Would you be willing to help somebody in a small way?
Random means that you should do it whenever the opportunity arises. Not just randomly every other year.
Focus your attention and find the situations where a small nudge may be appreciated. It should take a moment of your time, or you won’t be able to keep up the habit.
Shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes on 20 in rare cases. Some acts take more time, but do them anyway.
The kind act can be anything from helping a co-worker to donating to a good cause. It can be a nice compliment to a stranger to lighten up their day. It can be something for a specific person who knows you or truly random and anonymous act of kindness to a person you don’t know.
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It is nice if you direct your kindness towards the people less fortunate than you. But as the saying goes, there’s lonely at the top, so maybe the CEO of the company needs a pat on the back every once in a while.
Expect nothing in return. Maybe the only return would be your own feeling of happiness and self-worth.
Think of how many times you have been at the receiving end of the random acts of kindness and be grateful for that.
Occasionally take more time to host a party or spend a day with someone in need.
A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves. ~ Amelia Earhart
27 random acts of kindness ideas
If you are struggling with the idea and don’t know where to begin, then here’s a list random acts of kindness examples:
Parties are especially helpful if you invite people who are lonely. Lonely people are usually older relatives and friends. Come up with activities to include everyone and to make them feel comfortable.
2. Thank the trash man
Trashman, a postal worker, bus driver, janitor, etc. All the people who make our lives smoother and cleaner, but to whom we rarely talk. These people are often almost invisible. Just a little acknowledgement will make their day better.
3. Write a letter of appreciation
Another take on letting your friends, family members, or co-workers know that they are important in your life. Let them know that you notice and appreciate it.
You can combine the note with a party invitation. Write them about why they are important and ask them to come to an event you hold for all your closest friends.
4. Send anonymous flowers to someone
Send flowers and add a note of why you send them. You can use this with people close to you, but it works as well with co-workers. Or you can go totally stranger and send the flowers to the barista at the coffee shop you love. With random acts of kindness for strangers, make sure you avoid creepiness.
5. Pick up trash
Millions of people in 150 countries uniting to clean up our world, in the biggest civic action in human history.
I have been lucky to live in a very clean county. The world clean up day originated from Estonia. But picking up trash isn’t something that should just happen one day a year. When you hike in nature or see a soda can on the city street, pick it up and put it in the trash. If cans are recyclable in your country, make sure homeless people can reach them.
6. Let someone go in line in front of you
Do you have a huge shopping cart of stuff at the check-out counter? “Here, you have just a few items, go before me.” It doesn’t have to be a line. Let someone go in front of you through the door. Hold the door open when the other person is carrying something.
7. Smile and say “Good morning” or “Good afternoon” to everyone
OK! Greeting people is just good manners. But there’s a convention whom we greet. And that doesn’t include random people on the street or subway. Be friendly, smile, and greet everybody. Greeting strangers also helps you to get over anxiety to talk to strangers if you need that. This is one idea for random acts of kindness at work. In general, smile more to improve your life.
8. Visit an orphanage
Bearing gifts. It is really tough to live without parents. Bring some joy into children’s lives and visit them. The visit is not something you can do in 20 or 30 minutes. Take 2 hours, maybe more. Contact the orphanage before the visit and arrange for all the details. If you can bring a gift. They are always in need of something. Ask what they need and take it with you.
9. Give a compliment
Something you can do several times a day and does not take any time on your part. Compliments should be specific, and they work best if you compliment the effort or action. Instead of “you are so smart,” say, “it’s really impressive how much you study.”
Compliment three people every day. ~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
10. Send a nice card to a friend
Thank-you letter, or just good wishes on a thoughtful postcard should do the trick. Get your friends’ addresses and do it every now and then. Don’t forget the Christmas card. Send a card when you are traveling abroad.
Or you can remember the time you were doing something together and send a photo.
11. Send a friend an old photo and recall that time
The other day I was looking for an image in my photo archive of thousands of photos. I found so many memories. We often take pictures, and then that is the last time anyone looks at them. Sift through your archive and find those memorable moments. Send them to your friends by email or post them on social media.
For very special photos, you can blow up the photo and frame the printout. Use it as a gift.
12. Take flowers to a nursing home
Older people are often bored. Visit them more often, talk to them, bring them flowers. Take the kids with you. I read that somewhere, they mixed kindergarten and nursing home. The results were excellent.
13. Hug your loved ones for no particular reason
Hugging is really emotional and shows that you care. Another idea with hugging is that when someone hugs you, don’t let go before they do. Works miracles.
A great “trick” you can use when hugging is, don’t let go before they do. Most people immediately notice that, in a good way.
14. Pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru
Figure out the details for this one. Do you know how much they have to pay? If you don’t know, then what might be an average order?
15. Give a huge tip
When the service is exceptional, you may give a tip that is larger than usual. But when you really felt that the other person was there for you then go all in and give 50, 100 or sometimes even more. The best way to spend money is to spend it on others. Research shows that spending on others gives most people maximum satisfaction.
16. Pay the toll for the person behind you
Pretty straightforward. Pay for yourself and then the next person. Put money in the parking meter when it’s running out (In some places it’s illegal to do that. Do it anyway.)
17. Donate blood
Blood transfusion is one of the many miracles of medicine that has helped save countless lives. But the system only works when there is blood to transfuse. Give blood if you can. You will save lives. Mostly strangers. When the time comes, some stranger’s blood may save your life.
Random acts of kindness ideas for strangers are unlimited, some are anonymous like donating blood, some are personal, and some may build lasting relationships for life.
18. Give someone flowers
Buy a few dozen roses and give them to friends, family, random people on the street. A random day, no special occasion, just because you want to make others happy.
Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so. ~ Robert Green Ingersoll
19. Help a co-worker complete a project without being asked
Another of the ideas for random acts of kindness at work. When you see that, someone struggles with a task where you can help. Do it! Help them out.
20. Write a thank you letter to your parents
Another riff on the thank you theme. For most of us, our parents have been the most important influence in becoming who we are. If you are reading this, then you are probably one of those people who are constantly trying to improve themselves. Thank your parents for giving you the foundation from which to start your life.
21. Encourage someone
Tell them they are doing just fine. Encourage them to try one more time. Let them know that sometimes courage is the quiet voice when they say “I will try again tomorrow.”
Courage doesn’t always roar, sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow. ~ Mary Anne Radmacher
22. Bring someone a souvenir
Random acts of kindness for kids are especially well received. If you have kids or young relatives, then candy will do. But for everybody else, think about the practicality of the item. A mug is a perfectly good souvenir. When you buy a souvenir, then think about the person you to whom you buy it.
Make them happy.
Another thing you can do is to send postcards to friends and family when you travel. I have received such postcards, and it’s heartwarming.
23. Read to a child
Teaching is an unending act of kindness you can do. As an adult, you have vast experience in things that are new and wondrous for a child. Teaching is not about school. Teaching is about helping others to have a better life with less effort. Even if you are down on your luck, you have something to say about what put you in your current position.
Or you can do is read to a person whose vison is impaired. Sure. There are audiobooks and podcasts, but sometimes the person reading out aloud live adds something you can’t get from the recording.
24. Put an (anonymous) thank you note on your colleague’s desk
The reason for anonymity may be that you just don’t feel you are the person who should do it. Or it may just be because you want to add a bit of mystery in their lives and stir things up. Maybe you are shy? Write a specific note and put it on their desk, so they see it first thing in the morning. Alternatively, you can time the not for that occasion when the other person needs a little cheering up.
25. Spend time with the elderly
I mentioned visiting a nursing home above. Visit your elderly relatives and friends. To include as many people as possible make it a tradition. They will be thrilled to be included. It could be a regular holiday like Christmas, or someone’s birthday where you include everybody. Or you can make up a totally new day. One day a year when you bring together everybody.
26. Buy a weekend vacation for a friend
Giving people experiences is one of the best ways to make them happy. Sometimes people who can indulge themselves will not do it, but when you do it for them, then they will enjoy it. It doesn’t even have to be a vacation.
When I turned 35 my friend and business partner gave me a gift card for luxurious resort and spa. At the time it was a substantial amount of money for me. I wouldn’t have bought it for myself, but with the gift card I had a memorable all expenses paid weekend with my girlfriend. The amount on the card was so large that we struggled to spend it all. Now, during the corona virus lockdown, I called my friend and thanked him again for the experience I had over 10 years ago.
Make sure you can afford it financially, but this is a great thing to do. A day spa or other experience is also fine.
27. Leave a positive comment on a website or blog
Commenting on the blogs you find interesting is a great thing. The author sees that there’s some appreciation for the work he puts in. Ask a question, add an idea, argue, relate your experience.
Share this checklist with friends:
Here are some more kind acts you can perform
You may see a bit of repetition above, but that’s OK. It’s OK to thank people every day. It’s OK to give people flowers every day. It’s OK to help people when they need it and teach them something to improve their lives.
28. Teach someone what you know
You have some skills other people may benefit from. You could teach your junior colleague about something that took you years to figure out. In a family setting, you can teach your kids or spouse something that improves their lives. For example, I write a lot and I have created a template that helps you write quickly on any topic. I taught my son his school essays done in a much shorter time using the template.
29. Sit a pet for a friend
If your friend has a dog, cat, rabbit, or some other animal, then you can help them out by offering to sit the pet while they can do something pet-free. For example, I sat a pet for a friend who had a vacation and traveled to Italy for a week. Pet hotels can cost hundreds of dollars per week.
30. Volunteer at the homeless shelter
At some point I found out that homeless centers and foster homes for kids have more stuff than they need. Sometimes they have to decline the donation because they already have enough. What they often lack is people helping them out doing something. Find out if you can help.
Perform random acts of kindness regularly
Come up with another three ways to perform random acts of kindness, and you can make it a 30-day challenge. But even if you don’t have any ideas at the moment, then you can certainly come up with three ideas during the first 27 days. Or you can just repeat the acts you liked best.
What acts of kindness have you done to get the most satisfaction for yourself and happiness for the other person?
Now go out there and perform a random act of kindness.