November is such a caring month. Not only do we have Thanksgiving at the end of the month, it’s also #NationalGratitudeMonth, and today we have one of my favorite “celebrations,” #WorldKindnessDay.
I’m sure many of you have felt like me, and have seen a lot of negativity getting spread in the world today. Candidly, there are times that if I didn’t have to be on/use social media in my professional life, I might stop using all together. Still, I know that there is good out there. I have friends that remind me of this fact often, strangers that go out of their way to be friendly, and acquaintances who have helped simply because I asked.
When it comes down to it, we can make a difference
simply by focusing on the small things
Kindness doesn’t have to be a big gesture to be meaningful and memorable.
Here are 10 easy things you can do TODAY to spread kindness on World Kindness Day:
- Send an email, handwritten note (my #1 recommendation), or text (with lots of emoji) to a friend. Share how much it means to have her/him in your life. While this one is a bit closer to an act of gratitude, the unexpected nature of the note, also makes it part of the kindness category.
- Thank 5 co-workers today for their help on a project, just slugging it out with you, or for another way they make your time at your company brighter or better.
- Note: This doesn’t have to be gushy. Try the Post-it Method. These small notes can make a big impact and if this really makes you feel uncomfortable, try leaving one anonymously.
- Planning some holiday shopping today? Use igive or Amazon Smile when you shop and give a portion of your purchase cost to charities of your choice. Really make an impact when you shop!
- Hold the door for your fellow co-workers/commuters. We’re always in such a rush. Isn’t it nice when a stranger/coworker stops to hold the door/elevator for you?
- Say, “Good Morning”, “Good Evening” or simply, “Hello” with a smile to those you pass on the street/your commute/in the office. Sometimes just being acknowledged by another human being reminds us that we are valuable and “seen” in this world.
- Pick up some flowers for someone “just because.” Supermarkets and stores like Trader Joe’s have many inexpensive floral options that can fit virtually any budget. You can always buy one bouquet and break it up into individual flowers to pass out as well. This will really spread the floral love.
- Donate gently used clothing, but add a note first. Many of us already donate clothing, but have you considered leaving an encouraging note in the pocket? Something like, “This dress/suit always made me feel like the smartest one in the room. I hope you feel the same confidence when you wear it.” or “You look amazing in this!” are two types of messages you could leave. (Consider putting it on thicker card stock so it won’t immediately get thrown out when the donation center is checking pockets for old receipts to toss.)
- Printing a coupon for your favorite store? Print a few extras to share with fellow shoppers.
- Offer Directions I often come across visitors who clearly look lost, but seem intimidated to ask for help. Being the first to offer, “Can I help you find what you’re looking for?” goes a long way and shows just how friendly your town/city is to outsiders.
- Print 5 of your favorite photographs. In today’s digital age, we take lots of pictures, but it seems we rarely print them out. Why not print out 5 of your favorites today and share them with friends/relatives. The pictures can vary from one of you and a friend, the group of you at an event, or even a picture of a sunset, beach, mountain or trail that you and a friend both love to visit! Add a quick note of why the picture reminds you of her/him/them.
There are so many ideas online of how you can share kindness. These are just a few I wanted to share. At the very least, I hope you’ll pause and share kindness today vs. negativity today. Today, try the following:
– Refrain from posting a negative review and/or reply in social media.
– Consider being more open-minded at work when a colleague shares an idea – no matter how outlandish it may initially sound. You never know, it may spark a more cost-efficient idea and at the very least, kudos to your co-worker for putting themselves out there and contributing to the conversation.)
– To that car that cuts you off? Rather than cursing them out, say to yourself, “They must just be in a bigger rush than I am,” and continue on your way. These may be challenging, but you will be happier and more peaceful for doing it.
Kindness does matter and as Aesop notes in the Lion and the Mouse fable: