Have you ever noticed how a simple act of kindness, when done repeatedly and consistently, can become an expected act? Sometimes we can easily take these acts for granted.
For example, I have such a gentleman of a boyfriend that he opens every door for me. In fact, he insists on it (if I try opening it, he'll push it closed and then open it himself). Over time, I expected to have the door opened for me.
Same thing goes for holding the door open for another person when they're right behind you, so they don't get hit by the closing door. At busy times during the school day when everyone is entering and exiting a building, it's almost expected of you to be curious and make sure the door doesn't slam in someone's face. So what happens when the opposite happens?
As we approached the building our classes were in, I wondered if she'd hold the door if I was literally right behind her.
She didn't hold any one of the three doors we went through. At this point I was pretty upset. I mean, how hard is it to just hold the door so I can grab it?
Later that evening I was thinking about how I had expected an act of courtesy. But how often do I display an act of kindness? That thought challenged me to make a change in my life:
A daily #ActOfKindness
This isn't a new idea, but it's something most people don't actively seek out to do. I found this blog post from the owner of Goldenrod Pastries (the adorable vegan/gluten-free bakery across the street!) was really inspiring. She said
"Leave a piece of cake or two, wrapped up, on someone’s porch. Text them later to say it’s there. They got so excited! Leave a miniature honey cake on a coworker’s desk with a sticky note saying ‘Happy Tuesday! It’s honey cake.’ Then she got excited."
I love that!
My goal is to do one simple act of kindness a day, and I encourage you to do the same whenever you can! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- You don’t have to use a pastry like Angela did. Instead, leave their favorite drink, a magazine, or a handwritten letter.
- Let someone go in front of you in line.
- Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now.
- Leave some extra quarters in the laundry room.
- Pay the tab for the person behind you.
- Send flowers.
- Write a thank you note to an old teacher who made a difference in your life.
- Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
- Help someone struggling with heavy bags.
- Help an elderly neighbour carry the rubbish out.
- Give another driver your parking spot.
- Compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
- Offer a couple of hours of free babysitting to parents.
- Rake your neighbor's yard.
- Give up your seat for someone, not just the elderly.
- Clean someone's windshield.
- If you walk by a car with an expired parking meter, put a quarter in it.
- Hold the door open for the person behind you.
So what are you waiting for? Get out there and do something nice.
What are some acts of kindness you do where you live?