The goal of random acts of kindness is to bring a smile to someone’s face, whether you know them, or they are a stranger you pass on the street. The idea of kindness is so subjective, it could mean an entirely different set of things to each of us. But what binds the whole structure of kindness together is the relative sense of selflessness and the pure joy of giving without expecting anything in return.
The spirit of giving is built upon the belief that people are generally good and that being kind to others is vital to life, especially in many religions. Not everyone out there is looking for an ulterior motive to things and random acts of kindness prove that people are willing to do good things with no strings attached.
Help a stray animal find a home
We see stray animals all around us, yet helping one find a home or a shelter rarely crosses our minds. More often than not, we just walk past a stray and continue on our busy schedules. Much has been said about helping out another human being as a mark of universal brotherhood and humanity, however to engage in an act of kindness towards a animal goes a level higher by showing respect for life in all forms. You might adopt a stray yourself and giving it the care it needs, or take it into a shelter and putting it up for adoption. This is an absolutely selfless act to do, and can help keep not only the animal safe but also the neighborhood in which you found it.
Say Hello and Thank You
On an average day, we see so many people. Imagine for example the guy who gives you the movie tickets at the theatre, or the sweeper at your local fast food joint who cleans around your table. In normal circumstances, we don’t really realize the importance of a simple Hello or Thank You, and how far it can go in making that person’s day. The next time you’re at the laundromat or buying a ticket for a movie, or even at the dry-cleaner’s, don’t forget to greet the first person you see there with a bright smile and a hello, and don’t forget to thank the person sitting at the pay desk or ticket booth. Take 10 seconds out of your day and ask the newspaper boy how he’s doing or just leave a thank you note for the mailman in your letterbox. These small gestures can brighten up someone’s day by both surprising them and sharing a little extra kindness.
Plant a Tree
Doing a little something for the environment never hurt anybody. Plant a tree in your neighborhood and make it a fun activity by involving your friends and family in it as well. You could even organize a full-fledged tree planting drive in your town and get everyone in your community involved. This will not only help the environment and community, but also spread more awareness about how the average citizen can make a difference for the environment and climate change. This is an inexpensive and eco-friendly way to give back to the Earth and make your surroundings a little more cleaner and greener for everyone.
Clean up the local park
People throw all sorts of trash around, and a simple picnic at the park leaves behind a lot of plastics and unnecessary garbage which is unhealthy and hazardous for the green cover and any playing children in the park. Take out one afternoon on a weekend and get to work: gather a lot of trash bags and pick up any random piece of garbage you find. By helping clean a local park you are not only showing your respect for public spaces, but also a sense of belonging and consideration for others. At the same time, by making the task of the local sweeper easier for one weekend out of the many you get, you’re expressing gratitude for their work, which often goes unnoticed. This is one of those random acts of kindness that works on a while bunch of levels!
Bake cookies for civil servants and domestic help
The people who help us with the most basic things in our routine, be it delivery people, garbage truck drivers and domestic help also deserve our kindness and appreciation. Bake a batch of cookies for them and bring a smile to their faces when they least expect it. You could even make a Christmas preparation for them once the holiday season arrives. The same act of kindness can be extended to the people who provide their essential services to us even when everyone else is safe at home, enjoying their family time, such as the fire department or the police department. The fact that you make the treats yourself instead of purchasing them makes the whole thing even more personal and special.
Volunteer to read at a school for the blind
Time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to someone, and what better way to spend it than read for a group of children at a school for the blind? Call up first and ask if you can drop in for a few hours to spend time with the children. Reading is a simple activity that requires almost no tedious effort from your side, and can be a refreshing break for the children at the school who are more used to using the braille books to read. This is much more than a mere act of kindness, it is also a form of community service and a way to establish a deeper connection with those who are different from us and have to manage disability throughout their daily lives. All it takes is a book and a phone call.
Donating blood is not just an act of kindness; you are literally saving a life. Hospitals regularly organize blood donation camps, and blood banks are always willing to accept blood if you wish to donate it. It’s a harmless activity if you’re healthy, and you will feel amazed at how powerful it feels to be able to give something that can do so much good.
Leave a note and cup of coffee for someone new at work
We’ve all been in that position of trying to fit in at a new job. If you have a new co-worker at work, bring a smile to their face by leaving a welcome note and a cup of coffee for them at their table before they arrive. It will make him/her feel better, and happier that someone is aware of and welcoming their presence. Similarly, you can even choose to buy a stranger coffee at a nearby cafe, and start a conversation with someone new. Random acts of kindness could end with the act itself or become the start of a new friendship or connection. You never know where they’ll take you.