“Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference.” – Kevin Heath
Studies are proving what happy people have known all along: kindness is directly related to life satisfaction. Kindness benefits both the giver and the receiver and those who are treated with kindness are more likely to pass this kindness along to others.
The definition of kindness in our contemporary culture is the act of going out of your way to be nice to someone or show a person you care. We have all heard the stories of someone being robbed or assaulted while passersby ignore the situation and go out of their way to avoid becoming involved. This lack of connection to one another is harmful to us as it creates a sense of isolation. When we bond together to help one another our ability to overcome and problem-solve increases.
Kindness is truly contagious. It is also a connector. It is like a muscle that needs to be flexed; just because we are born with the capacity for kindness doesn’t mean we use it effectively. I like to buy coffee for the person behind me in line and my barista tells me that when I start this quite often it continues to be paid forward for 5-10 coffees down the line. There is even a website entirely built around documenting random acts of kindness. When you give something for the benefit of another it’s called pro-social spending and research shows that this type of altruism is equally as beneficial to both parties! Here are some great actions you can take to cultivate a kindness epidemic in your community.
1. Smile at strangers. You brighten their day.
2. Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans. You connect with your community.
3. Donate used clothing. You don’t need then but perhaps somebody else does.
4. Compliment a co-worker or peer. Expressing what someone does well makes them more likely to repeat the action.
5. Use recyclable shopping bags. It’s good for the earth and where else are we going to live?
6. Be an organ donor! Save a life.
7. Clear the clutter at home. Hoarding makes you stressed!
8. Buy coffee for a stranger. It warms your heart and reminds you that you have something to give.
9. Volunteer your time. If you don’t have time, give money!
10. Listen with an open mind and active curiosity when your others speak.
11. Take a treat to your child’s teacher. You’ll them you value they contribution to your child’s future.
12. Drop flowers from your garden to a friend.
13. Hug someone. Six second hugs improve your health.
14. Bake a double batch of your best recipe and share it with your busiest friend.
15. Carpool. Share the drive, the gas, and the connection.
16. Pick up litter. Even if you didn’t put it there it’s still your planet.
17. Give old towels to an animal shelter. Or better still adopt a pup.
18. Pass on your old books. Your dust gathering library is someone else’s education.
19. Offer water to your postal worker, lawn service or meter reader. It’s hot. It’s cold. And it’s just the polite thing to do!
20. Express gratitude as often as possible!
21. Learn about another culture’s traditions. When we focus on understanding we remove obstacles to inclusion.
22. Stop gossiping and whining. If it’s not useful, necessary or important; keep it to yourself.
23. Invite your neighbors over.
24. Share uplifting blogs. (Like this one)
25. Cheer for your elementary school sports team. Enthusiasm is contagious.
26. Buy local.
27. Host a holiday toy drive or adopt a family.
28. Adopt a grandparent.
29. Help carry groceries to someone’s car.
30. Treat yourself as kindly as you want to treat others! You are worth it!
“Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.” – Margaret Mead