November 13 is World Kindness Day. First established in 1998 by the World Kindness Movement, the purpose of this day is to highlight good deeds and focus on the positive power of kindness. Yes please to all of that! Here are 10 simple ways to show everyday kindness on this day and every day.
Kindness is a fundamental part of the human condition which bridges the divides of race religion, politics, gender and nationality. It is one of the easiest things we can give to people, yet often the least thought about. If we become just a little more intentional and aware of the way our words and actions affect other people, we can share a bit more kindness every single day.
10 Simple Ways to Show Kindness
1. Call Them Out of the Blue
Send a text, card, or even make a phone call to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Just let them know you are thinking about them.
2. Compliment a Stranger
If you look for ways to compliment people on a regular basis, you’ll be surprised at how much more you pay attention to those around you. Make eye contact with the barista who makes your coffee and the guy who takes your dry cleaning. Seek out ways to compliment them and brighten their day.
3. Pay it Backward
If you go through the drive through, pay for the car behind you. Or if you go inside to order your coffee, tea, or snack, pay for the person in line behind you. You never know the situation of the stranger in line with you, but there is no doubt they will be surprised and blessed by your kindness.
4. Show Gratitude
Chances are, there is someone in your life for whom you are grateful, but you haven’t told them or you haven’t said it often enough. Take a moment to tell your child’s teacher —or a coworker, housekeeper, even the paper boy— how much you appreciate them. Everyone enjoys a pat on the back from time to time.
5. Be the Big Tipper
Surprise your server by leaving an extra generous tip when you dine out. Be sure to leave a compliment with the tip.
6. Surprise Someone
It doesn’t take much to make someone’s day. A simple gesture of kindness often goes a long way. Pick up your coworker’s favorite muffin or other treat on the way to work. Invite a neighbor over for tea. Leave a thoughtful note on someone’s desk or in a child’s lunch box.
7. Give Up Your Spot in Line
Whether you’re at the grocery store, coffee shop, or clothing store, give your spot in line to the mom with kiddos in tow or the elderly woman by herself. While you’re at it, use the opportunity to strike up a conversation.
8. Give Hugs
Some people are natural huggers and seek physical contact regularly. For others, it takes intent and may even feel forced. If this is you, push out of your comfort zone and offer a hug to someone who could use a little cheer in their day.
9. Don’t Be a Jerk
Sometimes, people are wrong. People can be mean and thoughtless and, well, unkind. Check yourself and choose the high road. Don’t respond to unkindness in the same manner. Instead, choose to be kind and resist the urge to lash out. Most of the time, unkind people need kindness the most.
10. Give Your Undivided Attention
When talking to another person, resist the urge to check that text message. Give the person standing in front of you your attention. Make eye contact and really listen to them. Many times we are only partially present because we’re so distracted by our phones, our to do lists, and our agendas.
What are your favorite simple ways to show kindness to others? Comment below and share!
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