Most people would agree that if our world is lacking anything, it’s kindness. But what defines kindness? Where exactly does kindness come from? And how do we display it in our daily lives?
Google defines kindness as “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate,” while Wikipedia says “kindness is a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and concern for others.”
Kindness comes from our hearts; our inner drive to please.
From big to small, here are 7 ways to pepper kindness into your (and someone else’s) day!
1. Say “Thank You”
When someone holds the door open for you, serves you a drink, or after you’ve just paid for something, remember to politely say “thank you.” Not in a bland tone, and not because you feel obliged to, but in a way that expresses your appreciation of their kindness — or their efforts of simply doing their job.
Say “thank you,” and mean it.
2. Compliment Someone
We love this one, and the way someone’s face lights up when they unexpectedly hear something sweet about themselves or their appearance.
You like that random guys scarf on the street? Tell him. What about your waitresses earrings? Let her know. You could even take it a step further by asking her where she got her earrings, or express that you think they go well with her hair color.
Whatever you fancy, say it. You’ll bring a smile to their face and likely – your own.
3. Pay for the Next Person in Line
How nice would it be to wake up, go to your favorite coffee shop, order your favorite thing on the menu, and get to the counter only to find out that someone has already paid for your soy latte for you? That would be pretty sweet right? Now multiply that feeling times ten, because that’s how great it would feel for you to be the one to do it.
You never know what kind of battle someone is dealing with. The person you pay for might have just had the worst week of their life, lost a loved one, lost their job, gone through a breakup, filed for bankruptcy, or maybe all of these things simultaneously. We all know the saying, “when it rains it pours,” and how crappy this can make us feel.
Your simple act of kindness has the potential to restore their faith in humanity, and it will certainly brighten up their potentially rainy day.
4. Refer Someone You Know Professionally
One of the greatest things to do in business is take note of others’ hard work and show your appreciation by giving them praise.
Chances are, you probably know someone like this, and chances are, you probably know someone who could use their help. Go out of your way to either connect these two people via an email introduction (keep it lighthearted and professional), or publicly show your appreciation.
Some easy ways to do this are by giving a LinkedIn recommendation, commenting on a piece of work completed by the person you’re complimenting, or verbally referring them by word of mouth at a networking event.
You never know, this act of kindness may just come back to you someday.
5. Write an Unexpected Message
Right now, we bet there is at least one special person on your mind who could use a reminder of how important they are to you.
Whether it be your significant other, a family member, or one of your pals from college, take a minute to jot down a quick message expressing that this person is in your thoughts, and send it to them.
It could be as simple as, “Hey, was just thinking about you. I hope you’re well. 🙂 “
6. Smile at a Stranger
In a select few countries, it’s fairly normal to smile or smirk at people when you pass each other on the street.
And no, we don’t mean awkwardly or intrusively, but warmly. Again to the point of not knowing what kind of battle someone is going through — something as small as a smile can warm up the hearts of those around you. Plus, studies have shown that smiling can alter your mood by association.
Smile loud, smile proud, and smile often.
7. Gift Something to the Homeless
The next time you spring clean, which – hopefully is every year, pick something that isn’t used enough to be thrown away but instead can be donated to a homeless person.
As of January 2015, there were 564,708 homeless people in America, we promise you have something in your house, apartment, closet, or whatever that you don’t need as much as someone else does.
Here are some ideas:
- Canned Goods (make sure they aren’t expired first)
You might be getting rid of something that’s old or unused, but to a homeless person it could mean the difference between going cold and hungry and living to see another day.
Your help matters.
And on top of unused belongings, you’re giving them hope.
Every homeless person needs hope.
To your expressions of kindness,