Milestone moments certainly leave their mark, but what about the everyday gestures and interactions between? Sometimes it's the little things that can really turn an average day into something awesome and that's precisely what Random Acts of Kindness Day is all about.
Whether it's picking up the tab on the coffee order behind you, giving out handwritten letters of encouragement to the neighbors or something creative you've got planned, the beauty is that being kind to others benefits all. If you think about it, there's the surprise and delight factor about being on the receiving end, but there's a lot of magic that happens up front too.
The Benefits of Being Kind To Others
It's been said that kindness is a virtue and that no act, big or small, is ever wasted. Kindness elevates the world around us and reminds people that beyond the differences, there are basic, common human needs that bring us all together. And if you're the individual enacting the kindness, you're activating a sense of strength, courage, and compassion that this world needs.
How To Be Purposeful on Random Acts of Kindness Day
Be it this social "holiday" or any day you feel like spreading joy and kindness, there's got to be some degree of conscious effort until it becomes a habit. Random, spontaneous kindness is electric, but it takes most people some focus and intent to become the type of person who feels natural putting their kindness into action for a stranger. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it should help you get started!
1) Reflect on your strengths and abilities to locate what unique skills you might be able to share with the world. Reflect also on the basic things that might light someone's day - a smile, a laugh, a hug. They're just as important.
2) Slow the pace of your day down to observe the people around you wherever you go.
3) Read body language and recognize when someone is under pressure, experiencing pain, feeling uncomfortable or may otherwise be in need of some extra kindness.
4) Lend an ear but avoid gossip.
5) Be a voice or advocate for someone who may be shy or reserved.
6) Bring extra of whatever you've got.
7) Express gratitude and encouragement instead of criticism and skepticism.
8) Choose to see and speak the good in those around you.
9) Tie your actions back to nostalgia and key moments with special people. Do something to bring about the good old times.
10) Go out of your way to take on some of the burdens someone may be carrying.
11) Seek out the lonely, lost or forgotten.
12) Act on the little voice inside. If you think, see, notice or feel that someone may need something, act on it. Don't wait.
13) Expect nothing in return and keep no score. Be kind just to be kind.
The more you begin to implement these practices into your daily life the more your kindness will overflow onto everyone. And best of all, when you pay it forward with joy and kindness, it typically sparks a chain reaction of goodness that inspires ripples all around.
Here's to being a force of positive change, intentionally, randomly and always!