In difficult times, it’s hard not to feel helpless and frustrated. But there is one thing that we can always do to help. And that is to be kind to one another. In this article, you’ll find ways you can spread kindness in the world today.
We live in a world that is filled with varying opinions, backgrounds, and experiences. But kindness is universal.
Acts of kindness benefit both the recipient and the giver. Both individuals walk away from the experience with just a little more joy and happiness than before.
I hope that this article brings just a little more kindness into your life and the lives of others today.
1. Ask your neighbors if they need help
We’ve heard of several situations recently where people who felt isolated and scared reached out to their neighbors for help. And their neighbors care through for them. Delivering groceries, celebrating birthdays, accompanying each other on walks.
These acts of kindness changed feelings of isolation and being scared into feelings of community and hope.
If your community has an email forum, ask your neighbors on the forum if anyone needs any help. Alternatively, post a flyer on a community board. Or post a sign on your door or in your front yard.
Even if people don’t reach out, sometimes knowing that someone is there to support them is a kindness in itself.
2. Say thank you to the “invisible” workers
One silver-lining of the coronavirus pandemic is that it taught us to recognize the importance of the “invisible” workers. Those individuals who are essential to making our communities operate, but often without a word of thanks.
Let’s make sure that those workers don’t feel invisible anymore. Every chance you get, thank the delivery driver, the grocery store clerk, the sanitization worker, and all those other people working to make everyone’s lives a little bit better every day.
These thank you cards are a small way you can say “thank you” and spread kindness to others.
3. Catch people doing good
Growing up, my school had something called “caught being good”. If a student did something good (like helping another student who’d fallen on the playground), they’d be recognized in front of the class and get a little certificate that was posted on the classroom wall.
Let’s do caught being good as adults. The next time someone does something good – communicate that to others.
Send an email to someone’s boss to praise an employee’s work. Ask a local radio station to recognize someone on the air for a great contribution to the community. Tell your friends and family about a wonderful business that they should patronize because of excellent service.
This act of kindness helps to amplify good deeds and work, which in turn promotes more kindness.
4. Have a respectful conversation with someone of a differing viewpoint
This is a tough one. We’ve all tried to have conversations with people of differing viewpoints.
In some cases, we’ve walked away from those conversations frustrated and angry. But what about those times when you had a good conversation? Those wonderful moments when you had a conversation with someone of a differing viewpoint and the two of you listened to each other and tried to understand each other’s perspective?
I bet you felt on top of the world after that conversation. And in all likelihood, so did the other person.
True empathy is not just sympathizing with another person – it’s trying to understand their perspective. When this happens, people feel heard and respected and have a renewed sense of kindness. Because if nothing else, empathy is an act of kindness.
5. Amplify your thank you into an expression of gratitude
We often “thank” people who help us, but how many times do we express “gratitude”?
For example – say a restaurant employee comes outside to load your order into your car for curbside pickup. You could just say, “thank you!” Or you could say, “thank you so much – I really appreciate the extra help and everything you’re doing to support people right now.”
While the first response is still great, the second response is more likely to resonate with that individual and lift up their spirits.
Spread kindness by expressing gratitude to your family, friends, coworkers, and people you interact with in the community.
6. Ask a local charity, church, or school how you can help
Reach out to a local charity, church, or school to see if there’s something that you can do to help them or someone in the community.
When reaching out to these organizations, it’s helpful to let them know if there’s a specific way you’d like to help or if you have any special skills.
For example, maybe you’re a good photographer. You could offer your photography skills in general. You could also identify a specific way to use your photography skills, like offering free annual portraits to families who are struggling financially right now.
7. Ask how someone *really* is
Often the phrase “how are you?” is expected to be answered with “good” or “fine”.
But what if that person isn’t “good” or “fine”?
Take a moment to ask someone in your life how they’re really doing. It might create an opportunity for you to connect with that person and support them through a tough situation.
8. Check-in with someone you haven’t spoken with in a while
All of our lives get busy and silence between even the closest friends and family can slip into days, weeks, months, and even years.
Reach out to someone you haven’t spoken with in a while. Find out how they’re doing. Reconnect. You just might make someone’s day.
9. Send a meal to a family member or friend
Surprise a family member or friend by sending them a meal that they can enjoy at home.
There’s just something so wonderful about receiving the gift of a meal. It reminds us that someone is thinking of us and cares about our well-being.
Spread kindness in the world today through the gift of a meal.
10. Share good news with others
Bad news can spread like wildfire. And the results can be debilitating. It’s hard to keep hope and joy alive when you’re constantly inundated with bad news.
While it’s important that people stay informed about what’s going on in the world, you can help spread joy by sharing good news with others.
When you read or watch something that makes you laugh, smile, or tear-up with joy, share it with your family and friends. Even if it’s just a funny video of a puppy or kitten.
Spread kindness by giving people something to smile about.
We’re all going to feel frustrated, helpless, and angry sometimes. And that’s okay. But in the midst of it all, let’s do what we can to spread just a little more kindness to the world. It’s something from which we can all benefit.