How to be More Kind
“We cannot do great things on this earth, only small things with great love.”
Kindness is a simple act.
It doesn’t take a lot of time, money or resources unless you want it to. The smallest acts of kindness often go the longest way to changing lives. You can cultivate more kindness in your life in many ways.
Here are some examples:
- When you believe in someone, tell them and show them your support. This support may be just what they need to drive them to achieve things greater things.
- Think about your words before you speak. If what you’re thinking isn’t kind, stop what you’re doing. Think about how to better phrase what you’re thinking or perhaps don’t say it at all. Remember to be kind in how you deal with the person.
- When you receive kindness spread it around. Continue to spread the kindness by paying it forward.
- Everyone faces challenges even if they don’t outwardly show it. Don’t discriminate on who you are kind to.
- Be an example. Be a role model to others by always being kind.
- It doesn’t matter if it’s a close relationship or a stranger, it’s important to be mindful of how you treat others. Be considerate of everyone.
- Practice having good intentions. Try to have good intentions when you say something nice. Don’t expect something in return.
- Reach out when others don’t.
- If showing kindness is hard for you, try to remember how you felt when someone was kind to you.
- Be kind every day. Holding the door for someone while giving them a genuine smile is an easy way to brighten someone’s day.
- Create a kindness calendar. Add some type of kindness you can do to each day. For example, take a cup of coffee to your coworker, help your elderly neighbor with their groceries, thank the mail carrier with a card, give your umbrella to a mom and her kids waiting for the bus in the rain, share your lunch with a homeless person or any other act of kindness.
There are many ways you can be kind.
Some acts of kindness take only a few moments, such as a smile or quick complement. Some acts of kindness take more time and/or effort on your part. Don’t dismiss the impact of those that only take a few moments. They are often the most powerful.
If you are stumped for ideas, here are a few to get you started.
- Let someone in front of you at the grocery store because they have fewer items.
- Smile at someone who really needs it. Maybe you see a struggling mom trying to shop with her three kids. Give her an encouraging smile.
- Talk with a friend who is having problems. Lending a ear may be all they need.
- Buy food for a homeless person the next time you go for fast food or a restaurant.
- Compliment a stranger.
- Help a coworker on a project even if you have a full schedule.
- Let someone in your lane in a traffic jam.
- Donate old clothes to someone in need.
- Call your grandparents or parents instead of waiting for them to call.
- Say please, thank you and your welcome.
- Compliment someone on their hair, outfit or something else.
- Offer your seat on the bus or train.
- Bake something for a neighbor, older relative or nursing home and visit with them.
- Text someone good morning or good night.
- Plan to meet with an old friend you haven’t seen in a while.
- Wash someone’s car for free.
- Have a sick neighbor? Mow their yard or shovel their snow. Take out their trash. See if they need you to pick anything up for them – medication, groceries, etc.
- Stop and help someone broke down on the road. Or see if they have help coming.
- Plan a surprise party for a friend’s birthday.
- Wish someone a good day.
- Leave a nice note on someone’s car or in their mailbox.
- Tell someone how much you appreciate them.
- Smile at everyone.
- Help a stranger in some way.
- Actively listen when someone is talking to you.
- Give an unexpected gift to someone.
- Thank someone for something specific they’ve done for you
- Make a donation to charity.
- Volunteer your time.
- Share a memory with a child or friend.
Be discrete when carrying out acts of kindness.
When carrying out your act of kindness, be sure to not intrude or embarrass the receiver. Discretion is key. Give your smile or gift then move on, unless the receiver wants to talk. Some acts of kindness can be carried out anonymously as well.
Above all else, carry out your acts of kindness because you genuinely want to make yourself and others feel good. Not because you expect something in return.
Contemplation for this week:
1. This week, create and intention to carry out one act of kindness per day. More if you would like.
2. At the end of each day, notice if you remembered or not. Be kind to yourself if you forgot. That can be your act of kindness for the day. Reinforce your intention.
3. If you did remember to carry out an act of kindness, take a moment to remember how it felt and how the other person responded.
4. Pat yourself on the back for each act of kindness your carried out.
5. Continue this practice indefinately.
May kindness fill your heart with love and compassion for yourself and others.