(Note: This was written way before I started watching Thirteen Reasons Why, strange coincidence but I’ll flow with it!)
These past few weeks I came to realize something amazing. I realized that sometimes the smallest, tiniest, almost insignificant acts of kindness can have the biggest impacts on people’s lives. We never know what battles the other person is trying to overcome or which demons they are battling but, though they may seem insignificant to us, everyday gestures of kindness can go a long way. These small gestures are just as easy to do as they are not to do them. But when done, a whole world can change for the better and doesn’t it feel good that you had a part in that?!
Here’s a 30-day Kindness Challenge. Do one action each day and make a difference in someone’s life… and you will notice a difference in your own life.
Day 1: Call/text/email an old friend out of the blue to simply ask them how they are doing.
Day 2: Give up your seat for someone (anyone!) in a packed bus/metro/train.
Day 3: Tell someone they are doing a good job (it can be anyone: a child, a spouse, a co-worker, a colleague, a sales clerk,…)
Day 4: When at a coffee shop or food counter, pay for the coffee or drink of the person behind you.
Day 5: Post a positive message or quote on social media.
Day 6: Bring an extra fruit, sandwich, granola bar, etc. in your lunch bag and give it to someone in need.
Day 7: Send a funny picture to a friend.
Day 8: Genuinely listen to someone when they are talking, without interrupting.
Day 9: Write a positive online review of a business you like (or blog ;).
Day 10: Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
Day 11: Leave nice comments on blogs (wink! wink!), Twitter, and Facebook
Day 12: Participate in an event – The people who organize events always worry that no one will take part. That ugly sweater contest needs you!
Day 13: Leave a nice server the biggest tip you can afford.
Day 14: Put a sticky note with a positive slogan on the mirror in a restroom.
Day 15: Write your partner/child/parent/sibling a list of things you love about them.
Day 16: Bring your neighbor some cookies. Everybody loves cookies!
Day 17: Donate clothes you are no longer wearing to a charity or a foundation.
Day 18: Help someone with a stroller up/down a flight of stairs.
Day 19: Praise the work of a colleague to their boss.
Day 20: Make someone laugh by telling them a funny joke or story.
Day 21: Buy a lottery ticket for a random stranger.
Day 22: Set a date to spend some time with a long lost friend you would like to re-connect with.
Day 23: Bring some treats to work.
Day 24: Call an elderly family member and ask them how they are doing.
Day 25: Invite a friend or parent or sibling for a casual home cooked supper during the work week
Day 26: Start a conversation with a sales or service rep that you encounter everyday
Day 27: Put a secret not in a loved one’s pocket. Write how much you appreciate them.
Day 28: Take a family member out to lunch out of the blue, for no particular occasion.
Day 29: First thing on a weekday morning, slow down your routine and dance with your partner or your kids.
Day 30: Give a sincere compliment to someone about a piece of clothing, hairstyle, shoes, manners, etc.
Sometimes we think of doing or saying something nice but are too shy to express it. I’m asking you to change that and see what happens. It’s important to let others know that somebody notices and cares, it can brighten someone’s day or even change the whole course of their lives.
Bonus: Day 31: Love yourself and give yourself a big hug! You need some kindness too so be good to yourself.