Simple Acts of Kindness

Photo by Mei-Ling Mirow on Unsplash

Acts of kindness don’t need to be difficult or expensive. If you slow down just a little bit as you go about your day and have awareness of what’s around you, you’ll see needs that you may not have recognized before. Sometimes people may refuse an offer because they’re so surprised. But there’s never harm in asking and it’ll make your day to know that you’re helping somebody else.

Instead of complaining on social media, take time to publicly compliment an individual or business.

If you have exceptionally good service at a retail store or restaurant, take time to let a supervisor know about that employee.

Send a thank-you note to someone who doesn’t expect it, such as the receptionist at your doctor’s office or the server at your favorite restaurant.

Write an encouraging note and leave it on someone’s car.

If you see a shopping cart blocking a handicap parking spot, take a minute and return it to the front of this store.

At stores without a cart caddy in the parking lot (like Trader Joes), offer to take someone’s cart after they unload so they don’t have to go back to the store.

Say hello to someone who may not respond to you, such a person with severe special needs or dementia. Even when it’s not clear how much someone understand, a friendly smile can go a long way and caregivers are glad to know their loved ones are seen.

Offer a sincere compliment to someone you come across in your day-to-day routine. 

Start a positive chain reaction with your words. What’s something nice said to you that you can sincerely tell someone else?

Make people laugh. Share a funny explanation for minor irritations.

Say hello to the people stocking shelves in your retail store. Ask them how their day is going. They can often feel invisible.

If you see someone shopping in a wheelchair, offer to walk with them in the store and reach things on those high shelves.

Bring the garbage cans or recycling bins back for your neighbors from the curb.

If you’re in a store and you see something on the ground, pick it up. Underappreciated retail workers will appreciate the gesture. 

Check behind you briefly when you enter a store and hold the door for the next walking in. Many of us are in our own worlds and may not see the person coming in behind us.

With any group activities, make an effort to include the outsider or the new person.

Leave snacks and drinks out for landscapers and delivery drivers.

When it’s hot, have cold bottles of water with you and hand them out to random people doing outdoor work.

If you’re able to, pay for coffee for the person behind you or the lunch order at Chick-fil-A. It’s a little bit of a risk because it could be a big order but it is worth it and could make someone’s day.

Buy inexpensive flowers from someplace like Trader Joes. They have some small arrangements for $5 and you can leave them at someone’s front door with a kind note for a neighbor. (And yes, it can be a total stranger. Just don’t write anything creepy!)

Give something away. When you come across something in your house that you’ll never use/wear, give it away whether it’s to a friend, a stranger, or a nonprofit organization.

Practice some don’ts. Don’t honk your horn, don’t gossip, don’t complain, don’t frown.

Let another driver into your traffic lane when there’s a merge. It’s really okay if someone else gets there first.

Pass on resources. Pay attention to simple information about people that may benefit others later on.