With the negative stories we see in the media every day, it is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that our world is a mean, nasty place to live in. The reality couldn't be more opposite - most human beings on our earth are just trying to get along and cause no harm, but it is the few that are hateful that get the news bulletins.
If you are stressed out about the amount of hate and discrimination in our world, you are not alone. However, if you are concerned about it, let's do something to combat this problem. Let us not sit around being miserable about the issue, and get up and do something small to help. Making someone's day can take less than a minute of work - and it'll make you feel really good, too!
1. Do the dishes - obviously this suggestion doesn't help a ton if you're already the one who does them all, but if you normally don't, take ten minutes to clear the sink today! Whoever normally does it will be very grateful. If everyone in your home splits them up and does their own, take the time to do a few extra.
2. Tell someone you love them - better yet, tell someone specifically why you love them, with reasons that are not about their appearance. Bonus points if it's in person rather than through technology!
3. Greet strangers - the next time you pass a stranger on the street, make sure to say hello and wish them a good day!
4. Give a compliment - it feels so nice to have someone compliment your hard work, outfit, or just about anything! You don't need to hand out this compliment to a close friend, either - compliments seem more genuine and thoughtful when given by an acquaintance. Normally we just think these thoughts in our own head, but why not share the love and say them out loud?
5. Stand up for what's right - if you see someone being bullied for an identity of theirs, step in and help the situation. Bad things don't happen in our world because there are a lot of bad people, bad things happen because a few bad people were watched by good people and never stopped.
6. Get educated - if you are in school, try taking a class you normally wouldn't! In college you can take many classes such as women gender studies, sociology, or psychology that will change your world view and make you see things from someone else's perspective. If you aren't in school, head to the library or a reliable website to learn more about the world around you!
7. Make a handmade card - if someone in your life has a birthday, anniversary, or any special occasion coming up, don't head to the store. Handmake a card that includes a short paragraph where you recognize how important the day is to this person, and how much you care.
8. Pass out treats - an easy way to make anyone's day is to hand them food. It doesn't have to be homemade cookies, either - a piece of chocolate can really turn a morning around!
9. Volunteer - whatever you are passionate about, make sure your voice (and actions!) get heard. No matter what you love, there will be somewhere in your community that you can help support for the cause.
10. Donate - if you are passionate but have a full schedule and are financially stable enough, donate money to a cause you love!
11. Practice Self Care - the world is automatically a better place when the people in it feel good because when we feel good, we are kinder to others. Get enough sleep, exercise, and save a little time everyday to do something you love to do, even if it's just five minutes.
12. Hold the door open - another small act of kindness, but a meaningful one. Especially if you see someone on crutches or carrying a lot of stuff, this can change someone's attitude, and is really easy for you to do!
13. Let someone skip - if you see someone continuously checking their watch or phone for the time in a line and you are in no rush, let them skip you! They may be a mom with three kids waiting at home, someone whose significant other lives far away and can only visit every so often, or just someone who needs to be somewhere fast. If you don't, letting someone cut you can really help.
14. Say thank you - if someone in your life does something that really helps you out, make sure to say a genuine thank you. Even if this person does this act daily - actually, especially if this act is completed daily - it will leave them feeling useful and loved.
15. Stop complaining - try to go without whining for three days, and see how your life changes. Every time you say "I have to", change it to "I get to". This attitude works wonders and makes you quickly realize how much you take for granted. You don't have to go to work, you get to. There are many people who are unqualified, disabled, or otherwise cannot get your job who would love going every day, so try to be more grateful for what you have.
16. Ask questions - when a family member or friend comes home, genuinely ask them how their day went. If they reply with one word, ask what was so good or bad about the day. Having someone truly interested in your life seems like a small task, but it can make you feel really valued.
17. Be kind to a child - the kids of this world are the next generation, and if we want the next line of people to be kinder than the last, we need to teach them how to love one another. Playing a game, having a conversation, or taking a child in your life somewhere like the zoo can show them how kindness is spread.
18. Give extra love to those who need it - maybe you have an extremely rude boss. Maybe your roommate is cruel to you on a daily basis. Maybe you're dreading the upcoming holiday season because your mother or father in law don't treat you as kindly as you wish they would. Keep an eye out for these people, because these are the individuals who need us more than most. It is really, really easy to be nice to the smiling, optimistic people of our planet. It is more important, however, to give love to those who are in need of some.
19. Apologize when you should - taking accountability for your actions can change a lot. Although your cruel action can never be erased once it is already done, you can show the other person that you have learned from your mistake and want to move forward by saying you're sorry.
20. Donate used items - many people are stressed about the amount of clutter their house contains, and many others need these very same items because they cannot afford them. Go donate clothes, furniture, books, old children's toys - whatever you are about to throw away, someone else needs!
21. Plant a tree - our environment is suffering majorly, and one way to give back is to plant a tree or garden to grow your own food. This act of kindness will not only help, but it will also give you the joy of taking care of something other than yourself.
22. Send someone flowers - maybe even flowers that you grew yourself, if you did #21! Flowers are a traditional way to tell someone you care, and this doesn't need to be a significant other. Siblings, parents, or grandparents would also love to get a bouquet.
23. Interact with the elderly - many older people don't have many friends or family left, and it would pick up their day greatly if you stopped in the grocery store checkout line or any public place and had a small conversation.
24. Post-It something - put happy post-its in a bathroom, library, or other public place! An inspirational quote could help many.
25. Pick up something dropped - If you see someone spill something or drop what they're holding, grab it for them!
26. Call someone you haven't talked to in awhile - hearing from someone who used to mean a lot to you and knowing that they still care can mean a ton.
27. Treat everyone like you want to be treated.