Small Acts of Kindness
Change can sometimes seem so monumental that we just don’t know where to begin. We look at the issues our nation is currently grappling with and we lend our voices to our communities to fight for the change that is so desperately needed these days. Sometimes though, we look around and wonder if what we are doing is going to be enough. While we recognize that some of the change will also take time and patience, we know that we desperately want to see immediate improvements, but we just don’t know how.
I’ve always believed that change begins at home, and it only takes one person to make a conscious effort to be better, to make a difference. Lately, I’ve been spending a lot of my morning devotional time thinking about kindness. It may sound cheesy but showing kindness to one another is one of the easiest forms of change, let alone self-care! Yes, I truly believe being kind to others is a form of self-care; we benefit just as much doing acts of kindness as we would be on the receiving end.
How often do you read stories or see videos about people who are kind to someone, and then that kindness is paid forward to someone else? That ripple effect of kindness can be the immediate change that every one of us needs right about now. Small acts of kindness do go a long way, whether it’s a thoughtful gesture or a few minutes of your time helping someone in need. Extending kindness is a simple way to make impactful change in your community starting now.
Here are just a couple of ways you can incorporate small acts of kindness into your day to day lives:
- Say “good morning” to a stranger – here in the South, we are pretty friendly but everyone has one of those days when they’re so caught up in their own lives that they miss the opportunity to brighten someone else’s day. Next time you’re out running errands or walking the dog, or even on your way to work, take a minute to say good morning to the person standing behind you on line at the store, for the bus, and even in the elevator. Just make sure you’re still socially distancing!
- Help out an elderly neighbor – My parents have been in partial lockdown since COVID-19 began and through the kindness of their neighbors, they have been well looked after. Now is a great time to get to know your community, and make sure that the elderly and vulnerable members are being taken care of. Whether it’s just a phone call to check-in, or it’s more involved like grocery shopping or driving them to a doctor’s appointment, volunteering your time to help the elderly in your community is an incredible way to give back.
- Donate your old clothing – I know so many of you have been stuck at home and decluttering, reorganizing and purging your closets of items you no longer need. Instead of tossing your old clothing, why not donate them to the Salvation Army or Goodwill? So many people who could benefit from clean, well-cared for clothing.
- Say “please” and “thank you” – There’s not much to say about these small words, but when you say them, and mean them, they make all the difference.
- Pay for the person in line behind you – What I love about this small act of kindness is that you never know just how much that person waiting in line behind you needs the financial help or simple the encouragement. Whether you’re paying for a small cup of coffee or the person’s entire grocery cart, I promise you that you’ll be riding that high you’ll feel from helping someone out for days to come.
- Say “I love you” – When was the last time you told someone you love just how much they mean to you? If saying “I love you” isn’t something you routinely say to each other, make an effort to reach out and share your feelings.
- Help a Mom – People tend to be quick to mommy shame, but often it’s young mothers who could use the help most of all. Next time you see a mom struggling with her kids offer a helpful hand. I have seen so many moms who just need someone to either push the carriage while they hold a crying child or carry a shopping bag while they maneuver with the stroller through a door. Show a tired mom some kindness, especially when they’ve got young children!
- Pick up someone else’s trash – When was the last time you were in the park and ignored someone else’s picnic remnants, or noticed someone missed the garbage can when they were tossing something out? Picking up someone else’s trash might not seem like an act of kindness, but you’re keeping your community clean while helping out the hard-working sanitation department at the same time!
- Send flowers to a friend – Sure we all remember our friend’s birthdays and anniversaries, but when was the last time you sent your friend some flowers “just because you care?” Let your friends know that you are thinking about them and that they matter to you, with a small bouquet.
- Be still and listen – We all need a friend or acquittance that takes the time to listen. We’re all processing many emotions during this time in history, so sit down over a cup of coffee or tea to listen, learn, empathize, and support. You’ll be surprised at how the act of listening opens your heart and mind.
Do you find these small acts of kindness ideas helpful? Add some of your own to the comments!
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