acts of kindness

Posted: August 25, 2010 at 6:10 pm

Rest apparently does the body good. I feel somewhat better. Not 100% but the cough died down a bit and my throat hurts less. I still plan on resting the remainder of the day and evening. The hubs will even prepare dinner for us tonight. That doesn’t mean no cooking for me, though. I prepared a dinner to bring to a friend since she just had a baby 2 weeks ago. Gina’s Lightened Up Shepherd Pie.

I know those days too well. A home-cooked meal feels like the holy grail – strongly desired, yet simply unattainable. For that reason, I always love cooking meals for those who simply won’t have the time for whatever reason. And I don’t only do it with hopes that good karma comes my way in the form of visitors bearing casseroles after my delivery. 😉

I do such things because I believe in the power of small acts of kindness. The simplest of things, from blog comments to a stranger holding the door for me as I lug M and my bag into the gym, can slap a smile on my face that will carry me through the day. Or on the flip side, when I start up a cheerful conversation with an obviously tired cashier clerk, I never fail to leave without a renewed hope in people and love.

The notion that the simplest of actions can make the biggest of impacts tattoos itself on my heart. Then, urges me to remember it when out living my life. I don’t always succeed, but know that this work in progress delivers more reward than a winning lotto ticket. It saddens me that too often pulling out the checkbook is the resolution we turn to in an effort to help, when other gestures would also serve a positive purpose. Acts of kindness go far and reach places nothing else can. And there are so many ideas out there!

  • Write a note of appreciation to your mailman
  • Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it
  • Give a genuine compliment
  • Write a thank you note to someone
  • Look for something around you that can be fixed up, picked up, or attended to
  • Write a note to management or someone who has treated you nice while doing their job
  • Cut coupons out and leave them at the grocer register for others
  • Put a comment on someone's webpage that you really like...... let them know you enjoy it
  • Send a card to someone in the military overseas
  • Start a conversation up with a co-worker that you don't know
  • Put change in a row of vending machines
  • Visit a nursing home. Spend time visiting with someone who doesn't get visitors
  • Put something you no longer need on Craig's list free spot for your area
  • Leave a book/magazine you have already finished somewhere for someone else to read.
  • Take some cake, chocolates, flowers etc. to the neighbors, or a senior citizen nearby
  • Invite someone who is alone over for dinner.
  • Leave a chocolate for a co-worker.
  • Copy a favorite recipe and give it to someone
  • Write letters of appreciation to groups who are helping the community, the environment, etc.
  • Make a point of introducing yourself to someone you see all of the time but never say hello to.
  • If you know someone who is having a hard time financially, pop a $5, $10 or $20 note in an envelope, disguise your writing or type the envelope, and post it to them.
  • Offer to baby sit
  • Donate clothes to goodwill
  • Bring cookies or some snack for the office
  • Write anonymous, loving post-its for strangers to find

Find even more ideas at Dare to be an Angel. I have to say the bolded ones stuck out to me as a blogger and lover of Operation Beautiful. 😉

How do you feel on random acts of kindness? Which of the above have you done or would you like to do? I tend to do ones that involve bringing food to people or helping out a fellow parent because I can relate to it. I also love complimenting strangers!

Stay tuned for tomorrow morning’s post. I’ll be revealing blue or pink! 😀 WEEK from today starts the 30 Days of Self Love! Super excited!! Are you?


59 Comments to “acts of kindness”
  1. Random/little things often make a bigger difference in someone’s day that we think! Great ideas up there 🙂 And glad you’re feeling better!

  2. Kristie says:

    At my work there is a shared library/magazine/book area because in the down time we have between calls print media is one of the few ways to entertain yourself (isolated cubicles where you don’t get the same one every day). Whenever I get a new magazine subscription I read it at work and then leave it in the magazine area for people to read – and it always makes me smile when someone is like “woo hoo, someone actually brought the new month of ____!” (Runner’s World, Self, etc.).

    I like the change in the vending machine idea, too. Hmm… perhaps next week :).

    • Tina says:

      I loved doing that at the gym during my comp training. I read tons of magazines doing the endless machine cardio. I always felt good after that.

  3. I absolutely love random acts of kindness and enjoyed reading what you consider random acts of kindness! I was pleased to see that some things I do on the regular were on there (thank you notes, comments, convos with strangers/co-workers, donating clothes, sharing recipes, give compliments, loan books/leave mags behind). HOWEVER, these are all things i’m comfortable doing – they suit me/my personality/etc. I would like to try adopting some of the others you have listed!!!!

  4. I love this! Random acts of kindness make my day so much happier! I’ve been leaving a lot of operation beautiful notes lately. 🙂

  5. I love random acts of kindness… it’s hard sometimes to remember to treat everyone as you would yourself and to LET GO of judgments! I have to remind myself to do that all the time. I’m a waitress and I have occasionally written an Operation Beautiful note on someone’s check before I gave it to them at the end of the meal, if they’ve made some harmful comment about themselves/their weight/what they’ve eaten. I hope it’s made a difference!
    I love your blog and will be tuning in for the 30 days of self-love!

  6. Caitlin says:

    That is so amazing and selfless that you cooked dinner for someone when you’re not feeling 100 %.

    I absolutely love random acts of kindness. I try to send unexpected cards to people as often as possible. Nothing compares to the phone call you get with their surprise.

  7. Shannon says:

    Its amazing what a kind gesture does. It completely brightens my day, even when it is the smallest thing. I try to remember that…it doesn’t take much to really make someone’s day!

    So glad you’re feeling better. Can’t wait to hear tomorrow’s news!

  8. Ela says:

    This was so good to read. I’m glad you’re feeling better. I’m indulging in an unproductive day too, our last batch of guests having finally departed (well, like you, of course I’ve done a bunch of things, but a lot of sitting around is happening too).

    I love those acts of kindness suggestions! It’s so good to come to a blog and read something uplifting like that – as well as your fine example of self-love.

  9. Kelly says:

    What a great list! I love random acts of kindness, even if it’s just holding the door for someone or giving up your seat on the subway. I really do think they make a difference. At work, I try to make a point of thanking co-workers for their work or letting them know they did a good job – little things like this go unsaid too much!

  10. I love this post! I like to pay for the person behind me in the toll booth. Also if I have a little money left on a gift card while I am at that store (say $1.50) or something at some place like starbucks. I will hand the card to the person behind me in line or someone walking in the door to use towards there purchase.

    I can not wait to see if you are having a boy or girl!

    • Tina says:

      Love those ideas! I once saw the toll thing happen in front of me and it was so nice to witness.

      • I love when my daughter gets to witness these things also. We were at Dunkin Donuts one morning for a special treat because I had a gift card. When all was said and done I had a dollar or so left on the card. It was early in the morning and we were the only ones in the store. Right before we were packing up to leave an older woman walked in. I walked up to her and handed her the gift card telling her how much was on it and to go ahead and use it. You could tell she was a little shocked. B asked “Mommy, why did you give that lady our card?”. I explained to her I was sharing and it was just something nice to do to make someone else smile. She seemed to really understand. I loved the little lesson that I got to teach my daughter while doing something that made me feel good.

        Sorry that was long, just wanted to share.

  11. Emily says:

    I absolutely love this post – and I stumbled upon operation beautiful last week and I fell in love with that, too 🙂

  12. Camille says:

    I don’t know if it is really a random act of kindness, but I feel like I helped to improve someone’s day…
    Last night I was at the gym and I was leaving around 10pm when one of the cleaning women was walking in. We both stopped at the stop light together and she looked really tired and beaten down. I felt really bad that such a young woman was working overnighters cleaning a college gym. Maybe she wasn’t in a bad situation at all, but something about it made me sad. I simply stopped her and asked how she was and if she had a good day. Her face totally lite up and it made me so happy. I feel like very rarely do the, excuse my stereotyping, self-centered college kids stop to ask the woman who cleans up after them how she is.
    Maybe I didn’t make a huge difference, but if I could improve her day even a little, I would consider that small act a success.

    • Tina says:

      That is a great example of an act of kindness! Servers of many kinds are often overlooked and getting a positive interaction and appreciation likely means the world. What a wonderful thing you do.

  13. Janna says:

    This is great! I really like that list!

    I love love love random acts of kindness. Whenever I think of it I try and and do them. And theres a section in my newspaper that I love dedicated to people sending in stories of random acts of kindness they’ve experienced. With all the bad stuff and scary stuff that goes on in the world a little act of kindness can go a long way 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Why don’t ALL newspapers have a section like that? They need it! I get so frustrated with the news and how negative it always is.

  14. i LOVE that list! i tend to do things like compliment people, leave them little notes, and cook/bake for them…just the things i love to do i guess 🙂

  15. I love these ideas. All of them. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to compliment someone everyday.

    I love baking for other people. I just wish I had more people to bake for!!

  16. blue or pink! ahh so exciting!

    I love writing notes to people for no reason. That’s my thing.

    • Tina says:

      And you have those awesome notecards from your mom to write them on too. 😉 Little surprise notes do go a long way. It’s always nice to something in the mail that isn’t just a bill or junk.

  17. ashleigh says:

    Aww what a nice post! I’m going to book mark it and try my best to do more random acts of kindness. I always get so caught up in being busy that I don’t take the time to make other people’s lives better, I need to work on this more! Thanks for all of the ideas!

    Good luck tomorrow! I can’t wait to find out!

  18. Katie H. says:

    I am glad you are feeling better! I am SO excited for you to find out whether your family will be welcoming a boy or girl. 🙂 🙂

    I firmly believe in random acts of kindness. I think there is something to be said for doing something nice for someone without expecting anything in return.

  19. I love this, it really is the little things that count!!! I totally believe in the doing random acts of kindness…it is more rewarding than anything you do for yourself, I love making others happy…I don’t even need them to know it was me…just knowing I brightened their day is enough!

    I am glad to hear you are resting and feeling a little better!

  20. I love this post. I like the poem towards the end.

    I have done a few act of kindness to friends and even strangers, but I should do it more often. Sometimes we are so busy with our day, we don’t acknowledge each other and don’t take the time to make conversation.

    I always strike up a conversation with people, especially when I’m on vacation. One time I was travelling in China for our company vacation and our company gave us a lot of free items during our holiday party, but I wasn’t going home after that trip…I extended it and visited another country.

    I left all my holiday gifts from my company for the housekeeper who had done a great job cleaning our room, I left her a note wishing her and her family a Merry Christmas 🙂

    • Tina says:

      What a cool thing to do! I bet you made her day since she likely doesn’t get shown that type of appreciation often.

  21. I love leaving Operation Beautiful notes, little post-its for my b/f to find and sending cards to family and friends “just because”. You’re so right, random acts of kindness go a LONG WAY in this world 🙂

  22. Dorry says:

    Wonderful list! I compliment strangers a lot, too. And I love to unexpectedly help out my sisters with their daughters…I really try to do as much as I can to spread positivity. It’s too easy not to. 🙂

  23. What a BEAUTIFUL post!!! I 100% believe in random acts of kindness! And I believe in karma, both good and bad. I think the best way to help yourself is to help others. When I’m in a bad, cranky or poopy mood I try to do something nice for someone else and 99.9% of the time I feel better instantly.

    Thanks for posting this 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Very true! And it’s amazing how even just SMILING at a stranger can cheer me up when I’m in a funk. You get to help others…and yourself? Who wouldn’t love that? 😀

  24. “A home-cooked meal feels like the holy grail – strongly desired, yet simply unattainable.”–HOW TRUE!!!!!!! and as a 1st time mom, you cant/dont even fully see it coming. Bless you for taking care of her!

    Loved your list, i have posted about RAoK’s before. Totally into it all….so important to spread the love and kindness and light in this world!

    blue or pink…omg…can’t wait!!!!!!!

  25. I like complementing strangers and writing thank you cards or notes. I’m just begining to be confident enough in my cooking to make things for others and I love it!

  26. oh i love this! super great post. you never know what little thing you can do that will mean HEAPS to the person next to you. i love complimenting strangers too. because it’s so unexpected, they tend to remember it and it really makes their day. also, there’s a LOT of tourists in Sydney, especially where i live, so whenever i see someone with a map out, i ask them if they need directions.

  27. C says:

    I love random acts of kindness. You really never know what type of day someone might be having and to leave them a compliment or show them a kind gesture just might save their day.

  28. Random acts of kindness really are the best. I definitely do the food thing since food makes me happy. I think just simply being kind, smiling at someone, saying something nice or holding a door open for someone are all great ways to show kindness! I hope you feel better today and I can’t wait to know…boy or girl!

  29. So glad you’re starting to feel better. And thanks for the info on Group Ride by the way. Our gym just started with the Group program and people were already complaining about the redundancy of the music. I plan on trying to go more frequently b/c it was so much more fun than the previous format. Anyway…thank you for the list of random acts. I am really bad about random acts of kindness. It’s not that I don’t want to do things for others, I am a giver giver giver, but I guess I forget that little things (like a comment on a blog) can brighten someone’s day. Thanks for that reminder. I know that your comments can make me smile at just the right times.

  30. One thing I love to do is to write unexpected thank you notes to others, which was one of your suggestions I noticed. I send them for small things when people might not expect to get them – or just telling them I’m thinking of them and thanks for being them. It’s wonderful to see how special and meaningful it can be to someone. What a wonderful topic to post on!

  31. Tina what a wonderful post!

    I can’t wait to read “pink or blue” — I’m guessing blue!

    Random acts of kindness are great. I remember once I paid $2 towards someone’s grocery bill because they didn’t have enough change. I know it brightened their day and I felt good about it too. It feels good to help someone out!

  32. Nichole says:

    Wow, you don’t realize the little things you can do to be sweet. Leaving a magazine for someone else stuck out as one I have to try. I love finding old magazines.

  33. Becky says:

    I love random acts of kindness. I try to do my part. I am an especially good tipper when I get admirable service. I also always leave a treat (candy/cookie) for the custodian that cleans my classroom after school. My floor sparkles and so does his smile!

  34. I love any acts of kindness. I try to do what I can but mostly it’s the small things…telling a friend how much I care about them, making my hubby lunch every day, calling up my grandma to see how she’s doing. I like to make people feel special. I think blogging can also be kind, especially if you are addressing issues that truly help others!

    • Tina says:

      Definitely agree on the blogging. After all, you’re pouring so much energy into each post that its always nice to think those messages make someone’s day a little brighter.

  35. I love doing little random acts for people because it is so nice to see the look on their face. It makes me hapy to see others happy. A couple of months ago I had some starbuck’s gift cards and one morning decided to pay for mine and the persons behind me. I have no idea if they appreciated it but it made me feel good that maybe I helped them have a good morning.

    • Tina says:

      I tried to comment on your blog, but can’t bec I only know how to comment with the Name/URL option on Blogger blogs. BUT I wanted to say I loved the little mom thing you last posted. It’s so true and made me a little teary.

  36. Julie says:

    I love complimenting strangers. The unexpected act always brings a smile to their faces and it’s the best feeling!

  37. Shannon says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post! I love RAOKs. So sweet of you to bring food to friends. Good idea with the coupons by the register. Sometimes I have coupons for $10 off at a specific store (usually victoria’s secret), and if I can’t find anything there that I want, I give it to someone in line at the register. I also love giving prizes we won at the carnival or boardwalk to random kids. I also love giving magazines I’m done with to flight attendants, or leaving them on top of recycle cans instead of tossing them inside.

    This post reminds me of something our professor said yesterday. Every morning she says a prayer: “Please God let me be treated today the way that I treated others yesterday.” Just a nice reminder to always be kind 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Ohhh! I like that. What a good way to think. When you put yourself in other peoples’ shoes it really can change how you approach something. I’m going to have to remember that one.

  38. jackie says:

    Thank you for this post Tina!

    I follow your blog but never commented before! You are so inspiring and admirable. I appreciate you reminding us all how important random acts of kindness actually are.

    I agree they are extremely powerful.

    Lovely lovely blog 🙂

    • Tina says:

      Thanks for commenting! I love hearing from readers. Your kind words really made me smile. 🙂

      I hope you continue commenting so I can get to know you a bit better through comments too. Thanks again and have a fabulous day!!!

  39. janetha g. says:

    random acts of kindness make the world go round. i try to do one each day!

  40. Sarah says:

    I am officially “behind” on my blog reading (but reading at a pace that works for me, of course), but I just wanted to tell you, I really appreciate this post (“appreciate” is probably too formal for the meaning I am going for…)I totally believe in the importance of random acts of kindness!

  41. Stacy says:

    Sometimes small things are the most impactful!
    A few months ago, I was getting my daily morning cup of coffee at the Dunkin Donuts drive through. When I pulled up to the window, the cashier told me the person in the car ahead of me had paid for my coffee. I was so surprised! Then the cashier told me this person “just does that sometimes.” That blew me away even more. A small, random act of kindness, but that person must have recognized its significance and made sure to do it every so often. It was so awesome to me (especially because of how much I LOVE my morning coffee!)
    You better believe I paid it forward by buying a stranger a coffee the next day! Maybe the chain is still going…!

    • Tina says:

      Reminds me of those commercials where one person helps another and then it keeps on going until it circles back around to the original person. I hope that makes sense! LOL What a great sotry! thanks for sharing.

  42. You’re such a kind person 🙂 I do the same with a friend who has 2 young kids and is usually exhausted of all the running around. It’s fun to brighten up someone’s day and eat good food in good company, it’s really a win-win-win situation 🙂

  43. […] because they are blank inside so you can say whatever the heck you want. So, why not do like Tina suggests, and send a note card to someone as a random act of kindness. Brighten their […]

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