My 24th birthday is in a couple of days — September 28th (woo!) — and I’m very excited to embark on another year with my loved ones. Over the course of this past year, I learned the importance of being kind to one another. We don’t really think about what it could mean for ourselves and other people when we do or say something to lift another person’s spirits. So, in honor of my 24th birthday, I want you all to do me a favor. Yes, all of you. In this blog, I am going to offer 24 ways that we can be kind to others in our daily lives, and I want you to promise me to try at least one of them today. Great, let’s get started!
1. Smile and speak. It’s so simple, but you’d be surprised at how much a simple act of acknowledgment can mean to someone. When you smile and say, “Good morning,” you’re recognizing that this person exists, and this can mean so much to someone who feels invisible to the world.
2. Hold the door or the elevator for someone. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s becoming more and more uncommon.
3. Compliment someone. Okay, it’s honesty time. How many of us walk past someone who is wearing a beautiful dress or pretty makeup and don’t say anything? Go on and raise your hand, and I’ll raise mine too — we’re all guilty of this! It doesn’t hurt to give someone a compliment, so why don’t we just do it? You never know who struggles with self-confidence, so saying that someone’s hairstyle is pretty or that their dress looks amazing can make them feel beautiful!
4. Call an old friend or family member. Yes, the phone works both ways, but being committed to acts of kindness means letting go of that mentality. Just pick up the phone and call or text someone that you haven’t seen or heard from in a while. Let them know you care.
5. Donate your sick leave. If you’re one of those people who only get sick once or twice or year, try donating your sick leave to someone who is going through a lot of medical problems at work.
6. Let someone merge in front of you on the highway. Don’t ride bumper to bumper to avoid letting someone get over. Be kind and let them go, even if they were in the wrong.
7. Buy food for the homeless. Sometimes I don’t feel comfortable giving money because I never know if they’re going to use it for good, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t help them altogether. If they’re asking for money as you’re going in a store, pick them up something to eat — whatever you can afford! Also, be sure to keep some granola bars in your car for when you see them as you’re sitting at a red light.
8. Put your phone away at dinner. Be present with your family, and eat dinner with no distractions!
9. Say thank you. After a waiter takes your order, say thank you. When a janitor is cleaning the restroom, say thank you. It really does go a long way!
10. Share someone’s blog, art, or business with others. People work really hard, and sharing with your friends can be very helpful.
11. Help someone with heavy bags or boxes. Even if they don’t accept your help, it’s nice to at least offer!
12. Talk to someone new. If you always talk to the same people at work or at school, then try going out of your way to speak to someone who you usually don’t talk to. You might make a new friend!
13. Donate old clothes. We all have a few shirts in our closet that we never wear, but we still have them for some reason. Ever think that someone else could put those clothes to good use?
14. Donate $1 at the cash register. You know when you’re at a store and it asks you if you’d like to donate $1 to benefit a charity? Some of us do it when we have it, but some of us never donate even when we can afford it. Try it, and see how good it makes you feel afterward.
15. Brew a fresh pot of coffee at work. Even if you didn’t drink the last of it, someone will appreciate that it’s filled.
16. Leave a note with a positive message. Leave it on your co-worker’s desk, your friend’s locker, you spouse’s side of the bed.
17. Do a chore for your spouse. If they wash the dishes every single night, try doing it for a few days to give them a break! If they always wash clothes every week, take care of it for them while they’re out!
18. Donate hand sanitizer and Kleenex to your child’s school during flu season. You’ll help your child and everyone in the school stay as germ-free as possible!
19. Treat yourself. Pamper yourself by going to the salon or the barbershop, or doing something that’s just for you. Being kind to yourself is just as important as being kind to others.
20. Give coupons to someone else in the grocery store. If you know you have a coupon in your bag for a soap brand that you hate, but you see that someone else has that soap in their cart, give them the coupon! Better off with them than in the trash!
21. Give your spouse a back rub. After a long day at work, nothing is more relaxing than getting your back rubbed… and you didn’t even have to ask for it!
22. Celebrate Custodial Appreciation Day at the office. Did you know that this existed? Well, you do now! It’s annually on October 2nd, so start planning now! Be sure to bring this up in your next meeting. 🙂
23. Ask someone how their weekend went, and listen to them. It lets them know that you care enough to ask.
24. Buy someone a just-because gift. We don’t always have to wait for a birthday or holiday to give someone something special! If you see something in the store or online that your loved one will like, buy it!
See? Those weren’t too bad. Just commit to doing at least one thing on this list more often, and it’ll make the world better and brighter. Be sure to let me know in the comments which one you’re willing to try or which ones you already put into practice!
“A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees,” — Amelia Earhart