"Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you." — Princess Diana
I recently stumbled upon a Facebook post that went viral for all the right reasons. The post was from a mother who decided to take her children out around town and leave random acts of kindness to brighten others' days. They left things such as bouquets of flowers on the hood of people's cars, enough quarters for a load of laundry on washing machines at the laundromat, a pack of microwave popcorn on a Redbox movie machine, and even a quarter on each gumball dispenser at a store. Each gift was left with a small card that read "Enjoy this random act of kindness. Have a great day!"
The post included photos of three happy children leaving the gifts and the caption simply read "Only regret about this is not doing it sooner!"
"If you have the power to make someone happy, do it. The world needs more of that" — Anonymous
This post really inspired me. Not only were the children who were leaving the gifts doing so with smiles, but I'm sure each recipient of the random acts of kindness found a smile and happiness in the gesture as well - I know I would.
You always hear the phrase "our world could use more people like this", but in my opinion, we have plenty of people like this. There are so many people in the world that see this type of kindness and have a positive reaction to it, realizing how easy it is to put a smile on someone else's face just because. The post itself went viral, gaining thousands of likes, comments and shares. If each of the people who interacted with this post made an effort to make one person's day through random acts of kindness, it would make a huge impact on a lot of lives.
"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." — Scott Adams
I've compiled a list of 10 random acts of kindness that are simple to do and could very well help you become the first link to a chain reaction of smiles and good vibes.
1. Call a cashier by their name and ask them how their day is going.
You can see any stress wash away and the radiance of their smile is so genuine. A simple conversation and a little compassion can go a long way.
2. Pay for the person behind you in line or in a drive-through.
This has happened to me time and time again. I always make it an effort to remember these times and pay it forward when I can.
3. Remind someone how much they inspire you or how proud of them you are.
It's impossible not to smile and feel great when hearing that you inspire someone or that they are proud of you - even for the littlest things.
4. Send a random Facebook message to someone you haven't spoken to in a long time.
Sometimes just getting a message from a friend you haven't heard from in a while can bring you a lot of joy - it could even rekindle a friendship.
5. Hide a few post-it notes with positive words throughout the day.
Hide them in places you know someone will eventually find them. Like in a library book, on the seat of a chair, on the inside of a bathroom door - get creative so it will catch them off guard and be that much more special.
6. Strike up a conversation and give someone a compliment.
A co-worker you don't talk to often, a peer sitting next to you in class, your neighbor, a person in the elevator with you - just being genuine and making someone feel noticed can change a person's whole day.
7. Text 5 random friends and tell them to have a great day.
Not only do strangers benefit from random acts of kindness, you can make your friends' days too. Everyone loves to know someone is thinking of them!
8. Leave a big tip and an encouraging note for your waiter at a restaurant.
This always has a huge impact on a server's day and you could single-handedly turn their shift around if they were having a bad day, or just make it the best shift they've ever worked.
9. Bring someone a coffee or small gift.
Whether it's to a co-worker, a friend you've made in class, or even just someone you know you'll be seeing at a meeting, this gesture shows a person you were thinking of them and that alone will definitely make them smile.
10. Make an effort to smile at people you don't know.
I have always believed in the idea that a smile can turn someone's day around completely, that it could even save a life. I guarantee they'll smile back and I bet they walk a little taller with the rush of good vibes from something so simple and easy.
I challenge you all to be more conscious of the world and people around you - spread kindness because it's not hard to do. Make an effort to do at least one thing on this list before the week is over; maybe even try to do all ten! You'll be making the people around you smile, touching lives in the simplest ways, and ultimately you'll feel great doing it too!