One thing I’ve learned along the way to becoming proficient at performing random acts of kindness is that it takes practice and creativity. I’ve already shared some ways for you to get started on your own do-gooder practice, but you still may not be convinced. Doing something for others doesn’t have to take much effort at all. It also doesn’t have to cost a dime. Let’s take a look at some ways you can reach out and brighten someone’s day in the easiest way. You can never have too many good examples.
- Smile at a stranger.
- Encourage someone who’s struggling.
- Give a word of praise to someone who’s least expecting it, like your boss.
- Hold the elevator for someone who’s in a rush.
- Read a child a story.
- Listen to someone’s complaint.
- Say a heartfelt thank you.
- Share a friend’s creative work on social media.
- Call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time just to say hello.
- Leave a blog comment when you read a post that truly resonates with you.
- Offer a homeless person your leftovers from a restaurant or bagged lunch.
- Tell a frazzled parent what a good job they’re doing or how well-behaved their child is.
- Give someone a hug if they say it’s okay to do so.
- Offer to return someone’s shopping cart.
- Share a kind word with the customer service representative, either on the phone or in-person.
- Give up your seat to someone standing on the subway or bus.
- Write a short message of thanks or encouragement to a co-worker, your partner or random stranger.
- Say hello to a homeless person.
- Introduce yourself to a new neighbor or co-worker.
- Make introductions between your contacts if you feel they could benefit each other or get along well.
- Let someone merge in front of you when driving in heavy traffic.
- Offer to take on someone’s work task if you have time and they seem swamped.
- Give someone a ride who doesn’t have a car.
- Make amends for past wrongs to someone who was once in your life.
- Agree to an activity you might not enjoy just because someone else will love it.
- Invite someone to your holiday celebration if you know they’ll be alone.
- Share your expert knowledge with someone who has questions and has asked for advice.
- Write a recommendation on LinkedIn.
- Offer to pick up items for others when you’re heading out to grab lunch or run an errand.
- Recognize someone for their good idea or contribution during a work meeting.
Okay, now are you ready to get out there and start sharing random acts of kindness? All of these are super-easy, low-effort and free ways to brighten someone’s day. You can do it!
Even after yesterday’s list of ideas to get you started, you still may not be convinced you’re ready to go out there to spread unexpected joy in the world. I can understand that. Giving without a special occasion or particular reason feels foreign. You may worry about the reaction you’ll receive. Let’s explore some of these issues so you can move on from your comfort zone and try a random act of kindness today.
About Random Acts of Kindness
Kindness goes beyond simply being nice. Being kind is selfless. It requires empathy and putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. In our busy modern world, we’re often consumed with hectic schedules and too many commitments. That can make it difficult to look outside of ourselves and consider the needs of others. Random acts of kindness require you to take the leap and do just that. These selfless acts are to be performed on behalf of others for no other reason than to make their day better or improve their mood.
What’s Holding You Back?
There are lots of things that could be keeping you from sharing random acts of kindness with others. Many people feel insecure about putting themselves out there and allowing themselves to be vulnerable in this way. It takes courage and self-confidence to give freely to another with no agenda or particular reason. You’ll probably overcome this comfort once you begin to practice doing little acts here and there. Sometimes people feel themselves to be unworthy. They may think others wouldn’t receive their gift without suspicion. It can be risky to take such a leap, but the rewards are usually worth it. Most recipients are quite enthusiastic and happy to get such a surprise. Maybe you just feel too wrapped up in your own needs that it seems impossible to spare anything for anyone else. Usually, you’ll find this not to be the case once you start to give.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone
Doing random acts of kindness take you out of your own little world and allow you to connect with others in meaningful ways. This can have a very powerful effect on you, your recipient and anyone who sees or comes in contact with your efforts. Performing unsolicited good deeds adds positivity to the world around you. It will rarely have negative repercussions. Try taking just one small step outside your comfort zone to give to another in even the smallest of ways. Then try something a bit more daring the next day. Each positive response will increase your confidence.
Are you ready to start performing random acts of kindness today? Hopefully, you’ve given some thought to what’s holding you back and feel enthusiastic about all the ways you could enhance the lives of those around you.
Performing random acts of kindness may be new to you, so it’s possible you have no idea how to begin. That’s okay. Coming up with ideas can be tough. That’s why today’s blog post is packed full of things you can do to make someone else’s day a little brighter. Some of the activities will cost you nothing and take only a moment of your time. Others will be more in-depth. Choose whatever fits your comfort level and the occasion. Enjoy these examples of random acts of kindness to inspire you.
- Hold the door open for the person behind you whose hands are full.
- Allow the shopper in the grocery line move ahead of you if you only have a few items and their cart is full.
- Check on an elderly neighbor or shut-in.
- Donate your old clothes to charity.
- Tape change to a parking meter or vending machine.
- Give the new employee a tour of your work area or offer to sit with them at lunch.
- Volunteer. At a nursing home, a homeless shelter, a soup kitchen, your kid’s school, anywhere.
- Adopt a child or family during the holidays to give gifts to.
- Send a get-well card to someone, or even a card for no reason whatsoever.
- Ask for donations to your favorite charity instead of presents for your birthday.
- Smile at someone on the street.
- Give an unsolicited compliment.
- Pay for the person behind you in line at the fast food restaurant or drive through.
- Let the manager of the store know when an associate gives you exceptional service.
- Leave kind notes in the dressing room to encourage body positivity.
- Offer to babysit for parents who really need a night away or to help with the nightly feedings for a new mother friend.
- Clean up the trash in your neighborhood or at your favorite outdoor recreation spot like a park or beach.
- Visit a nursing home just to spend time with those who rarely receive visitors or to bring treats for the residents.
- Send a note of thanks to someone who’s made a big difference in your life.
- Pay for someone’s layaway who hasn’t made a payment in a long while.
- Fundraise by participating in a 5K, walk or other sponsored activity.
- Shovel the driveway for elderly neighbors or those who may otherwise have trouble doing the job themselves. Mowing lawns and raking leaves are also good ideas.
- Mentor a young person entering your profession
- Help someone stranded on the side of the road.
- Take the time to listen to someone who is having a bad day.
Hopefully, this quick list will inspire you to begin sharing random acts of kindness with those around you. Pick one from the list or come up with an idea of your own, then just do it. See how you feel. Chances are you’ll be ready to do another one tomorrow.
“The midwives, however, feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live.” – Exodus 1:17, NIV
The Israelites had lived in Egypt since the great famine. But as the years passed, a new Pharaoh came into power.
He watched the Israelites multiply so he sent a decree to the mid-wives in the land. Any baby boys born to Israelite women were to be killed on the spot.
But two mid-wives, named Shiphrah and Puah, chose to defy Pharaoh and allowed the Israelite children to live. Eventually, word reached Pharaoh and he demanded to know what was happening.
The midwives answered Pharaoh, “Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they are vigorous and give birth before the midwives arrive.” (Exodus 1:19)
Because of their brave stand, God granted both Shiphrah and Puah families of their own. These two women became defiant mothers.
It’s not easy to stand up to evil. It’s risky and in some cases, it could be deadly. But these two women didn’t let the threats stop them. They were faithful to God anyway and He rewarded them for it.
God, when I’m tempted to ignore evil, give me courage. Remind me of the bravery of Shiphrah and Puah. Help me to speak up for the oppressed and protect them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.