The Entire World Is Going Through a Dark Phase Right Now. Make Sure to Spread Kindness However You Can.
It’s scientifically proven that acts of kindness do more for the giver than the receiver.
So, no matter how small you believe the act to be, do it anyway. Like Scott Adams said, “Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.”
1. Set up a Monthly Debit Order for Your Favourite Charity
We totally understand how busy life can get and often finding the time to make a difference is tricky. So, why not choose a charity that means a lot to you and set up a monthly debit order. That way, the money goes directly into their bank account and you don’t need to give it a second thought.
However, when you do have a bit of spare time – be sure to help out in person. Besides, it will be great for the charity to see the face behind the monthly donation.
2. Bring Empty Packets With When You’re at the Park or Beach and Pick-up Litter
This is the easiest way to perform an act of kindness, and you can honestly do it wherever you go. Keep a few empty packets in your car or backpack and pick up a few items of litter wherever you might be.
If you do this, and others see you doing it, the chances of them doing the same the next time they’re out and about are really high.
Remember what Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.”
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3. Hang Out With the Elderly in a Care Home
We completely understand that it isn’t always easy hanging out in an old-age home. Old age homes have a certain smell about them but look past all the medical equipment and smell past that smell and really soak in the people who live there.
They are lonely and often have nobody visiting them. Be their somebody. Bring some magazines, little chocolates, or just go and push a few grannies in their wheelchairs.
You’ll be making some lonely hearts very happy, and the bonus is that you’ll learn so much too. The grandpa who fought in a war, or the granny who backpacked around Europe.
4. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter or Become a Foster Parent or Foster Fail
We love foster fails, they’re the best… but you don’t even need to go that far. If you’d like to do a good deed and spread some kindness with your acts, then heading to your local animal shelter is a great place to start.
Grab an extra lead and spend an afternoon walking the dogs. Spend time in the cattery, and become a crazy cat lady, even if it’s just for a couple of hours.
And of course, first prize, adopt your furry best friend.
5. Thank Someone Who Influenced Your Life
John F Kennedy once said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” And we at Successful Journals, couldn’t agree more.
Whether it’s a schoolteacher that motivated you to try harder, a boss that saw your potential or a friend that was your rock when you needed it the most, say thank you.
6. Write a Glowing Review
Too often we’re quick to write negative reviews about how sh*t a service was, or a product was but when we get great service, we hardly ever write about it. And let’s be honest, how long would it take to write a good review? 1 maybe 2 minutes – and the ripple effect of that is huge.
It could be a restaurant that has an influx of new customers thanks to your great review, or someone who gets a promotion at work because of the great customer service they gave you.
And all it takes is a couple minutes of your time.
7. Smiling at Other People
American motivational writer, William Arthur Ward, sums it up beautifully, “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”
Just acknowledging the presence of others, regardless of how they look, smell or sound, is a gesture that will make them feel like they’re seen. Like they’re not invisible. Like they are not worthless.
And, if someone smiles at you, don’t ignore them. It took courage to reach out with a smile. Returning it will cost you nothing. And then, pass it on!
8. Donate Blood / Stem Cells / Become an Organ Donor
Your blood can literally save lives, and it costs you nothing. And we understand that getting pierced by a needle is awful, but the pain is temporary, whereas affording someone an opportunity to survive should be inspiration enough to do these acts of kindness.
Chat to your local blood bank and get yourself tested to see if you’re fit to donate.
If you’re even braver, consider donating stem cells. According to sunflowerfund.org, “every year, thousands of patients around the world are diagnosed with leukaemia and other blood-related diseases. In the past, this diagnosis was often fatal. Today, a blood stem cell transplant can be a potentially life-saving treatment for more than 70 different diseases.”
And finally, by just registering yourself as an organ donor, you can potentially save 8 lives! Pennmedicine.org confirms the following, “two people can be freed from dialysis treatments with the donation of two kidneys. A donated liver can be split so that two people receive the gift. In addition, two lungs can give the gift of life to two people and the pancreas and heart can also be donated.”
9. Purge Your Closet and Donate the Items
Our closets are crammed with things we don’t need anymore, and we’re not just speaking about clothing. Look inside your plastic cupboard in the kitchen. Do the containers come tumbling out every time you open the door?
What about the spot where you keep your reusable coffee mugs? Packed tightly, we bet. What does your garage look like? Is the exercise ball flat and covered in dust? Or do you have several hammers, but only need one… ok, maybe two…
Whatever it is, declutter and get rid of the extra, unnecessary stuff. Donate the items to charity so they can sell them and make money to keep their doors open.
10. Help Someone With a Job That You’re Good at and They’re Not
And then expect nothing in return. It’s not a case of, “you owe me one.” Do it just to share your skills and knowledge, and be comfortable knowing that they too, one day will do the same for someone else.
11. Buy Local
So, why buy local?
Well – besides the obvious that you’re helping a family get their kids through school, pay their bills and literally live, there are other reasons why buying local is the way forward.
According to sustainableconnections.org, buying means the following:
26% fewer automobile miles.
250% more donations.
90% net new jobs.
R58 remains in the community – so for every R100 spent at a local store or restaurant, R58 of that is spent in the community.
Plus, the food is fresher, less packaging is used, and you connect with your community. It’s a win-win situation, as you get closer to your community as a result of these acts of kindness.
Speaking of community, here’s a great idea to show appreciation for yours…
12. Surprise the Local Fire Station or Police Station With Baked Treats
Our women and men in service work hard at protecting us and our community, so show them you appreciate what you do by dropping off some baked goodies, or cold drinks on a hot day.
It can be anyone, the people cleaning your local park, or a hot drink for the refuse collectors.
If you’re a parent, remember that your children learn from watching you and just by doing these small acts of kindness, will help grow another generation who go out and do the same.
13. Make up Necessity Bags and Keep Them in Your Car
So often we come across homeless people who have nothing and we want to give something, but a quick scan in our car reveals nothing but dirty tissues and empty coffee cups.
When you head to the grocery store, buy things like toothbrushes, toothpaste, socks, toilet paper, sanitary ware, dried food and bottled water. Any essentials that you can pop into a Ziploc bag and hand out when you see someone who has nothing.
If you have some old purses at home, instead of chucking them, fill them with these essentials. You are giving someone a little dignity and pride back and that will go a long way.
14. Pay for the Vehicle Behind You at a Toll Gate / or Coffee / or Meal
If you’ve ever had this happen to you, you know it’s a surreal feeling. It’s like going to the hairdresser and you’re about to pay, and they say, no – it’s already covered. At first, you’re incredulous, and then you crack a smile from ear to ear.
It’s a pretty magical feeling.
We’re not expecting you to pay for someone’s hair appointment, but a simple coffee, takeout or toll gate coverage, is enough to cause a ripple effect of kindness.
15. Leave a Bouquet at the Hospital
This could either be for the well-deserving hospital staff who are working relentlessly looking after patients, or it could be for a patient that has nobody.
Can you imagine what it must be like being in hospital without having family or friends close by to pop in for support and encouragement? A quick phone call, and you’ll have several names that you could drop off flowers for.
And they don’t have to be fancy store-bought ones either. Flowers and greens from your garden tied with a pretty ribbon are just perfect.
And who knows… that small act of kindness could be just the thing that pulls that patient through.
We’d love to hear a story of when you were on the receiving end of an act of kindness, and how it made you feel.