“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
Gandhi’s well-known quote is a great reminder that although kindness is a simple practice, sometimes we get so wrapped up in the drama of our daily lives, we forget to make an effort to share a little kindness with those around us.
February 18 kicks off Random Acts of Kindness Week, so now is the perfect time to start thinking about easy ways to spread a little kindness around the community. Not only does it feel amazing, but it usually doesn’t stop with one act of kindness, rippling out like waves and creating a feel-good impact that keeps on giving. Here are 10 random acts of kindness to get you started:
1. Download a Random Acts of Kindness calendar at randomactsofkindness.org. This free printable monthly calendar is filled with daily acts of kindness suitable for both work and home, such as “Bring in your favorite treat to work and share with everyone. Share the recipe as well.” and “Wake up early to appreciate the sunrise.”
2. Go for a long walk and pick up every piece of trash you see. Sometimes the acts of kindness that nobody else knows about are the ones that feel the best.
3. Send a letter or card to somebody you care about for no reason at all, other than to let them know you are thinking about them.
4. Give a big warm smile to everyone you encounter. The woman in the car next to you, the man walking his dog, the cashier at the market. Smiling can actually trick your brain into being happy, and if you can get someone else to smile back, well then, you’ve created some happiness for them too.
5. Offer to take a grocery cart from someone – either to use yourself if you’re on your way in, or to return to the cart stall, if you’re on your way out.
6. Leave a quarter or two on the vending machine, so someone will get the unexpected free treat of a handful of candy, a cold bottle of water, or a bouncy ball.
7. Paint colorful hearts on rocks and leave them in unexpected places like your friends’ gardens or front walkways.
8. Make a double batch of dinner early and bring the extra to your neighbor. Soup and bread or lasagna and salad are always good choices.
9. When you finish a great book, think of someone who would enjoy it, and bring it to them with a nice note tucked inside.
10. Involve your kids. There’s nothing better than seeing the kids’ delight when you pay for the food or drinks for the driver behind you in the drive-through line and they get to spy on that person’s reaction. Kindness is fun, too!