Do you remember that time a stranger went out of their way to show you kindness? Perhaps you slipped over and they helped you to gather your belongings or maybe you’ve been lucky enough to be the beneficiary of a kind ‘pay it forward’ customer. Whatever it was, it’s almost certain to be filed away in a corner of your mind that makes you smile and restores your faith in humankind.
Today, February 17th 2019, is International Random Acts of Kindness Day. What better excuse to inspire other people to go out of their way to do something special for someone else.
During my research for this blog post, I read several articles collating some extraordinary random acts of kindness. Some things were expensive (£100 tips at restaurants) while some brought about short-term inconveniences for the giver (many people giving their shoes to homeless people without them and continuing their own journey barefoot). But many examples were small acts that most of us can replicate in our own way with little inconvenience.
Here are 10 examples of things you could do.
- Ask a friend you think has something troubling them to talk over coffee and surprise them by paying for their drink. Not only will they feel lighter for sharing their worries but the free drink will remind them that you genuinely want to help them to find a resolution.
- Write a letter or note reminding the reader that they are doing a great job, no matter their current circumstances and that they are loved. Hide it in a book or leave it on a table for the next person to read.
- Pay for someone’s cup of tea or sandwich in your local cafe.
- Give someone a genuine compliment about something you admire.
- Listen to someone’s stories. We love to relive moments in our life or describe how something made us feel. Simply holding space for that person in those moments and listening without judgement or too many interruptions will bring them joy. You’ll see it written across their face.
- Pick up litter when you see it and place it in the bin if it’s safe to do so.
- Offer your help to someone who looks like their struggling with their luggage or pram.
- Let someone go in front of you in the shop’s queue if they have fewer items or look to be in a rush.
- Smile and say hello, good morning, afternoon or whatever feels most appropriate when passing a stranger in the street. It shows the person that you see them and could be the turning point in their day.
- Send an old friend or family member a message to let them know you still think of them. Even if you only have 5 minutes spare in the day, a message that reads ‘hello! Long time, no see. Hope you’re doing well. It would be great to get some time in the diary to catch up properly. When are you available this month?’
Let me know which ones you’ll try this coming week, and comment below any other ideas for random acts of kindness.