We live in a fast-paced world where we are expected to do a million different tasks not only quickly, but accurately. We get too little sleep, and have too many responsibilities, and we take far too little time for ourselves. This can leave people feeling overworked, underappreciated, and sometimes even depressed. Since our self care is often pushed to the wayside that also means that many of us probably feel that we have little to no time left to do anything for others.
Would you believe me if I told you that I have a way that you can quickly, in the craziness of your daily life, do something for someone you love, or a complete stranger, and get something out of it too? I know, it sounds too good to be true, but have you ever heard of a random act of kindness? Yes, you are capable of completing a random act of kindness in little to no time at all, and quite frankly, you are deserving of an act of kindness as well. We all deserve to feel appreciated. We deserve to feel like there are other people in this world who do truly care about our well being. My challenge to you is to do an act of kindness, and if an act of kindness is bestowed upon you take some time to relish in it.
A random act of kindness does not have to be extravagant. You can leave a sticky note for your friend, child, spouse, coworker, sibling, parent, etc. and let them know why you care about them. A few simple words can significantly impact a person’s life. You can also compliment a stranger as you walk by them in public. Do you like their shirt? Tell them. Do they have a beautiful smile? Tell them. Is their dog cute? Tell them. We are so afraid to say kind things to strangers, but why? There’s a very real chance that your simple compliment will be a high point in their day.
If you see someone spill their belongings, help them pick them up. Smile at people. I cannot stress this one enough. Why do we always have to look so damn serious? Another act to consider is paying for the person behind you in line at the coffee shop. This is one of my favorite acts of kindness because it’s quick and simple. This is a great way to put someone in a positive mental state.
If you’re feeling a little crazy you absolutely can do a random act of kindness that is more involved. I want you to understand, however, that these acts are not superior to the ones already mentioned, they are just different. Do you have a friend who is struggling? Invite them over for dinner, take them out to ice cream, or offer to take them to a movie. Offer to read to someone at a nursing home. Maybe you’ll find that you really click with them and a great friendship will form. If you see a person without an umbrella in the rain, share yours. Do you have two umbrellas? Give them one. Write a letter to a person who has positively affected your life and tell them what they did that meant so much to you. Bring someone flowers. Do something completely extravagant and silly for someone just because. Just get out there and be kind.
Now, I know that I said that you would get something out of these acts as well. So, what exactly do you get? You get the satisfaction of knowing that you have put good vibes out into the world. You will feel happy knowing that you have made someone else feel joyful. You will get good karma, and who couldn’t use that, right? There is an extreme feeling of peace that settles in your soul, if only for a moment, when you do something selfless.
I challenge you to complete a random act of kindness. Take note of how you feel. There is a very real chance your heart will be smiling as will the heart of the recipient of your act. We are a very self serving society. We want to get ahead. We want to do better than everyone else. I have a crazy idea, though. What if we looked out for ourselves and for others at the same time? What if we worked our way up the ladder while patting people on the back rather than stepping on them along the way? Be kind, because you never know how your simple act could change someone else’s life. A simple kind gesture could turn someone’s worst day into one worth living. So get out there and do some good. Together we can change our world for the better.