21 Ways You Can Practice Kindness Today
"Do things for people, not because of who they are or what they do in return,
but because of who you are." - Harold S. Kushner
I've never quite understood how some people struggle to be kind. I mean, it's not a hard thing to do. We never know what a person is going through, so don't waste an opportunity to be kind to someone, it could make their entire day that much brighter. Being kind should be as easy as breathing to us all, and there are so many ways that we can show kindness every day, but here are just 21 ways you can practice kindness today:
USE YOUR MANNERS
People with no manners are actually a huge pet hate of mine. There is absolutely no excuse as to why a person doesn't say their please and thank you's. It's just rude. Having basic manners is a simple yet deeply important way to show kindness, one that should come perfectly natural to you.
SMILE AT STRANGERS
Yep, smiling at complete strangers is a thing. I smile at every single person I pass in the street. Granted, that kindness isn't always reciprocated, but when it is I feel so warm and happy inside. Plus, you never know if your smile will make someone's entire day better. As William Arthur Ward once said, "A warm smile is the universal language of kindness."
HOLD THE DOOR OPEN FOR SOMEONE
If you see a person struggling to open a door because they're holding a dozen bags - go and help them. If you see a person trying to keep the door open whilst they're pushing a wheelchair through - go and help them. If you can see someone a few steps behind you, don't just let the door go, wait and keep it open for them. No one can be in that much of a rush that they can't spare 5 seconds to be kind.
GIVE FREE HUGS
I don't mean walk up to a stranger and hug them, because that's not so much kind as it is creepy. But don't be afraid to hug people you do know. I don't think there's such a thing as too many hugs. Plus, it is a well known fact that a 20 second hug releases the bonding hormone, and neurotransmitter, oxytocin, which is nature's antidepressant and anti-anxiety hormone. So there you have it, hug away!
LET SOMEONE GO AHEAD OF YOU IN LINE
If you ever find yourself in a supermarket with a full trolley but the person behind you only has a few items - let them go first. It's just common courtesy.
OFFER A CUPPA TO THE WORKERS
If you're ever home when there's a gardener, window cleaner, work man/woman etc., offer them a cup of tea or coffee. Chances are, they'll be working all day and might not have time for a break, so it'd be nice to give them a little something to keep them going: especially in the winter.
RESPECT CUSTOMER SERVICE STAFF
I worked in retail for over 2 years, and it's disgusting that we're often treated like servants rather than human beings. You should treat retail and hospitality staff with respect and consideration. They don't get paid enough to be treated like shit by customers. All it takes is manners.
BE KIND ON SOCIAL MEDIA
I think we can all agree that social media plays a huge part in our mental health and insecurities. There's so much negativity, judgement and bullying going on nowadays, I think it's time to change all that. Don't you? Leave nice and positive comments on people's posts, even people you don't know. Use social media to spread happiness and lift others, rather than negativity and hurt.
PASS YOUR BUS PASS ON TO SOMEONE ELSE
I only recently learnt that this is mainly a Liverpool thing, but I don't see why other people shouldn't do it too. Do you buy a day rider when you get on the bus? If you do, when you're getting off your final bus of the day, ask the people at the bus stop if they need a ticket. You have no use for the ticket anymore, so you may as well save someone else a few pound.
Standing at a bus stop and woman next to you looks pretty? Tell her. Sitting opposite a man on the train with beautiful tattoos? Tell him.
There doesn't have to be an ulterior motive behind complimenting someone. It doesn't mean you're flirting with them. You just simply liked something about them, and are kind enough to tell them. Being complimented can make a person feel happy all day.
GIVE YOUR SEAT UP TO SOMEONE WHO NEEDS IT
I don't think this one needs much explanation. If an elderly person, disabled person or a pregnant woman get's on a bus or a train, it's common courtesy to offer your seat to them.
Us Scousers often receive compliments from tourists for being happy to give directions, sometimes, if it's not too far way, we even walk you there ourselves. Being lost is a stressful situation, try to remember that next time somebody asks you for a little help.
EXPRESS YOUR LOVE
I make sure to tell my loved ones that I love them, every chance I get. You could never say it too much. The reality of life is, we never know when we will take our last breath, so to avoid having regrets, tell your loved ones that you love them as often as possible.
I mean really listen. Sometimes we need someone to just sit and listen to us. Sometimes we need to know that there is someone who will listen to our feelings without the fear of being judged.
PASS BOOKS ON
Do you know a book lover? Pass on the books that you have already read, to them. Books are supposed to be read and loved, not collecting dust on a shelf.
OFFER TO HELP
Do you have a loved once or a neighbour that currently has a lot on their plate? Offer to help them. Whether that's helping them with house work, walking their dog, babysitting their children, carrying their bags or running an errand for them - it will help them so much and it will make their shoulders feel a little lighter.
Do you have clothes that you don't wear anymore? DVD's that you don't watch anymore? Do you have a box of baby clothes and toy's that your child has outgrown? Don't just throw them away, pass them on to someone who needs them, or donate them to charity.
Giving blood is such a rewarding experience. Knowing that your blood might be the difference between someone living or dying is just... indescribable. It doesn't cost you a thing, just some blood that you have spare.
I used to give blood regularly, but last year when I tried to donate I got turned away due to my diagnosis. I felt so disappointed when I walked out. So unless you cannot give blood due to health reasons, please book an appointment as soon as you can.
HELP THE HOMELESS
Homelessness in Britain has risen every year since 2010. As of 2018, there was estimate of at least 320,000 people sleeping rough, which is equivalent to 36 people becoming homeless every day. Those statistics are absolutely shocking, disgraceful and heartbreaking.
Unfortunately when I walk through my town center, I don't know who is actually homeless and who is just trying to get money for drugs. I don't have enough money to be able to take that kind of chance, but what I will do, and what you can do too, is buy them a hot drink, or a sandwich or a sausage roll. If you can't afford to spend any money at all, maybe give them any left over's you have from your house. Give them a blanket, a pair of socks or a scarf. Winter is fast approaching and they will need all the warmth that they can get.
With Christmas around the corner, there will be plenty of organisations that could use a bit of free help. Homeless shelters, food banks, charity shops and many, many more. You don't have to go out of your way to help, a few hours here and there will be a huge contribution. So if your life, and health allow it, please volunteer this Christmas.
There are quite literally, thousands of ways that you can fundraise for your favourite charity. A few examples include:
> No talking for 24 hours.
> No drinking alcohol for 1 month.
> Sponsored walks, jogs or runs.
> Fun run.
> Sky dive.
> Bike rides.
There are so many more fun and challenging ways that you can help, use your imagination.
Do you see how easy it is to be kind? Although you shouldn't be kind in order to receive kindness, that is how it tends to work out a lot of the time.
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