In this note, we will continue with our 3rd and final segment focusing on kindness. In our previous note, we explored the first 6 steps on our trail of encouragement, and in today’s Wisdom Note we will finish the remaining 9 steps.
So, let’s continue on our trail today looking for ways that we can show kindness to others. Sometimes the trails of life can be very rough and steep, and we don’t really feel like being kind. I certainly understand that. But, we have to realize that being kind is usually easy, and it benefits both the person that we are being kind to and us as we are kind. Never pass up this opportunity.
We will finish with steps 7-15 providing examples of random acts of kindness. Kindness is an essential part of creating a living legacy. As we practice kindness, even when we may not feel like it, we become kind people. It cannot be prevented.
Being kind is a choice that we make. Look for opportunities at all times to be kind. As you practice these acts of kindness with no expectations of return, you will be showing from within that you are kind.
Here are the last 7 steps on our trail for encouraging others with our random acts of kindness.
Volunteer by offering helping hands. Do you ever see homeless people and feel overwhelmed by your inability to make a difference? Even if you can’t help them all or change their long-term situation in life, you can do a lot with one small act. Buy a pair of gloves, provide a spare blanket, or make up food parcels for someone who is living on the cold streets, or provide them to any organization that serves the homeless.
Another way to volunteer is to clean up trash in public places without being asked. The next time you see someone littering,don’t just shake your head and look the other way. Be kind, pick up the litter, and throw it away. While you’re at it, look around the street for any other trash that needs to be removed. If you take a walk, take a plastic grocery bag so you can collect the trash that would otherwise just make you unhappy, and know that you’re doing a random act of kindness for the people who will come through after you!
Shower a coworker with kindness. Offer to take them out to lunch or provide them with money for a dinner they can take home with them after work. Finish off some of their work for them so they can go home early for their kid’s birthday party or after school activity.
If your coworker has had a horrible day, buy him or her some flowers or give him or her a warm hug (if appropriate) to make him or her feel better. Everyone needs just a little extra compassion and love sometimes. If you like to cook or bake, take freshly baked muffins or cookies in to work and share them with your coworkers, staff, and others.
Share a little wealth around. Why not surprise a complete stranger by paying for something they were expecting to pay for? Here are some fun suggestions:
- Pay for the coffee and cake for the table next to yours at the local cafe.
- Pay for the movie tickets of the people in the line behind you.
- Pay for the entrance fee for some children and their parents waiting to get into the zoo.
- Pay for the parking for the car next to yours. Feed the meter if it’s allowed to stop someone from getting a ticket!
Give your family a break. There are lots of kind things you can do for your loved ones. This can include something as simple as giving them a break from the more mundane chores around the house so that they can do something different for a change.
- Make them breakfast in bed.
- Wash their car(s).
- Do the weeding while a family member is at work.
- Do the dishes for a week without complaining!
- Print out a photo of them and write exactly why it’s so special to you or why they’re so special to you. Tell them how that moment shows how important they are to the whole world.
Hold a friends night-in. Have your friends or church group in just for fun. Order pizza for everyone and play board games or watch movies together. Treat them to a special cake at the end in honor of the friendships that each of you share together.
Send a message. Write down your favorite inspirational quote, wise saying, or scripture, and leave it somewhere for a stranger to find. You could also leave a message in a favorite book you’ve enjoyed, letting someone else know they can have the book to read and hope that they love it as much as you did. Then, leave the book somewhere for them to find.
Forgive somebody. You’d be amazed at the ripple effect an ounce of forgiveness can have in your life and in the lives of others. Unburden yourself of the past and think kind thoughts again about a person who hurt you. Reach out to them with kindness, even if you feel that you were wronged. Life is too short to carry grudges and burdens.
Share a smile. When meeting a new person or even chatting with an old one, express joy. Show that you’re happy to be with them, and that they make you happy.
On the flip side, if you meet someone grumpy and frowning, give them your smile. Ask them if they’re having a hard day, commiserate with them, and wish them better luck from this point on. Don’t see it as their bad mood reflecting negatively on you; instead, make it about how you can help them to feel better.
Expect nothing. The greatest act of kindness is the one that is freely given because you care about another person and want them to be happy and don’t expect anything in return. The thing about kindness is that it has its own rewards and will improve your sense of well-being and happiness. What more could you possibly want?
“Kindness has its own rewards.”
Kindness is the ultimate manifestation of love as the Apostle Paul’s 1st letter to the church in Corinth wrote in Chapter 13 verses 4 and 5, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.”
As we conclude these 15 steps to show random acts of kindness, I want to remind you to make each day count for we shall not pass this way again.