28 Super simple ways to pay it forward and show kindness
It's no secret that we live in an extremely fast-paced world. We all have our own goals and dreams to work for, schedules to uphold and deadlines to meet. With all the hustle and bustle we often overlook the small moments that could change someone's day.
Unfortunately, we cannot know what is going through a stranger or our own loved one's head. The best thing we can hope for is to be kind and act as a small ray of light to brighten their day. It only takes one small act of kindness to turn someone else's day from a disaster to one they cannot wait to tell their family about.
The best part?! It's contagious!
Has someone ever been extra kind to you and moments later you are being extra kind to someone else? Or a coworker smiles at you and now you're the one smiling away at everyone else? Again. Kindness is extremely contagious. For this reason.. we need to make sure we're spreading it. Every. Single. Day. We never know who we might change with a simple good deed.
Trust me, I know this can be hard. People are grumpy, rude, and everything in between. This is also highly contagious. BUT we have a choice. Every moment of our lives we can choose to be kind, indifferent or rude. We have a choice to realize that the things we say and the things we do make an impact on every person we interact with and those who are watching us.
Being kind will make you feel good but most importantly you will make someone's day even with the smallest gesture. Here are some simple and quick ways to pay it forward with a simple act of kindness.
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Whether you want to volunteer at the animal shelter or at a soup kitchen, giving your time is one of the best ways to pay it forward. This is a wonderful way to spend your time and you might just inspire others to join you!
Whenever I go out, I always try to smile at every person that I pass. After many years of doing this, I have come to terms with the fact that most people just give me a weird look back. But those few that smile back and seem so happy that I smiled at them... that makes it all worth it.
3. Pay for the person behind you
If you've never had this happen to you, it is a true delight. You don't have to pay for someone's entire groceries but maybe a drink at the coffee shop or a movie ticket!
4. Visting elderly family members
Most of the time, your grandparents won't tell you they are lonely or they hope you visit.. but both are true. Show up with a meal and ready to answer every question they want to know about your life!
5. Give compliments
When you see an outfit you like, tell the person! When someone has a great new haircut... let them know. They will light up and feel so good about themselves just because of a few words.
6. Bake a meal or dessert for a friend
We all know how much time cooking can take up during the week. Surprise someone with a meal delivery or a homemade meal for their family!
7. Leave notes for friends and family
Growing up my mom always left notes in my lunches. When I moved to Boston she left a sweet note in my travel snacks bag for me to discover on my way. It was the perfect thing to give me the courage I needed.
8. Leave the world cleaner than when you arrived
If you make a mess, clean it up. If you see trash in the park, pick it up!
9. Pay the toll for the person behind you
Road trips are hard and commutes are generally not the best part of anyone's day. Pay the toll for the person behind you to make their ride just a little better!
10. Leave a big tip
Give an amazing surprise to your server by leaving a bigger tip than normal! This will turn their day around for sure!
11. Let the person behind you with 5 items cut in front of you in the grocery line
This is one of my favorite things to do in a store. I almost always have a billion things in my cart and there always ends up being someone with just a few behind me. I just turn and let them know they can go first!
12. Donate canned goods
This is an affordable way to pay it forward to those in need. Churches and donation centers are always looking for more food to be handed out!
13. Put together care kits for the homeless
You can also go through local shelters to find out what would be best to include in a kit and how to distribute them. Things like toothbrushes, blankets, soap, and combs are all great to include.
14. Send unexpected letters (maybe with a treat inside)!
Send letters to your friends and family to let them know you are thinking about them. Maybe also include a gift card for their favorite restaurant. This will be a fun surprise for whoever the recipient is!
15. Hold the door open
This is so simple and only takes a few seconds. Some people won't appreciate it but focus on the ones that do.
16. Rake/mow your neighbor's lawn
I don't know about you.. but I would be pretty stoked if someone mowed my lawn for me. If you are already out doing your own lawn just keep the motivation going through one or two more yards!
17. Write reviews for companies you loved
A great way to give back to a company is by writing an online review.
18. Offer your seat for someone else
While on public transit or in the waiting room, offer your seat for someone else no matter their age or sex. You never know how much that could mean to someone.
19. Add money to an expiring parking meter
If you see a parking meter about to expire, pop in some change. Save a fellow citizen from a parking ticket for just a few cents.
20. Leave unused coupons at the register for the next person in line
I always go to the store on the last day before a coupon expires. When I except defeat that I won't be able to use it, I leave it at the register and ask them to apply it to whoever can use it after me. An unexpected discount is a lovely surprise.
21. Send flowers to a nursing home or visit
A lot of elderly in nursing homes never receive any visitors. Send flowers to let them know someone is thinking about them or go in to visit and listen to a lifetime of wisdom and stories.
22. Shovel neighborhood sidewalks
This is not super fun but you will truly make someone's day by completing this task for them.
23. Bring coffee to the office
Coffee = joy. Bring joy to your office or deskmates for a morning pick-me-up.
24. Email your coworkers letting them know they're doing an awesome job
Chances are your team or peers could use a little affirmation to give them a boost to finish 'the big project'. Send a quick note out letting them know you appreciate their work.
25. Babysit for new parents so they can go out... or nap
New parents are TIRED and could probably use a little break. Offer to babysit so they can have a little peace and quiet to regain their strength.
26. Donating the clothes you haven't worn in a year
If you haven't worn it in a year, with the exception of dressier clothes, chances are you won't ever wear it again. Let it go and let someone else get the use out of it you aren't.
27. Donating toys kids don't play with anymore
Same thing here. There are a lot of kids who don't have many or any toys. Donating unused toys could help out.
28. Simply say hello
Waving and saying hello to those you pass by can go a long way. Tap into your inner southerner and be friendly to everyone around.
Remember to share this to spread the kindness!