Today, I want to focus on something I find very important – kindness. It’s so simple, yet so powerful. I’ve talked about the importance of kindness plenty of times on my blog, but today, I want to focus on ways we can spread kindness. I don’t know about you, but I LOVE hearing about random acts of kindness. The other day, I read this sweet story about an older man that was handing out free flowers at a farmers market, with the hope that it would bring others joy. I mean, how sweet is that?! Doesn’t that just melt your heart? With that being said, here are 10 simple and easy ways to spread kindness.
1. Pay it Forward
You can pay it forward in many ways. A few years ago, I was in the Starbucks drive-thru, and the barista told me that the car in front of me paid for my coffee tab. What was even sweeter than that? It had been happening for over an hour – people kept paying for the cars behind them. Sounds simple, right? It made my day. The Starbucks barista was grinning ear to ear when she told me and I was too. There are endless ways to pay it forward – find one and do it.
2. Smile at People
Anyone who knows me knows I smile at everyone. As Elf said, “I love smiling! Smiling is my favorite!” That quote couldn’t be more true. When you’re walking in the office, give a coworker a smile. When you’re walking around the store, smile at someone you pass in the aisle. When you’re buying groceries, smile at someone next to you. You may not get a smile back – but hey, at least you were the one to smile, not to ignore it. You never know what people are going through – and you never know how much a simple smile can mean to someone.
3. Send a Card
When is the last time your wrote a card to someone? Think about sending someone a card to spread some kindness. I love sending handwritten notes, but it’s easy to keep pushing it off. Grab a card, a pen and write a note to someone – whether it’s a friend, parent, grandparent or a family member (the list can go on and on), take the time to send a card.
4. Say “Hello”
Say hi to someone – show them you notice them. A simple hello really goes a long way. Saying hello to someone shows them you acknowledge them, you see them and you notice them. This may seem like a small gesture, but I guarantee it will bring joy to someone.
5. Ask About Someone’s Day
“Hi, how are you?” “Good.” Usually, that’s the end of that. It SHOULDN’T be. Ask the person how they are doing in return. I always ask people how they are, and you wouldn’t believe the number of times they have looked up, looked completely surprised and responded with a heartfelt answer.
6. Hold the Door or Elevator Open
This small gesture goes a long way. I always make it a point to hold the door open for someone behind me or the elevator when I hear someone down the hall. I remember one time I held the elevator for a lady who was rushing down the hall, and she was so grateful and thanked me about five times. Honestly, I was shocked that such a small gesture meant so much to her. But guess what? It did. Next time you’re walking through the door or in the elevator, hold the door for the person behind you. I promise you, those extra few seconds you spend doing it are 100% worth it.
Volunteer for a non-profit or a cause you really care about. I used to volunteer at a nursing home, and I can’t even begin to explain how much I loved it. I loved spending time with the residents, talking to them, hearing their stories and doing my best to make them smile. There are so many places and non-profits out there, find one (or more) and volunteer.
8. Compliment Someone
Who doesn’t love a compliment or getting words of encouragement? Next time you have a positive thought in your mind about someone, tell them! Compliment them and tell them you appreciate them. You may think it’s a small gesture, but it means SO much.
9. Call Someone
I LOVE getting calls from people and I also love making them. It’s a way to show someone you’re thinking of them and that you care. I always make it a point to take time to call people close to me. If you’re busy, you can find time between the day to call – when you’re cleaning, on a walk, on lunch and so on. Today, call someone you care about and tell them you are thinking about them.
10. Say “Thank You”
These two simple words go a LONG way and don’t take much to say. Say thank you to people – when they hold the door, when they pick something up that you dropped, when a barista gives you your drink, when a waiter brings your food, when someone on the phone helps you with technical support… say thank you. Personally, I always feel so happy when people say thank you because it shows me that they care and appreciate me. So, make sure you say thank you – better say it too much than too little.
These really are simple and easy, my friends. We all have kindness in our hearts, so let’s make it a point to share it with others.
Every day when you wake up ask yourself this: How are you going to spread kindness today? How will your kindness impact someone? How can you kindness change the world?