The dictionary definition for Kindness is: A kind act, a good deed, a good turn, a favour, an act of assistance.
And really, when looking at what kindness means, it’s actually a rather simple deed. And most kind deeds are free! So why are random acts of kindness so far and few between sometimes?
To celebrate World Kindness Day, which took place on Monday this week (13.11.17), and in the run-up to the season of giving, we compiled our favourite “Kindness” list. And the idea of this list is to spread happiness around our communities. We took time to reflect on kindness and what it actually means for humanity itself and questioned whether, over the next month, if we all were to perform one little act of kindness every day, by paying kindness forward, what impact would it have on people’s lives? And would they in turn feel obliged to share kindness with others?
We know, that one small kind deed would not only make a person’s day, but we could potentially be responsible for changing another person’s life! How awesome is that? So are you ready to join us in our Kindness for Humanity journey?
Here Are Our Top Kindness Gestures:
- Say “Good morning” to a person in a lift as you get in:
- I know this might sound silly but even the smallest of acknowledgments might make somebody feel great. You never know what day that person has had or how lonely they are. So by greeting them with a warm heart-felt ‘hello’, could be the first kind word that person may have heard all day.
- Pay for someone’s parking or a toll-gate fee for the driver behind you:
- Can you imagine surprising the family in the car behind you by paying for their parking or toll gate entry? It would certainly brighten up our day!
- Take a minute to direct someone who is lost, even though you might be in a rush:
- We all know those days when we see someone lost and like a deer in headlights, unable to figure out which way to go, but in that instant, we opt out, because we are late for a meeting or rushing off to beat traffic. But just for once, spare a moment and help someone find their own way. Being a few minutes later than you already are will not cause the world to end!
- Give a homeless person your doggie bag or buy someone a sandwich and juice while out running errands:
- A majority of homeless people have not always been homeless, and the luxuries they could once afford might never come again. So think before you send food back to the kitchen without taking a doggie bag, and perhaps also consider buying a homeless person a proper meal every now and then. A small gesture like this, is a huge gift for people in need.
- Say “I love you” to someone you love:
- This may seem obvious, but often, we overlook those three simple words and expect people to know that we care for them, when really, these three little words are important to share, as often as possible, with our closest hearts.
- Hold a door open for someone:
- Chivalry is very much alive! And it doesn’t matter whether you are a man holding a door open for a woman or a woman holding a door open for a man! The sheer act is kind enough! So if there are five people walking in behind you, hold the door open for them all!
- Find a charity you are really passionate about and donate money:
- Donating money to a cause close to your heart is a wonderful act of kindness. Many organisations standing up for people, animals or any other cause are non-profit organisations and rely purely on the generosity of the public, so if you have spare cash floating around, pay it forward to a charity you love.
- Volunteer at a retirement village or an orphanage for a day:
- An extra pair of hands and a kind heart is always welcome in centres that care for the elderly or for children, and with this kind act, I have no doubt that you will not only touch many hearts, but yours will be forever changed too.
- Surprise your colleague or assistant with coffee:
- Regardless of your rank in the office, a kind gesture such as a takeaway coffee or a muffin will always make someone feel appreciated.
- Sporadically, send flowers to a loved one:
- Whether you send flowers to someone in your family, a friend in a different country or your neighbour, it is extremely special receiving an unexpected bouquet of flowers!
- Ask someone “How are you really doing?” And then really listen to their response:
- How often do we ask people how they are doing, only to semi-hear what they are saying as you have a million thoughts racing through your head. So next time, take a step back, focus on the person you are talking to, and really take in what they are saying. Many people don’t always have the opportunity to share their thoughts, fears and pain with others, so when someone does open up to you, you should feel honoured that someone trusts you enough with their own heartfelt thoughts.
- Listen with all your senses:
- We are often not fully present with others. We may have a million thoughts running through our own minds, conscious of the the television on in the background, more conscious of how hungry we are, and all while in mid-conversation with someone. But it really is important to be present. So be fully present for somebody, with all senses right there with you.
- Offer to babysit for a single mom:
- Single moms are super-heroes at the best of times, but they are often run off their feet and too proud to ask for help. And they would never want to burden anyone by asking for help even for just one night. So if you have a few hours to spare, offer a single mom a night off for free. You will make her month!
- Call or write to a teacher who changed your life:
- We all have that one favourite teacher who changed the course of our thinking or even our lives, and wouldn’t it be such a wonderful gift for them to receive an email, letter or phone-call telling them that?
- Bring a box of doughnuts to share at the office:
- Yes, we are all watching our waistlines, but that doesn’t mean you can’t share the decadent love in the office with a big box of doughnuts! You will be the employee of the month to your peers, but mostly, they will remember you for your kind offering.
- Forgive someone a debt–and never bring it up again:
- Every one of us have been a pickle financially before, and sometimes you need to ask a friend for help. If you have helped someone close to you in need, consider writing that debt off for them. It is a type of kindness that will resonate with that friend for life. And who knows, when you are in a pickle some day, they could potentially be the person to bail you out.
- Write a note to your boss about one of your peers, and explain how great a job that person is doing:
- Praising someone in the office isn’t just a Manager’s deed. If you have noticed your peer going above and beyond their call of duty, let their manager know.
- Simply say “I’m sorry” when you’re wrong:
- Believe it or not, this really is all you need to say. People are often more interested in being right than ‘fessing up to actually being wrong. We are all driven by ego sometimes, but it takes a real man or woman to just admit that they were wrong. So say sorry, and mean it.
- Encourage someone who seems down:
- We all have down days, bad days, angry days. And sometimes we might not be in the mood to deal with other people’s emotions when you are going through something too. But this act of kindness could actually make you feel a whole lot better!
- Our final act of kindness is for us, by far, one of the most generous gift of all (and that is why we saved the best for last). Please consider donating your eggs:
- A woman may be more than capable of carrying to term, but she might have a problem with her eggs or her ovaries that prevent her from falling pregnant. Sometimes, there could be multiple issues affecting a woman’s fertility. And most frustratingly for others, there is no explanation at all, so there are women out there who rely solely on the kindness and generosity of wonderful egg donors, like yourselves potentially.
- This act of kindness is one of those gestures, that will change an entire family’s life, forever.And really, wouldn’t that be the kindest gift of all?
“If we all do one random act of kindness daily, we might set the world in the right direction.”