for them? It’ll only take you half an hour, but boy, will they be pleased about it.
For more ideas and inspiration, go to the Random Acts of Kindness website
Photo credit: Darinka Maja on Flickr