I read a great article yesterday about little acts of kindness. I always like to read about things like this, and I have posted a few times before about the importance of kindness (and gratitude!) that always has a way of making our day. In this article, there were 35 things listed, each of which were labeled as "ways to brighten the world around you", and I thought that was pretty profound. Aren't we always looking for ways to brighten our world, things that make us smile, and things that warm our hearts? I know I always am, and after reading through this list, I realized that there are so many little things we can do each day to not only brighten our own days, but others' as well. And more often than not, the acts of kindness we perform for others are almost acts of kindness for ourselves...that good feeling we get after doing them is most times a reward in itself.
I find that often we shy away from acts of kindness, like holding open a door or something, because we feel that we would never get it in return. Though I can understand the reasoning behind this, 'getting it back' isn't really what we should be concerned about. By making someone else's world a happier place, we are in turn making our own a happier place as well. And if you think your little act of kindness is going unnoticed or is unappreciated, that is no reason to give it up. More often than not, people notice the little things. I try to be aware of them at all times, and sometimes it just takes a small gesture of kindness to really turn someone's day around. Just like smiles and laughter,
Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. -Mark TwainKindness is universal, and it comes in many forms. It can be through spoken words, a note, a gesture, a helping hand, a nod of understanding, or just in our presence...if someone knows you're there for them. It is something that can really be felt by those it has touched, and often times, it inspires others to "pay it forward" and do something nice for another person. Wouldn't it be awesome if we all inspired others to do one small act of kindness every day? Think of how much happier our days would be and how much more we would appreciate things others have done for us.
Here are just a few of my favorite "little acts of kindness" from the list in the article:
13. Out of the blue, send flowers to a friend. There's nothing better than getting a "just thinking of you" present.
16. Don't interrupt when someone is explaining him/herself. Here's one way of truly being a good listener and letting the other person know you are open and willing to listen to their story or suggestions.
20. Call or write a teacher who changed your life. I was recently recognized by my pre-school teacher (this is some 15+ years since I've seen her!) so we know they never forget their students. How great would it be to let them know that their students haven't forgotten them either?
27. Encourage someone who seems despondent. Sometimes all it takes is a little sign of encouragement to spark a major change in someone.
There are a lot of other great little acts of kindness listed in the article, but I'll let you read through them to decide which ones you like best. So I encourage you to try to do one little thing each day and see what a difference it makes in someone's life (and in your own!). Check out the article, "35 Little Acts of Kindness" to see what you can do today to brighten your world.
What would you like to see added to the list?