World Kindness Day is this Sunday, and this entire week is considered World Kindness Week. With all the news of the election and economy that has put many on edge while also labeling and dividing us further, World Kindness Week couldn’t have come at a better time. I thought this week would be a great opportunity to underline the power of acts of kindness, and maybe even give you some of my favorite ideas. The future is now and kindness is the most important ingredient to bring us together.
Unlike big elaborate plans to surprise somebody, acts of kindness often takes a very little effort and give a greater impact. Birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations are all kind of a blur and go by too fast. Random acts of kindness are often the most unexpected and thoughtful and leave a bigger impression, in my experience. Thinking of someone when they least expect it and making them feel special is a gift they often don’t forget. In fact, I enjoy giving more than receiving as it feeds my soul and makes me happier as a person. Showing kindness helps our physically body. It elevates dopamine levels, making us feel good. Emotional warmth leads to a healthier heart. Showing kindness reduces inflammation and therefore the aging process. There are many more secret benefits to act of kindness, as well.
Ready to dig into some random ideas of showing kindness? Here are some of my favorites:
Hand out little notes of thanks and encouragement. People barely write using a pen and paper these days. A little sticky note with a heartfelt message can feel very special especially if you sprinkle it with small drawings like hearts and smiley faces.
Cook a little extra and bring dinner to a friend. Especially if it’s during a move or remodeling. There is nothing like homemade cooking.
Check-in on friends and family when they least expect it. For bonus points, add a happy photo of you together.
To those driving in Chicago: let that passenger cross, bicycle pass, and car merge in front of you. Then smile and wave at them in a genuine way.
Meeting a friend or family member? Grab a cup of coffee, a bottle of wine, or a small gift.
Make eye contact and pause when thanking someone. We hear thank you so often, but it feels different when its heartfelt and genuine.
Pickup that piece of trash on the ground and put it in the garbage. The earth deserves kindness the most and remember that showing kindness has many benefits outlined above!
Talk to the that one person who doesn’t seem to know anyone at a party.
Travel can be exhausting. Offer to pick up a friend from an airport. For bonus points, have water and a snack waiting for them in the car.
Share an article, event, or a movie information with a friend who will likely be interested.
Bring cookies to a home association or neighborhood meeting.
Do a task or house chore that is not usually your responsibility.
Adopt from a shelter, drop off treats at an animal sanctuary, or volunteer for a cause.
There are many more ways to be extra kind this week and beyond as we recognize World Kindness Week. I would love to hear some of your favorite so, as always, write back and share! As Maya Angelou said: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” So, what will it take to have a better tomorrow? Morgan Freeman’s quote has that answer: “How do we change the world? One random act of kindness at a time.”
– Burak Sarac, Team Lead
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