The inspiration for this post is my dad who passed away last week. Although he will be fondly remembered for many reasons, almost everybody who knew him expressed how they remember him as being very kind and friendly, and he always had a smile. As I mentioned in my eulogy at his memorial service, I find those qualities so admirable, and I’m proud to call him dad.
So let’s get inspired! Because kindness is contagious, it’s fun to think about the possible exponential effect of ONE simple act of kindness. We all can help make our world a kinder place!
Kindness: the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.
When opportunity knocks… make a difference
I consider kind acts that are done simply because you want to do so (not out of obligation) as expressions of your soul. The best opportunities for simple acts of kindness jump out at you when you least expect it.
Pay attention so you don’t miss a fun opportunity to be kind! Although they can be, they don’t need to be premeditated.
No act of kindness is too small. Each and every time you smile at someone is an opportunity for you to make a difference. As you bring that little piece of kindness into the day, it will bring positivity into the lives others and to your life. It’s a win-win.
There’s Joy in Giving AND Receiving
It’s fun to be kind, so make someone’s day by accepting their gift of kindness. Say thank you with a smile, and be a kind receiver.
Appreciate the kindness you receive, and the universe will serve you up with more. The recipient, the giver, and anyone who silently observes the act kindness will all be inspired to pass it on.
A Healthy Habit
Kindness shouldn’t be at the expense of your own happiness. Be kind to yourself! Carve time out of each day to do something that brings you joy.
Be proud of who you are, and remember that negative self-talk is useless. If you tend to get down about yourself, make a list of your positive aspects, and read my article about how to control negative thoughts.
Also, I wrote a whole post full of budget-friendly self-care activities. No excuses, because there are plenty of self-care ideas that are inexpensive and fit into a busy schedule. Permit yourself to be kind to yourself, you’re worth it!
But what about those people who are unkind themselves? One must wonder about their story. What got them to the point that they appear to be blind to other people’s feelings? Who knows. Entertain the thought that unkind people just might need a bit of kindness more than anyone can imagine. Shoot them a smile and friendly hello, you’ve got nothing to lose and just might make their day.
What Does Science Say?
Need more reason to be kind? It can enhance your happiness! There are scientific studies, such as one conducted by the Department of Psychology of Tohoku Gakuin University in Japan, that suggest a relationship between kindness and happiness.
The results indicate that happiness was increased simply by counting kindnesses performed over the course of a week, an exercise that also increased both kindness and gratitude in the participants. Do good → feel good.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~Leo F. Buscaglia
An Invitation to You
In my eulogy for my dad, I also said that I would love it if everyone there would do one random act of kindness this week in honor of my dad.
It made my day when a friend came up to me at the end of the funeral luncheon and said he did his random act of kindness; it was snowing and he brushed snow off another car when he brushed his own. I loved that! Simple kindness – it doesn’t need to be expensive or complicated. (Thanks, Tim!)
I now extend an invitation to YOU- if you are moved to do so, please take time today to do a simple random act of kindness to make this world a kinder place. Kindness is contagious, so let’s get an epidemic going.
Here are some fun, simple ideas to be kind, and I bet you can think of plenty more:
- Make eye contact, smile, and say hello to a stranger
- Pay someone a compliment (I love this one!)
- Leave money in a vending machine for the next person
- Let someone into your lane when driving
- Let a rushed person in front of you in line
- Bring coffee to someone having tough day
- Pick up litter
- Randomly send a friend a positive text
- Give extra attention to your pet
- Leave positive comments on social media
- Tell a joke! (Funny jokes)
- Bake treats for someone
- Send someone an email to just say hi
- Send a postcard to a friend
- Be happy for others
- Listen. Don’t interrupt. Just listen.
- Leave a big tip
- Leave a quarter in the cart at Aldi for the next person
- Drop-off personal care items or diapers at a local shelter
- Leave a positive note for a family member, friend, or co-worker
- Share your talents or expertise
- Give a candy bar to a bus driver, receptionist, teacher, police officer, etc.
- Call a friend – or your mom 🙂
- Say thank you to someone who often does something simple to make your life easier – even if it’s their job to do so!
- And the ol’ pay for the person behind you in the drive-through never gets old!
UPDATE: My son was out of the country and couldn’t be at my dad’s memorial service. Here is a tribute video he made for my dad in the mountains of New Zealand.
It warms my heart that the “KINDNESS” theme made it’s way into his video, too. He was a great husband, dad and grandpa. (Read about my dad’s military service.)
One last time… Kindness is contagious, cause an epidemic! Have you been the recipient of a random act of kindness? Have you taken advantage of (or missed) an opportunity to do a spur of the moment act of kindness? Let me know in a comment! Thank you for being here and reading this post. It means the world to me.