Tuesday November 13, 2018 is World Kindness Day. It’s a day where we can focus a little more on being kind to one another. After all we are all human and we are all in this race of life together, whether we want to believe it or not. Many people feel that in order to make the world a better place they need to spend a lot of money or do something incredibly out of this world, or else it won’t mean anything, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. There are so many simple daily actions we can take to make the world a better place one small step at a time. Sometimes what you think is a small gesture that will mean nothing can mean the world to another person.
There are so many different things that you can do to make the world a better place. It doesn’t take a lot of effort but may be something that in your daily life you don’t think much about or realize the positive impact it can have on another person, on society as a whole, in your community or in your place of worship, or at work, etc. My favourite quote by Mother Teresa is: “Do small things with great love.” This is a powerful quote. In other words, you don’t need to spend a lot of money or go out of your way necessarily to do something to brighten someone’s day, but rather something small done with a lot of love and care as well as doing it with kindness can go a long way, farther than one can imagine!
Ways to Make Kindness the Norm in Your Daily Life
- SMILE! The one simple gesture that anyone can make on their daily journey through life is to smile at another person. Smiling at a stranger or passerby can make a world of difference in someone’s day. Have you ever had a moment where you are walking along and you just happen to glance over at someone going by you and they look at you and give you a big smile? How does that make you feel? You might say strange, because it’s not the norm these days to be friendly to a stranger, but for the most part, it’s a really warm, and happy feeling, isn’t it? I know that when a stranger smiles at me, and maybe even goes the extra mile and says hello, it makes me happy and makes my heart sing. I love it when people do that for me, and I try my hardest to do the same for another person as well, because I know how it makes me feel when someone does that to me and I want to reciprocate that feeling and that outward gesture to someone else. Try it, you might like the feeling it gives you!
- Let someone in when traffic is merging due to possibly construction? Imagine that, construction! Tell me what city doesn’t have construction going on at some point? Or a lane closure? If you have roads and cars moving around, most likely construction, or some kind of detour is inevitable at some point. Instead of blocking someone who has their signal on to merge into your lane, why don’t you just let the person in? It will make that person less stressed and frustrated that they need to get in the lane and no one is letting them in, and it will make you look like the good person! Don’t be that person that says to yourself: “Nope, you’re not getting in here…didn’t you see the merging lane sign waaaay back there?” Instead, be that person that says: “Sure buddy, come on over, and come on in front of me.” No fuss, no mus. Easy peasy! Right? And a lot less hostility on the roads!
- Treat someone to a coffee or a treat – whether it be a co-worker, a friend, a family member or a total stranger, and maybe even YOU, make sure you treat someone to something every now and then. It could be as easy as saying to a co-worker: “Here’s $5, go and buy yourself a coffee or a tea or a cookie or whatever it may be. Enjoy it!” This will not only make you feel good, but it will make the other person think: “Wow, that’s pretty cool..” And the best part is if they reciprocate the gesture with someone else. It’s the “pay-it-forward” mentality and it’s an awesome one! Trust me. Try it, you won’t regret it, ever!
- One of my favourite things to do is hand out granola bars or another healthy snack to a homeless person, particularly panhandlers that are hanging out at intersections. Instead of giving them money to possibly feed a bad habit, I will provide them with something for them to eat and I will also give them a bottle of water. I usually purchase nut-free bars because you never know if someone has a nut allergy. This gives them some fuel to continue on with their day and hopefully puts a smile on their face. My boys think it’s the most awesome thing that I do, because it’s not every day that you see someone providing a homeless, or needy person with food to help them get through the day and this in turn teaches my boys to be proactive and pay it forward as they get older and start driving and see someone in need. It’s about being kind and giving and not judging. We don’t ever know what those people have been through or are going through in their lives. It’s a simple gesture, but yet can mean the world to someone who is hungry and lonely and even homeless. There are other things you can give someone who is homeless, you can buy socks at the dollar store and give socks to a homeless person, or mittens, or put together care packages to hand out.
- Compliment someone today. It doesn’t take a lot to tell someone they look nice, their hair looks great, the outfit they have on is nice, that the person is awesome, or simply that you love working with that person, because they make your day a little brighter and make the world a better place because they’re in. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone said something like that to you? How would you feel and has this ever happened to you? How did you feel? I’m sure you felt pretty darn good, right?
- Send a positive text or email to a friend or family member. I actually did that today. I have a really good friend who is always checking in on me and just knows the right words to say to make me feel better. She sent me a song yesterday because I was having a bad day, that uplifted me when I listened to it. The words were perfect and just what I needed to hear. So I sent her an email today to let her know how awesome she is and the fact that she is always there for me, and to let her know that she makes the world a better place. Totally made her day and took me 2 minutes. Simply sending a friend a text to say “Have an awesome day,” or “You are awesome,” or “I’m thinking of you today,” goes a very long way in making someone feel appreciated and cared for. Like there is actually someone out there that believes in me and thinks of me as a person. Think about it and try it….see what happens.
- Make a donation to a cause you care about. It doesn’t have to be a large donation, it’s the thought that counts and as the old saying goes: “Every little bit helps.” So don’t feel like you have to give millions or nothing in order to help a charity or a donation of your choice. It takes a little from many people to make a difference. Just remember that. You don’t have to be rich to make the world a better place.
- Help an elderly neighbour. If you have an elderly or disabled neighbour that you think could use some help, why not ask? All it takes is maybe picking up some groceries for the person, or raking their leaves, maybe even just having a coffee with that person will mean the world to them. Some people are lonely and just need a friend to talk to for a while. You would be surprised how little some people require in order to make their day!
As you can see, there are many different gestures that you can make to be kind to another person. It doesn’t take much to make the world a better place. All it takes is a little bit of care, compassion and consideration to be the change! Tell us what you’re going to do to make a difference in someone’s life, not only on World Kindness Day, but every day! Share with us at: www.365give.ca, tell us your story or send us your pictures of your kindness gesture. Lets be the change, one small step at a time.