The world we live in can seem like a cruel place, but we all know that the best way to fight cruelty is with kindness.
Random acts of kindness can be utterly transformative. When you’re on the receiving end of one, it can totally turn your day, or even your year, around.
And when you’re the one who does something kind for someone else, it’s a feeling like no other.
That warm glow of knowing you’ve brightened up someone else’s life is unbeatable.
They say that what goes around comes around, and I for one believe there’s a lot of truth in that. The more love you give out, the more you get back in return.
But inspiration doesn’t always strike when you need it to. Do you want to do something nice for someone, but are stuck for ideas?
Here’s my list of ideas for random acts of kindness that anyone can turn into a reality.
Pick out one of these and put it into practice as it is or adapt it however you like.
Push yourself out of your comfort zone and make connections with those around you.
Make it your mission to do one a month, week, or even a small one every day. See how it transforms your life, whilst also touching other people’s.
1. Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a while just to see how they are.
2. Text a friend to tell them how amazing they are.
3. Send a friend a hand-written note telling them just how amazing they are.
4. Write a letter to someone you know who’s having a difficult time, telling them you’re there if they need you (and mean it).
5. Send a card to someone you miss.
6. Remember tough dates for a friend, like their deceased mom’s birthday or Father’s Day if their dad has passed away, and check in with them.
7. Write a letter to a stranger who needs support, through a charity or organization.
8. Stay late at work to cover for a co-worker who has to leave due to an emergency or illness.
9. Say thank you to someone, no matter what they’ve done for you or when they did it.
10. Go through your clothes and donate anything you don’t need to charity.
11. If you’re going to give away or sell clothes that you know would suit a friend, ask them if they’d like them instead.
12. Donate warm, winter clothes to homeless charities.
13. Donate unwanted books to charity, with encouraging messages inside for the next reader.
14. Send someone a book you know they’ll love.
15. Recommend a self-help book or inspirational book to someone you think could benefit from it.
16. Donate old blankets and pillows to an animal shelter.
17. If you’re looking for a new member of the family then always adopt, don’t shop.
18. If you can’t adopt right now, considering fostering a pet in need to help them find a forever home.
19. Buy some non-perishable foods and donate them to a food bank.
20. Put together a food hamper for a family in need as part of a charity drive.
21. Smile at and say hello to people you pass out on walks.
22. If you’re baking a cake or any kind of delicious treat, take some over to a neighbor, just because.
23. Leave a surprise on a neighbor’s doorstep.
24. See if your neighbors need anything from the shops.
25. Do a litter pick in your local area.
26. Organize a big litter pick with your neighbors.
27. If you’re sweeping your own driveway, do your neighbors’ too.
28. Give cardboard boxes to someone who you know is moving.
29. Offer to help a friend pack or unpack.
30. Cook a meal or do a chore for a friend who’s just had a baby or is struggling for any reason, without asking.
31. If someone’s only got a couple of items, let them go in front of you at the grocery store.
32. Place sticky notes with motivating messages for your family to find around the house.
33. Place sticky notes with motivating messages in places where strangers will find them.
34. Leave a glowing review for a small business (so long as it’s genuine).
35. Tell your friends and family about good experiences with small businesses, so they can support them too.
36. Buy a small gift for someone you love for no real reason.
37. When looking for a gift for a loved one, shop small, local, and sustainable.
38. Make someone a handmade present.
39. If a friend starts a new business venture or project, share, comment and be their cheerleader on social media.
40. If a friend has a new business, spread the word to people who you know could use their services.
41. Donate old, clean toys to the local pediatric ward.
42. Take a bunch of flowers to the nurse’s station at the hospital (if you’re there for any reason).
43. Write a recommendation for someone on LinkedIn.
44. Endorse somebody’s skills on LinkedIn.
45. Find out about and sign up for blood donation in your area.
46. Leave a more-than-generous tip for someone who’s served you.
47. Keep an extra umbrella at work and lend it to people when it rains.
48. Always have an extra pen on hand to lend to people.
49. Always carry tissues in case someone needs them, and if they’re ill or crying, let them keep the pack.
50. Bring in food or snacks to share at work.
51. Always have chocolate to hand if someone’s having a bad day.
52. Bake a cake for somebody’s birthday.
53. Bake a cake to celebrate a milestone in a friend’s life.
54. Befriend someone who seems lonely.
55. Invite someone who’s new in your area to a party or out for a drink.
56. If you have a creative skill or are really good at your hobby, offer to teach others to do what you do.
57. Share your professional skills and knowledge with others.
58. Look for a mentee who’s in the same industry as you and see what you can do to boost their career.
59. Compliment someone on something other than their appearance in front of other people.
60. Do a task no one else wants to do.
61. Genuinely thank your co-workers for the things they do for you.
62. Strike up a conversation with a new co-worker to get to know them.
63. If you borrow someone’s car, fill up the tank.
64. Compliment your partner on their appearance.
65. Compliment your partner on their intelligence, resourcefulness, attitude, or anything to do with their personality, not their looks.
66. Do a chore you know your partner hates.
67. Leave your partner a treat or a note for them to find during the day.
68. Cook your partner’s favorite meal.
69. Help people who seem lost to find their way.
70. Give tourists your locals’ tips for the best places to go or eat.
71. Give someone a lift.
72. Offer to babysit for someone who really needs a break.
73. Or offer to dog sit for someone.
74. Walk a busy neighbor’s dog.
75. Pick up the bill when you’re out with people you love.
76. Pick up the bill when you’re out with a friend you know struggles for money.
77. Buy a gift for someone you know struggles for money – something you know they’ll really love but couldn’t justify.
78. Go along to a charity event and get stuck in.
79. Make sure no one you know is alone at special times of the year.
80. If someone’s new in town or has moved from abroad, invite them to your family gatherings on special days.
81. Donate your time to homeless shelters or soup kitchens.
82. Plant a tree.
83. Buy eggs, flowers, honey or vegetables from someone selling at the end of their driveway.
84. Cook a special meal for your family or friends.
85. Offer to take a photo of a couple or group of friends at a tourist spot.
86. If you’re musical, play for free for someone who’ll really appreciate it.
87. Give some spare change to a busker in the street.
88. Hold the lift for someone.
89. Give up your seat for someone.
90. Write a list of things you love about someone and send it to them.
91. Pay for the coffee, bus ticket, meal, cinema ticket (or whatever!) of the person behind you in the queue.
92. If you feel comfortable doing so, ask a homeless person if you can buy them a cup of coffee or some food from a shop.
93. Message someone on social media whose content you really enjoy and tell them just that.
94. Buy somebody flowers, just because.
95. Change a neighbor’s tire when they get a flat.
96. Try to track down the owner of a lost purse or wallet you find. Failing that, hand it over to the police.
97. Help someone carry a heavy bag/suitcase/pushchair up or down some steps.
98. Hold a door open for someone.
99. Offer to collect prescriptions for neighbors who can’t get about so easily.
100. Let a parent with a pushchair get on/off a bus/train before you – their journey is almost certainly more stressful than yours!
101. Shovel snow from your neighbor’s driveway, the sidewalk, and even your little section of road (if it’s safe to do so).
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