One of my goals on my list of 101 Life Goals is to do a random act of kindness every week. I keep sticking with it for a while, and then a week rolls around and I forget to do something, and then I have to start all over again. It’s like a factory going back to “Zero Days Without An Accident,” except it’s fine because it just means I’ll do more good deeds and nice things.
I made random acts of kindness a goal because I think the world could use more love and positivity. To be honest, it’s a totally selfish goal. I truly believe that what goes around, comes around. Besides, doing something nice is the most reliable way I know of to get in a good mood. It’s amazing to realize that we have the power to make someone’s day, or even make the world a better place.
Some of the things I’ve done have involved money: buying boxes of breakfast cereal for the community food pantry along with my grocery shopping, for instance, or buying a stranger an item off her Amazon wish list. (When I do that one, I always make sure it’s something the person has added within the last few days.)
Some random acts of kindness are free, though. Here are a few ideas! I’ve done a few of them already. I know that some of these are things that not everyone can do, but who knows… maybe one of them will inspire somebody.
This is not only a fantastic thing to do, but also about the only time that medical professionals will urge you to eat cookies.
Check in with someone who lost a loved one weeks or months ago.
Grieving can be a long process, and it might mean a lot to someone to have you say, “Hey, I’m still thinking about you.”
Write a letter or email to an author telling them how much you enjoyed their work.
If you love to read, this is a fun one. And if you’re a writer yourself, you know how this could make somebody’s day! Along the same lines…
Call or email a company telling them how much you liked their product or service.
Customer service is a tough gig, and there so many people out there only speak up when they have a complaint. You could also give a business a positive Yelp review! A lot of Yelp reviewers sound like the grouchiest, hardest-to-please people imaginable, so you’d be restoring some balance.
I don’t have kids, and I can’t imagine how people who do ever get anything done. Give a parent a break! Or for an over-the-top act of kindness, pet-sit for somebody for the weekend.
Put in a good word for a co-worker.
If someone’s done a great job, tell their manager. If you know someone’s work well, you can even write them a recommendation on LinkedIn.
Make encouraging comments on 10 people’s Facebook or Instagram posts.
Tell them they look great in their new profile pic, you hope they feel better, their dog is cute, that sandwich looks delicious, that’s a really interesting think piece they just shared, or they’re awesome for running a 5K.
Compliment 5 people in “real life” in one day.
It’s okay if it’s a little out of the blue. Tell your brother he’s a great dad. Tell a stranger you like her outfit. If you’ve got something nice to say, say it.
Volunteer at a food bank.
I always like volunteer opportunities where I feel like I’m actually doing useful work, you know? Some food banks just need people to sort donations of food, which sounds both simple and necessary.
Volunteer at an animal shelter.
The chances of this one making your day are outstanding.
If you have any ideas for random acts of kindness, I’d love to hear about them… I always learn so much from the comments. And thanks for reading… it’s very kind of you!