Kindness. What a feat. Everyday we all go out into the world, live our lives and try to get home at night safely and happily. But what if we lived in a world where the people roaming the streets first thought was to be kind in their everyday lives? Sure, this may not be a realistic feat but you have to try! Here is how to start spreading kindness in every day life!
1.) Buy someone’s coffee
Have you ever had this happen? You’re in line at your favorite coffee spot, maybe in the drive through, and the cashier tells you that your coffee has been paid for. That feeling matches no other. Such a simple thing. For $2.00 extra every once in a while, you can completely change someones hectic morning. And sometimes, not always, that person will pass on the good deed by paying for the person behind them.
I know this is the easiest and probably most common way to pay it forward. But it is the easiest and most common for a reason. It really makes a difference and you never know who needs it.
2.) Send a note
There is something nostalgic about receiving a handwritten note that makes it feel special and getting one every once in a while has the ability to change someones attitude. There was no better feeling than when your best elementary school friend would slip a note onto your desk for you to read.
Take the few minutes out of your day to handwrite a note to your mom, dad, friend or family member. Use that fancy cursive writing that you learned for no reason. Use your new colorful pens. Package it up and send it to them. It will surely put a smile on the face of someone who may potentially be living another mundane day.
3.) Send a thank you email
I know, we are busy working people. Sometimes you don’t have the extra time to indulge in your creative handwritten note skills. When time is of the essence but you are still yearning for the feeling of putting a smile on someones face, send an email! It doesn’t have to be only to your family, send one to a coworker! Tell them that they are doing good work and you look up to them. Email your grandma, who just learned how to use an email, and tell her a funny story or tale. This option doesn’t use paper and takes even less time to do!
4.) Forgive someone
Yes. This is the heavier portion of this article. Forgive someone. Whoever just popped into your mind when you read that is who you should forgive. It doesn’t need to be a rekindled relationship or huge ordeal. Just apologize or accept an apology and let it go. It will make your life lighter and their life will be better too.
People aren’t perfect. We are bound to mess up and seek forgiveness time and time again and there is no worse feeling than not receiving it when seeking it. If you are the holder of the power to just forgive someone, just do it.
5.) Have grace with someone
Did someone cut you off on your way to work today? Did someone cut you in line or forget to hold the door open for you? Did the customer service representative act completely rude? Is the person in the grocery store completely zoned out in the aisle you need to maneuver through? Instead of reacting negatively back to negative behavior, have grace and understanding. Yes, this is harder to say than to do but I find that if you continue to give people the benefit of the doubt, your life will be 100 times better.
Understanding that people act the way they do for a reason is half the battle. The person who cut you off may be on the way to the hospital for an emergency. The person who slammed the door in your face may be in a deep depression and may just not have seen you. The customer service worker could be going through a divorce. Though your act of kindness may go unnoticed to them, having grace with someone may just be kind for you.
6.) Hold the door for someone
So silly, so little. It is one of the easiest things to do. Something so little that doing it could spread your act of kindness widely.
7.) Letting someone cut you in line
Do you have a full cart? Does the person behind you have one item? Letting them go ahead of you will save that persons valuable time and waste two minutes of yours. This act of kindness, while once again small and simple, will be appreciated by that one person. And when talking about kindness, that should be enough!
8.) Offering to help someone-in any way
Watching a mother dealing with a screaming toddler and a crying infant is one of the hardest things to watch. Many times our first reaction is to sympathize from afar and move on with our lives. And many times that’s all you can do, but maybe a smile or a wave and reassurance could go a long way!
Helping a new student at your college find a classroom, helping someone with a homework problem they are struggling with or even complimenting someone are all examples of offering to help someone in any way!
It is crazy how much you can do yourself to help someone else have a great day and smiling is one of the big ones. Your demeanor says a lot about the day you are having and if your day hasn’t been so bad then smile! Because you having a good day means you can help someone else have a good day!
10.) Make an effort to be more approachable
This means that smile we talked about above and your body language. If you are at work and discussing something difficult with a coworker, try to smile and not cross your arms. Non-verbal communication communicates a lot without us knowing. If you are able to adjust your non-verbal communication to look happier and more approachable, you will spread kindness by doing nothing!