I wanted to do a post on something that I am a big champion of. It’s probably more accurate to say that I’m a gargantuan, elephantine, war painted cheerleader of it, really.
Below are 30 ideas of ways that you might throw a bit of kindness out into the world, they are from my own experience and are things I have either personally done, or been on the fortunate receiving end of. My hope is for this to inspire more acts of kindness to help nourish this crazy world we all live in. It can be a lot of fun, plus you can create some beautiful memories along the way.
1. Receiving and giving handmade gifts – the time, energy and thought invested is really special
2. Stopping to talk to people who are homeless and living as best they can
3. Paying for a parking ticket and left it in the machine for the next person
4. Paying for a car wash at Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available) and leaving it behind the counter for the cashier to hand out
5. Paying for someone’s coffee
6. Baking for the neighbours/a local care home/my piano teacher/friend
7. Buying a few bunches of flowers from Aldi (see, I said others are available) and leaving them in a bucket outside a charity shop with a note for anyone who could do with a smile to take one.
8. Giving £10 to a cashier in Iceland to put towards a customers shopping
(I didn’t realise how many different supermarkets I go to until writing this post….)
9. Buying some scratch cards and handed them out and left them on windscreens in envelopes
10. Offering to drive in place of the person who’d rather not (for whatever reason)
11. Picking people up in the early hours of the morning to make sure they get home safely
12. Sending complimentary email/messages and/or writing reviews for a great service or experience
13. Giving blood
14. Picking up bits of litter
15. Being sent my *favourite* false eyelashes as a random gift by the beautiful Sophie of PrettyandPolished.co.uk
16. Making parcels of Mum’s favourite sweet things with a thank you note and leaving them with the Police and Ambulance service
17. Posting a lottery ticket through Mum’s old house
18. Giving £5 to the hot dog van that Mum loved in the town centre to pay for someones food
19. Paying some money towards a friends tattoo
20. Telling people the positive observations/thoughts I’d had about them
(employing weirdness temperature check beforehand)
21. Doing a charity event
(this was mine and explains the ‘why’ – best run I have ever, ever done https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/siano-brien)
22. Buying a gift card through PayPal and emailing it to someone who gave me loads of great advice, support and help
23. Sending a funny/silly/positive picture through email to a colleague the day before they return from annual leave so the first thing they come back to is nice
24. Surprise gifts from Esty both from and to my incredible friends (YES small businesses!)
25. Donating nice stuff to charity shops instead of eBaying, or donating part of an eBay sale to charity
26. Notes written to me mentioning things people value, or think about me
27. Flowers I was unexpectedly given on the anniversary that Mum died, and they were her favourite, too
28. Leaving sweets randomly in work colleagues lockers
29. My sister arranging for Mum’s clothes to be made into a cuddly toy of her favourite animal, beautifully done by a small local business
30. Taking care of yourself
Key principle about what/how/when?
Do the things that resonate with, or work for YOU. It’ll feel more comfortable, be more likely to stick and, really, there is no ‘right’ way to ‘do’ kindness. You’re fucking awesome just for having the desire to try.
If you’re starting up with weaving more kindness in to life, it might be worth giving some things a go around a key date. When any form of behaviour changes are ‘tied’ to something it can be easier if people ask you why you’re doing these lovely things (for the observant, eagle eyed out there).
I wanted to try to create some positive association with keys dates since Mum died, like her birthday and the anniversary of when I waved her off that last time. This wasn’t about avoiding the harder emotions – you gotta feel that shit – but it’s eased on it’s way a bit quicker if you’re doing nice stuff for others. The very first thing I did was to give blood on the first anniversary, having never done it before. I’m not ashamed to say that I was really, really scared. So I baked brownies, for two reasons;
1) to give to the nurses and staff who work so fucking hard all day there and
2) as a distraction from the fear.
It worked, and I’ve been and donated 3 times since, AND I actually enjoy it – the staff have always been phenomenal. It was definitely worth a (pretty huge) nudge outside of my comfort zone to learn that. A valuable life lesson, right there.
The power of what you do might not be obvious, but don’t let that stop you, you never know how much someone might need the kindness you throw out.
I can’t tell you how much I personally needed this, and the person who sent it wouldn’t have known.
This post was inspired by you, sender 🙂