When it comes to helping humanity, it may seem a cause that is too large and beyond our capacity to make much of a difference. However, the focus should not be on the large scale, but the small one where random acts of kindness start a ripple effect that flows from one person to another. Perhaps the world cannot be changed overnight, but little acts of kindness can make a big difference in people’s lives when they are practiced on a daily basis.
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
What follows are 10 simple ways that you can help heal humanity through random acts of kindness. These acts require little in the way of money and most can be done on a daily basis so that you can help out those around you.
1) Smile: One of the simplest ways to spread joy around is to smile when you are heading to work, walking down the sidewalk or anywhere you go. Smiling is very contagious and it provides a lift to the spirits of the people that you encounter. This is especially true of strangers who may not know you, but their first impression is the smile that you bring which really lights up their day. In addition to spreading the joy yourself, you are also providing a reason for others to smile which will help lift their spirits.
2) Be Helpful: Every time an opportunity presents itself, be helpful whether it’s helping someone cross the street, distributing flyers for an event or just giving advice when needed. It doesn’t take much time and could only be just a few seconds, but that can make all the difference in the world to someone.
3) Pay it Forward: This is a very simple, yet powerful way to demonstrate an act of kindness that may result in a chain reaction. For example, if someone is short of change when paying for their items at the register, you can make up the difference. As thanks, you can ask the person to do the same for someone else. This simple act can be done in many different ways where you start up a chain reaction of kindness and generosity that is quite contagious.
4) Stay in Touch: It’s always good to hear someone’s voice over the phone. So, while staying in contact through email or social media is always nice, give them a call once in a while so that you can hear their voice and they can hear yours. You don’t have to stay on the phone long, just a few minutes will do. However, this can really make someone’s day when you call.
5) Volunteer: By offering a few hours each week you can volunteer your services to help those around you. You can work at a shelter, hospital or any place where you can be of service. Volunteer work is one of the most rewarding and productive that you can do to help others, particularly those who are in great need. You can either work for an established organization or as an independent volunteer who creates items or products for others which organizations can then distribute. Spending a few hours each week helping others brings a bit of humanity to the world.
“Unexpected kindness is the most powerful, least costly, and most underrated agent of human change.” — Bob Kerrey
6) Send Cards: Another nifty idea is sending out cards to friends and family not only during the traditional holidays, but other times of the year as well. You can send out photos through social media or email in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, Halloween or any other event that you can make your own and show off. Real happiness starts by sharing your fun with others.
7) Listen: It may not sound like much of a gift, but the truth is that listening is one of the best things that you can offer someone who is in need. By listening and not judging, you can provide a safe place for people to open up about what is troubling them either big or small. In this manner, you can really help them to get what they need off of their chest. All too often, we speak when we should be listening, so when someone reaches out through their expression, you can bring them in by listening to what they have to say.
8) Give Sound Advice: Of course, there are many people who are in need of guidance and here you can provide sound, practical advice. The advice you give should be towards empowering the person who needs the assistance. In essence, you should couch your words in a manner that provides the person you are giving the advice the impression of what to do in a positive manner. However, if you do not know the answer or believe that you cannot provide the proper advice, say so. Honesty is always preferable to just guessing and in this case you will be better trusted for not knowing. Of course, you can always find the best course of action together depending on the information that is needed which is another way you can give and learn at the same time.
9) Open the Door: There is something about opening the door for others which offers a simple act of kindness that is seldom forgotten. You can open the door for one or one hundred if you so desire, but giving a little of your time to help others in this simple manner can really pay off over time when they share the consideration.
10) Giving: Another simple, yet very effective way to help those around you is by giving thoughtful gifts or donations. They do not have to be expensive or fancy gifts, but ones that can provide a little joy and warmth in their lives. A little giving here and there can not only brighten the day for others, but also provide a little healing in our world.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” – Norman Vincent Peale