“Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough,” explained Franklin D. Roosevelt. Unfortunately, we live in a world where many don’t recognize this to be true.
All too often, we view kindness as a weakness. We see it as a threat to our independence and sense of self-preservation – when in reality it is exactly the opposite.
As Roy T. Bennett wrote, “A random act of kindness, no matter how small, can make a tremendous impact on someone else’s life.” Doesn’t our true strength lie not in our ability to be independent, but in our unique and significant power to change the world?
Be powerful today. Do something nice for someone. Give for the sake of giving.
Here are 30 ways to spread some kindness in a world that needs it so desperately:
1. Create your own free library to share your love of reading and build a sense of community in your neighborhood.
2. Bring homemade snacks to a tedious or tension-filled meeting.
3. Mow the lawn or shovel snow for an elderly neighbor. Stop in and say hi after you do.
4. Leave extra change in random vending machines, so when someone goes to grab a snack they find it’s already been paid for.
5. Write a letter of appreciation to your favorite teacher from your school days.
6. In the heat of summer, leave cold drinks on the porch for your mailmen, garbage collectors, and whoever else comes by.
7. Offer to take your friend’s children for a fun day out. Share an interest or hobby with them while their parents enjoy a well-deserved break.
8. Spend your date night at a local charity’s fundraising event, rather than opting for the tired dinner-and-a-movie routine.
9. Declutter your home. Sell what you don’t need at a garage sale, and donate the proceeds to charity.
10. Send a handwritten card to your grandparents.
11. Start a meal train for a new mother, grieving family, or anyone else who could use support.
12. If you see litter on the side of the road, pick it up and throw it away.
13. Spend a morning walking the dogs at your local animal shelter.
14. Double your usual tip when you go out to dinner.
15. Play pretend with a child. Take the time to listen to their stories.
17. Take the smaller piece when you split a treat.
18. Take the larger share when you split a job.
19. Send a letter of encouragement to someone who needs it through this organization.
20. Drive safely and passively. Let everyone merge.
21. When you experience exceptional customer service, let that person’s boss know how helpful they were.
22. Pay for the person behind you in line at the drive-thru.
23. Decorate somebody’s office, locker, or cubicle to celebrate their birthday.
24. Put some coins in an expired parking meter.
25. Forgive somebody who has hurt you.
26. Introduce two friends you’ve always thought would get along well with one another.
27. Bring some baked treats to a retirement home. Stick around and get to know some of the residents.
28. Go out of your way to hold the door for a stranger.
29. Keep an extra umbrella at work. Let someone borrow it when it rains.
30. Do a chore that normally falls to a family member or roommate. Don’t mention it to them.
“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world,” said Desmond Tutu. Do something – big or small – to fill your world with positivity each day. You’ll be surprised at the change you inspire.