31 Days of Kindness
The flurry of the holiday season is over at last. While it may have been an exciting, fun-filled time for some, and something altogether forgettable for others, it’s time to start the new year in a place that’s as good for your soul as it is for the people around you. You’ve heard of the term “random acts of kindness.” You may have wondered about ways to incorporate that concept into your everyday life. We think we have a great solution for the month of January to get you started. And quite honestly, you don’t have to limit these ideas to this month. Feel free to use them as often as you like in the months to come. You never know how something so simple can change a life.
- To close out the holiday season, send encouraging e-mails to five people whom you haven’t seen or heard from in a while.
- If you are picking up fast-food or a hot drink from a drive-thru, pay for the customer behind you.
- Pick up some trash and dispose of it yourself when you are walking outside.
- With permission, give a hug to someone who could use it.
- Sabbath Choice: Choose anything you like to convey some love to someone in church or away from it.
- Make an easy casserole or salad and deliver it to a neighbor, or anyone you know who might be sick or struggling.
- Write an encouraging note on a post-it and stick it up on the bathroom mirror at work or any public restroom.
- Apologize to someone with whom you may need to make amends.
- Pick up something that has fallen down—a chair, a sign, something off the shelf at the grocery store, etc.
- Leave a $5 bill some place stuck to a post-it asking whomever finds it to enjoy a little treat today.
- If you read a particularly positive article online, share it with someone—but do it through a private e-mail or direct message with a personal note to go with it. Don’t just hit “share” on Facebook!
- Encourage a frazzled parent of a small child at church. Hint: You’ll likely find them in the hallway or an empty classroom during the sermon.
- Take a friend out to lunch—as inexpensive as you wish. It’s the thought that counts!
- Create a care package for a member of the military currently deployed. Go to anysoldier.com to get connected.
- If you read blogs and enjoy something in particular that day, take a moment to comment: send a positive, uplifting message to the writer.
- Bring snacks to work to share—homemade or store-bought.
- Donate used books to your local library.
- If there is a company doing great things in the world or whose products you really love, visit their Web site to find their “contact us” information and let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing.
- Write a thank you card for your pastor and slip it to him/her after church. Let them know you appreciate what they do.
- This is totally dependent on what works for your individual budget, but if you are dining out, leave a hefty tip (up to 100 percent if you can), with a kind note to your server.
- Compliment a stranger—tactfully. Are they wearing something you admire? Do they have a great haircut? Is their baby absolutely adorable? Let them know!
- If your kids are school-age, stop by to tell their teacher you appreciate them in person. If you can’t, send an e-mail. And if your kids are past school age, write a hand-written note to a teacher you know to encourage them.
- Donate whatever you can to a new organization that you have not given to previously
- Support a local business in your area and get to know the owner/proprietor.
- Pick a random friend on your social media and direct message them to ask if you can pray for them for any specific need they may have.
- Make it a point to welcome any new faces you may see in church.
- Offer to “Uber” someone to wherever they need to go today—drive them free of charge, or make the Uber/Lyft call and pick up the tab.
- Hold the door for someone where ever you may be today.
- Leave a small treat/gift in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
- Take some pretty pictures of a nature scene on your phone and send them to as many people as you wish, letting them know you are thinking of them.
- Make or buy a yummy special occasion treat for your family, or for a family who would love it.
By now you’re ready to write your February list, and live it too. Congratulations; and keep going!