“Ah, kindness. What a simple way to tell another struggling soul that there is love to be found in this world.” -A.A. Malee.
Need I say more? We could all stand to do our fair share of making the world a kinder place. Doing good for others makes others feel good and it should make you feel good, too. So, in an effort to help the world get to a place where I believe it can one day be (a better place), here are 15 simple gestures of kindness that you can show others and encourage a pay-it-forward attitude that we could definitely use more of every day.
1. Give someone a genuine compliment
It takes almost no time to think of and say something kind to someone. And it could make their day! I know I’m always so caught up in my own head that when someone takes the time to say something nice at the grocery store or nail salon, it catches me by surprise and I remember it for a long time to come!
2. Pay for coffee for the person behind you
One time, I let someone go ahead of me at the drive thru because she was coming from a different direction and no one was letting her get in. When I got to the window, they told me the woman ahead of me paid for my coffee. I probably cheesed for the rest of the day. Do that for someone!
3. Run an errand for someone you know is busy
Everyone is “busy” these days. But there are probably a few people you know who are genuinely in need of a helping hand. If you’re already out running your own errands, extend an offer to someone to bring back a few of the items you know they need. Saving them an hour or two of their time might mean more to them than you may know.
4. Smile at people
Especially during these divided times, when someone smiles at me, it relieves some of the tension I feel about the sad state of humanity we are currently experiencing, here and around the world. Plus, it’s sunnah.
5. Write a thank you note – on an actual card – by hand
Twenty years ago, it was the coolest thing to get an email from someone. Nowadays, letters in the mail have become as sought after as they were when we were kids and couldn’t wait to see something addressed to us, personally, in the mailbox. And when it includes recognition for something you’ve done, well, then it just feels like hitting the happiness jackpot.
6. Bring a treat to your favorite coworker
During Dunkin’ Donuts’ scratch-off game series, I’d often win the hash browns as a prize. When my work BFF told me she really liked them but she doesn’t stop there before work in the morning, I decided to bring them for her every time I won them. It made her happy, which made me happy.
7. Tell a joke to someone who needs a laugh
We’re not all Dave Chappelle, who can make us laugh hysterically and also deeply contemplate the state of the world we live in, but we’re all capable of giving someone something to laugh about. Heck, even my two-year-old niece knows the interrupting cow joke and there’s no way that wouldn’t put a bright spot in your day.
8. Make dinner for someone you care about
What better way to show someone you care than to invite them over for a homemade meal. You can spend undivided time together without a waiter interrupting your conversation, other people bumping into your chair, or a restaurant being too loud to enjoy each other’s company. And you avoid the awkward how-to-split-the-bill part at the end.
9. Hold the door open for someone
Even if the person doesn’t have their hands full or isn’t trying to escape bad weather, it’s nice when someone holds the door for them and lets them enter first.
10. Post inspiring quotes on your social media pages
I know I often come across certain things other people post when I need them most, so why not share with others who could benefit too? I can’t say how many times people will reply and thank me for sharing something they really needed to hear in that particular moment.
11. Bake cookies or a cake for your neighbor
Personally, I love my neighbors because, amongst other reasons, we constantly exchange baked goods when we come across a new or even a tried-and-true recipe. There are no diets in our house because there’s always a sweet treat available.
12. Bring flowers to your assistant or receptionist at work
Flowers are a great way to show appreciation for those who support the work you do throughout the day. And they’ll probably be put on display afterward for everyone to enjoy, so it ends up being a treat for everyone.
13. Spread the opposite of gossip
Instead of telling others when you hear someone say something bad about them, share the good things you hear and that you know will bring them joy. Everyone loves being recognized for the positive qualities they possess, especially in a time when it seems like people only talk about the bad things they think about each other behind their backs.
14. Take a prosperity plant to someone who started a new job
Visit a loved one at work and bring them a plant like this👇 which is said to bring luck, success, and prosperity to the one who receives it. When I started my most recent job, my bestie brought me one of these and I still have it on my desk. It always reminds me of her love and support, even though we don’t get to see each other often.
15. Call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while
Check in with a friend who you know is going through a hard time because their loved one passed away recently or they are going through a divorce – or maybe they’re just sad. Simply offering a listening ear to someone who might not be in the best place could provide the support they haven’t been able to find otherwise. Even just calling someone to say hi could end up being one of the best conversations you’ve both had in a while.
Now, go out there and spread some kindness. Spread a lot of kindness. We could all use it! And don’t forget to share this post so others can be inspired to keep this kindness train going.