Some days it’s difficult not to become cynical or overwhelmed with the state of the world. We were all preparing to adjust to a “new normal” after the Covid pandemic but no one was prepared for what came next. It seems we are more divided than ever. And we’re being bombarded every day with news of war, inflation, and even expected food shortages. All at a time when people feel more isolated and alone than ever. That’s why acts of kindness are so vitally important. We might not be able to change the world as a whole but we can change the world for the people we come in contact with. And as I like to say… if hurt people hurt people, healed and inspired people, heal and inspire people. It’s time for us to make the commitment to be the change (as Ghandi said) and to commit to creating a ripple effect of kindness and connection. Check out these 10 acts of kindness ideas for today’s world and choose one for today
1. Take Care of You
I know this one might be unexpected and seem strange because often when we think of kindness we imagine someone else in the picture. But kindness starts within. If you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t have the bandwidth to put kindness into the world. So, move your body, practice self-care, and take the time for emotional regulation and affirmations. You owe it to yourself and everyone else on this planet to take care of you!
2. Be a Model
Modeling kind behavior at home and before your children ensures a legacy of kindness. Because those around us learn more from our actions than our words. In addition be mindful of catching those you love being kind and praising those choices.
3. Express Gratitude
It is essential that people feel seen and validated and one of the best ways to do this is by expressing gratitude. This simple act of kindness idea has a profound ripple effect despite it’s simplicity. The more specific you can be in your expression of gratitude the better. In addition when we turn our attention toward gratitude we reap incredible benefits ourselves. So, be on the lookout for opportunities to acknowledge and thank others.
Never has it been more true that a smile can make all the difference in someone’s day. After years of not even being able to see each other’s faces we feel more disconnected than ever. And unfortunately we’ve also gotten used to our faces not being seen. That means that we’re less aware of our facial expressions. A simple smile can make others feel acknowledged and minimize the oppressive feelings of isolation and loneliness so many are struggling with.
5. Give Compliments
Kind words are always welcome, so if you’re thinking something nice about someone else, even if they’re a complete stranger… tell them. In a world where we feel so disconnected, unseen, and bombarded by negativity hearing something positive can make all the difference. In addition people who are complimented are much more likely to pay it forward. Because it can feel so awkward to offer a compliment to a stranger people often won’t until they’ve been on the receiving end and recognize how good it feels.
6. Spread Good News
Some of us REALLY need to turn off the news because we’re feeling so helpless and overwhelmed. But even those who are minimizing their news exposure are feeling anxious and overwhelmed. It may seem that the world is on fire and there’s nothing to feel good or hopeful about but that isn’t true. Hope is excellent fuel for action and inspires regular people to engage in change for good. So, seek out and share good news. Remind people that there are good things happening in the world and that they can be a force for good as well.
`We’ve gotten so accustomed to being isolated and alone in our houses that connecting feels new and unnatural. Just me??? Making an effort to connect with others, whether they be friends and family, or higher risk communities, like elderly people, is surprisingly impactful. And listen… you can reach out in whatever way works best for you.
- Set an alarm reminding you to text or call one of your contacts daily
- Engage in communities online
- Get the kids involved by having them create cards or pictures for the local senior center
These are just a few ideas to help you get started. It is essential if you want to bridge the gaps and division people are experiencing to create connection even with (and especially with) people who are different from you.
8. Create Community
Acceptance is a basic human need. Creating a space that facilitates this is an incredible act of kindness. In addition, community becomes a breeding ground for even more acts of kindness. it’s time to start a book club, a game night, or host a pot luck or block party. You don’t need to do it all on your own. You can create a community group on social media or use an app like NextDoor to connect with other people in your neighborhood and organize an event. If an in person community is outside your comfort zone consider creating a positive space online or join mine.
I feel like we’ve made this one much more complicated than it needs to be. If it’s your thing to research organizations in depth before donating than do so. But please understand that making donations is very much about your intention and if you want to donate but feel overwhelmed by the process, simplify it. Find an organization who’s work you support and make a donation. And don’t get hung up about how much you have to give. Every dollar counts, you don’t have to commit a large sum of money. As a matter of fact, you don’t have to donate money at all. You can also sign petitions, write letters, or offer your time to an organization you support.
And… don’t forget that you can donate closer to home. You can make a meal for a neighbor in need, clean up a community playground, help in an urban garden, or donate to a local women’s shelter.
10. Values First
We often forget that our values very much influence our acts of kindness. Living according to our values matters. Making intentional choices about what we support matters. If you see content you love online, amplify it. Want to be an ally and support other groups, echo their sentiments or better yet, give them the mic. And don’t forget to represent your values in your spending. If you don’t support the negativity or impact of a company or other entity stop buying from them and spend your dollars elsewhere. Supporting businesses and creators that are aligned with your values is a profound act of kindness. And deliberately withholding your support from those you don’t feel aligned with is as well. Let your actions reflect your values.
Make the World a Better Place
I know it may feel completely impossible and I know that you are only one person. But… together we can make the world a better place. We can plant the seeds of kindness and nurture them even in a world that feels like it’s in constant crisis. Because the truth is kindness is contagious and it feels amazing to both the recipient and the giver. it has a ripple effect. We simply need to become more intentional, more deliberate, and more generous with our kindness.
What acts of kindness have you been the recipient of and how has that inspired you to spread kindness?