The world that we live in can feel both incredibly kind and incredibly cruel depending on where you look. As someone who has been lucky enough to experience immense kindness and vicious cruelty, I have been on both sides of this fence. However, without doubt one of the most effective ways to live a happy and healthy life, I have always found, is to initiate some random acts of kindness.
Like what, though? What are some kind acts that you could carry out without prompting that will benefit someone else? What should you do?
Random acts of kindness
Serve a local charity
Without doubt, one of the best things that I think you can do is to go to a charitable venue such as a soup kitchen. Help out for one evening per week. It’s often hard work, but it feels amazing and will generate a sense of progression and positivity.
Encourage a small business
A great way to help feel good is to pop into a local small business and thank them for their work and products. Show genuine appreciation for their effort and ingenuity, and if possible, buy something whilst there. This kindness can feel contagious and the money you spend goes directly towards helping a local family.
Help a neighbour
Seeing a neighbour struggle with shopping? Notice they need a hand controlling their pets? Then step in and help out for a few minutes. It will cost you very little time or energy, but it’s another nice random act of kindness that will make their life easier.
Plant something natural
From vegetable and fruit tree seeds to planting a tree itself, give back to nature. This is one of the random acts of kindness with a consequence that could live even beyond you. A well cared for tree can stand for a long, long time – far longer than a human life. So, plant something and give back to nature.
Complement an artist
Whether on social media or in person, give an artist a complement. Tell them you are a fan of their work and that you’ve shared/recommended it to someone else. It costs you nothing but makes them feel amazing.
Cover a colleague
Got free time this evening and know that you have a workmate who needs some time off? Then cover them. Even if you can’t get the same pay for covering them, you should still do it every now and then. It’s a nice thing to do, and it’s ‘credit in the bank’ when you ever need some help.
Help someone with a disability
From helping someone in a wheelchair get their shopping in to describing a sports game to someone with visual issues, you can do so much to help those without your capabilities.
Collect for a shelter
Whether you have old toys at home, or you can find some in a good bundle deal online, pass these to an orphanage or children’s shelter. This will go a long way to helping the shelter feel better, and you’ll know kids have been provided for.
Say hello to a stranger
While the world can feel increasingly private, passing on a nice comment to a stranger is always going to help them feel good. Whether they have a sports team shirt you like or you just like their hair, say something nice in passing – most people will love it.
Pay for a shopping issue
Standing in line and notice the person in front is $5 short for their order? Assuming it won’t leave you short, step up and pay. It gets them out of the queue faster, and they will genuinely appreciate the help and support.
Pay for the next drink
Whether in a coffee shop or a bar, pay for the next drink to come – either the person behind or to your side. Just be sure you can afford it first; nothing is less chivalrous than offering to pay without having the means to do so.
Take a homeless person out for a meal
Not all homeless people are allowed or feel comfortable going to shelters. I am always hesitant to give money to people but I am always willing to feed them. I have had many wonderfully enlightening conversations with people because I invited them to come out for lunch or a meal with me. I’ve chatted with veterans over pizza and people laid off/in between jobs while buying them a coffee. Always a good way of connecting with someone you wouldn’t normally.
Stick to these simple but effective random acts of kindness, and I am sure you’ll feel the positive impacts of spreading such empathy. Remember: What you put into the world, the world gives back. So be sure to fill the universe with good vibes and they are sure to come back to you in time!