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Be the reason someone smiles today

6 minute read

Today is ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Day - a reminder that we can bring a little joy to others without having to have a particular reason for it

We all see the hashtag #bekind, and we know that kindness can be a bit thin on the ground. But spreading a little joy and kindness makes other people feel good. And it’s good for your soul too.

Little acts of kindness often don’t take a lot. They make a happy impression on some else’s day, and you’ll find yourself feeling a little better for spreading the kindness.

We took a handful of suggestions from the team, and put together some ideas…

Kindness to family and friends

Message or call someone you haven’t spoken to in months/years
A quick message or phone call can go a long way. We all get lost in the mundanity of life and it’s easy for months or even a couple of years to vanish. All it takes is someone to make the first step. Who knows? They might need that message more than you realise.

Call your siblings and/or parents to tell them you appreciate them
Ah, families hey? You might have had your differences or even fallings-out over the years. And we often take them for granted knowing they’ve always been there. Take a moment to thank your mum, dad, or a sibling for being in your life. They won’t be here forever, and neither will you.

Make or fix something for someone using a skill you’re good at: knitting, embroidery, bake, DIY, car knowledge, drawing/painting…
Using a hobby or a skill you’re particularly good at to aid someone else can be incredibly reward-ing. Chances are they’ll appreciate that skill more than you might do yourself. Do it without ex-pecting anything in return – just an act of kindness.

Make a self-care box/hamper for someone you know is having a tough time
Put together a self-care hamper for them of all their favourite snacks, a smellie they love, and maybe an activity for them to unwind with, or a good book. It probably won’t fix whatever struggle they’re currently facing, but it’s sure to make them smile and remember they’re not alone. Doesn’t have to cost the earth – it’s the thought that counts.

Sincerely apologise to someone
This is a biggie. It’s okay to mess up at times, we’re only human and all that, but doing the right thing and fessing up is massive. Whether it was yesterday or three weeks ago, if you feel you should’ve apologised, or your apology was a bit half-baked, make this right.

Maybe you stole your sister’s top thirty years ago, accidentally made a hole in it, but never owned up. Maybe you know you hurt someone’s feelings with something you said. Whatever it is, people usually appreciate apologies when they can feel they’re sincere, and even more so the they’re out of the blue. Make sure you’re not making something worse though, just to make yourself feel better.

Randomly unselfish

Pick up litter on the street
It’s an absolute eyesore for any walkers-by, and the environment certainly doesn’t appreciate it. Take an extra minute or two on your walk to pick up any empty crisp packets or coffee cups and dispose of them properly. Wash your hands afterwards, or use some eco-friendly disposable gloves.

Donate old towels and blankets to an animal shelter
Make sure your local shelter takes donations to begin with. Maybe they don’t take towels and blankets, but there’s bound to be something you can give them that the little animals will benefit from.

Write a positive comment online for a local business
Small businesses really need it, and it doesn’t take long. A quick review and rating for your local butchers or coffee shop will mean a lot to them. Look for the review section on their Facebook page, for example. Or leave a Google or TripAdvisor review.

Give blood
Giving blood can save someone’s life. There are lots of opportunities to sign up and give blood. Read more about how to become a blood donor, here.

Begin a community collection fund for someone in need
Maybe you’ve heard of someone trying to fundraise, or someone in the community diagnosed with an illness. All it takes is a quick set up online and a share online. The kindness of the community will do the rest. Check in with their families though, so you don’t double up, or railroad them into something they don’t want.

Kindness to strangers

Sincerely compliment a stranger
OK so this one can be a bit weird, so be aware of that – you don’t want to end up looking like a stalker or like you’re a bit crazy. We’ve become nervous of speaking to each other, and it’s wise to be careful. But largely, people love a sincere, non-creepy compliment. I once was once complimented by a stranger on my skin, it surprised me so much. I still smile when I think of it today. Tell someone you love their hat, or something, and watch them grin.

Leave a bigger tip than usual (add a thank you note for extra kindness)
Servers go through a lot. Rude customers, messy kids, pushy managers... Plus, they’re often on their feet for eight hours or more, running back and forth with food. Giving them a really decent tip (no, not 10%, go for 25%!) and even a little thank-you note for their service will absolutely make their day. Or make it better, at the very least!

Kindness at work

Leave post-it notes for colleagues with positive/kind messages
Doesn’t have to be anything complicated. You could compliment someone on a job well done. Maybe tell them how you enjoy working with them. How about you get them a coffee and stick the note on the cup for them! Double the love!

Say hello to the person sitting by themselves
Although it’s often a bonus to have the space to just work uninterrupted, there will be times when people might appreciate a little hello. Sitting alone at lunch, or just isolated all day at work. A little smile and a hello might be welcome.

Say something nice to someone you don’t get along with
There is enormous value in this. There isn’t a person on the planet who gets along with everyone! We’re willing to bet there’s someone at work you don’t get on with, and the feeling is likely to be mutual. Step into a different space with them by engaging on an unexpectedly friendly basis. You never know, it could build a little bridge. If this is a conflict or hostile situation, obviously it’s less advisable. But you can judge that.

There are plenty of other ways to spread a little joy with your kindness. Just check the idea with yourself before you go steaming in – sometimes people could find it overwhelming, or a bit weird. Maybe if people find it hard to accept kindness (and there are plenty of people like this), tell them to pay it forward – then they’ll perhaps feel more able to accept it from you. Mostly though, we’re going to bet that kindness is well-received. Enjoy spreading the love!

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