10 Easy Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness by Alice
As today is #WorldKindnessDay, we have been thinking about what random acts of kindness we can perform today…
‘Random Acts of Kindness’ was a term coined by writer Anne Herbert when she wrote ‘practice random acts of kindness and senseless acts of beauty’ on a placemat in 1982 and it refers to non-premeditated actions designed to spread kindness. For many, it has become a mantra of sorts, a way to live. And it doesn’t just refer to acts of kindness towards other people. An act of kindness can be towards animals, your community, the environment and even yourself. It is a movement aimed at making kind and selfless acts the norm and, to me, that sounds like a very good idea.
Kindness is teachable and contagious and so easy to achieve. Below are 10 ideas for random acts of kindness that won’t take any time out of your day, but will have a huge impact on those around you. Things that you can easily assimilate into your day to day life, not just on National Kindness Day, but every day.
1. Leave a surprise in a library book
Even just a positive message or a drawing could make someone’s day. A popular alternative is leaving encouraging notes on mirrors in public toilets.
2. Leave a generous tip
If you get good service at a restaurant, acknowledge it. Leaving a few extra coins with your bill isn’t going to affect you all that much, but it will let your server know that they’ve done a good job and should be proud.
3. Reply to a post you enjoy
The next time a Facebook post makes you laugh, let the person who posted it know. It will take two seconds out of your day and it will make that person feel good.
4. Text someone good morning or goodnight
It’s nice to know that someone is thinking about you, especially at the start or end of the day. Get over that British sense of awkwardness and let someone know they’re on your mind.
5. Listen intently
We live in a world of social media where it feels like everyone is crying out for attention. It’s easy to continue scrolling down your newsfeed, or to nod passively when someone talks to you while secretly rearranging your to do list in your head. The next time your friend or co-worker is having a bad day, try to stop and really listen. Maybe that’s all they need.
6. Bring reusable bags food shopping
This is something we all forget to do. We step out of our front doors and, halfway down the road, remember that we’ve left our carrier bags at home. Move your carrier bags to a drawer by your front door, or constantly keep one in your handbag, so you never forget.
7. Turn your computer off overnight
This goes for all electronics. As you go to bed, make sure lights, the TV, the computer, are all switched off.
8. Don’t jump to conclusions
Everyone knows how hard it is to be misunderstood. Take time to think and understand the situation. Acknowledge that you may not know the whole story. Don’t assume that the person asking for directions in the street is after your money. Don’t assume that your co-worker is being short with you because you have done something wrong. Try to think about what may be going on in their lives and give them and yourself a break.
9. Be polite on the road
Everyone gets road rage. Everyone wants to honk their horn at the idiot who doesn’t know how to use his indicators. No one in a rush wants to let someone out in front of them at a junction. Don’t be that person. Allow people to pull out in front of you and thank those that do the same for you.
10. Start a piggy bank for a cause
All of those coppers and 5p coins that disappear down the back of the sofa or become buried in the pocket of a forgotten handbag could easily go towards a good cause. Just keep a pot in your house and, every now and then, drop a few coins in. You won’t notice the loss of those coins, but after a few months they will build up to an amount worth giving to your chosen charity.
If you want to read more about kindness, the first part of Victoria Walters’ Random Acts of Kindness is out in e-book on 4th December, telling the story of Abbie, Louise and Eszter, three women who find themselves in the small town of Littlewood and discover, in very different ways, the impact of kindness.
For these three characters, kindness starts with a ‘kindness board’ in the local café, on which locals are encouraged to write the acts of kindness they have experienced recently. We would love to make our Twitter feed into our very own kindness board, so if you have experienced or witnessed a random act of kindness recently, please Tweet it with the hashtag #RandomActsofKindness or write it in the comments below.
Thanks for reading and happy National Kindness Day!