Kindness Can Change the World
According to the esteemed Dalai Lama, practicing compassion is a sure path for you to be happy, and for making others happy as well. Small acts of kindness, done for others, often inspires them to go out and do their own acts of kindness. Whether it’s a notion of paying it forward or simply the adjustment of mood doesn’t matter, the real key is that by being kind, you inspire kindness.
- Talk to the wallflower.
Parties and social gatherings are fun for most people. Some people, though, find them to be terrifying experiences. Usually, these people sit alone because they don’t know anyone, or they are extremely introverted. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t interested in meeting new people or making friends, they simply may feel overwhelmed by all the people in the room. Talking to them can brighten their day and it may earn you a rewarding lifelong friend in the process.
- Offer a warm drink on a cold day.
Think of the people you come across who work outdoors no matter what the weather holds in store.
- Crossing guards.
- Toll booth attendants.
- Postal and other delivery workers.
- Police men.
Even consider offering a Starbucks gift card if their jobs prevent them from using their hands to indulge in a warm cup of coffee or cocoa on the spot. It’s a small treat that makes them feel appreciated, warms their hearts, and brightens their days.
- Lend assistance.
It can be something as simple as holding a door, helping someone pick up spilled items from the floor, or taking a few packages off that person’s hand to ease his or her burden. Some people, especially the elderly, can use the help and it will brighten their day.
- Knit a scarf for someone in need.
Little luxuries and touches of warmth may be difficult to come by for some people. Knitting a scarf is something thoughtful you can do that adds that touch of warmth. Something they’ll remember day after day.
- Donate toys to a domestic violence shelter.
Many people offer the necessities for women and children in domestic violence shelters. But for children who have lost so much, a toy can provide comfort, relieve boredom, and offer a friend when they feel a little lost.
- Help a neighbor with yard work.
Very few people are devoted fans of yard work. Helping someone out with this task, which so many find unpleasant is a way of investing in your neighborhood and boosting your neighbor’s day.
- Shovel the snow from an elderly person’s drive.
Once people reach a certain age, shoveling snow becomes a tedious, and sometimes dangerous chore. Offering to shovel their snow not only brightens their day, but it reduces their risks of potential health problems associated with shoveling snow.
- Send cards to lonely seniors.
You can work with nursing homes, senior living centers, veteran’s homes, etc. to find a list of older adults who might appreciate a card or kind note.
- Send care packages to soldiers.
The men and women who serve our country do a great service. They brave brutal heat and cold (depending on their duty stations) and time away from families who love them. Few things brighten their days more than receiving goodies from home and a kind word from strangers who appreciate their service.
- Pay for the car behind you in the drive thru line.
People who hit the drive-thru are generally in a hurry, frazzled, and often not having the best of days. This simple gesture can brighten their days immeasurably, and may inspire them to do their own acts of kindness elsewhere.
- Bring an extra umbrella to lend to others when it’s raining.
An unexpected session of rain can ruin a sunny day fast. But, this kind gesture puts a little brightness back into an otherwise dreary afternoon.
- Do something for the planet.
Plant a tree, start a recycling program, volunteer to clean up a park or a beach. The idea is to do something for the planet and inspire others to do the same.
- Coach a little league team.
Kids’ sports teams are always looking for people willing to volunteer their time, energy, and effort to coach their teams. These coaches teach children about so much more than sports, and can help shape the way they see the world.
- Let someone know they’ve done an excellent job.
Maybe it’s a friend, child, or coworker. Telling others they’ve done a good job offers them verbal affirmation, and makes them feel better about themselves and about you.
- Send a thank you note in the mail.
Telling someone thank you for a gift, recommendation, etc. is always appropriate. However, if you want to really show your appreciation, send them a Thank You Card in the mail. It will brighten their day, and make them feel good about what they did for you.
- Leave a response card for a restaurant or business with a glowing review.
Far too often we are more likely to use those cards to complain than compliment. Be the voice of praise instead of one of criticism.
- Donate clothes you no longer wear.
Goodwill and similar organizations are always looking for clothing for the needy. In some areas of the country, gently-used coats are especially needed.
- Leave extra coupons in the supermarket.
If you have coupons you won’t use, allow others to save money instead by leaving them next to the products.
- Offer babysitting services for a friend or neighbor.
The gift of alone time is not one to underestimate – especially during certain times of year when it can be difficult to shop without little eyes nearby.
- Offer to do a little extra shopping for an elderly neighbor.
Sometimes your neighbors can’t get out to do their shopping. It doesn’t take you out of your way to pick up a few extra items while you’re out, and it could mean the world to the neighbor you’ve helped.
Think about how different this world would be if everyone took a few minutes out of their day to do something kind for someone else. Today is World Kindness Day and it’s a great day to begin. Look for ways you can show kindness to others, not just today, but every day.
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