If you’ve been around these parts much, you know one of my main mantras is “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
One of the best ways to be the change, in my humble opinion, is to spread kindness. I see it as my way of putting good karma out there, or leaving a better world for our children. And yes, there’s a great feeling in my heart when I’ve done something kind for another.
I know I’m not alone in this. There are entire boards on many a Pinterest account dedicated to RAOK (random acts of kindness), inspiring change, and sharing love. But maybe, just maybe, you’re like me. Maybe your budget doesn’t always allow for buying someone’s coffee or meal. Maybe you need some ideas on how to help change the world that are a bit more…affordable? Times are hard for all of us, and being kind doesn’t have to mean emptying your checking account.
So I compiled a list here for you. For those of us who want to help, but maybe don’t always have the funds.
*Cards, letters, and emails. This one applies more to people in your life, but it still counts. Maybe there are a few people you missed talking to over the holidays. Drop them a line. Don’t have a stamp? Email them. Or call them. Everyone likes to know they crossed someone’s mind today. So bring that smile to someone’s face, far and wide. If you want to branch out, fill out a handful of little cards (you could even do this with post-its!) with inspirational or happy thoughts and leave them in random places as you go about your day. Drop one in the tip jar at your coffee shop, include one as you mail payment for your power bill. Leave one on a bus seat or in a taxi. The possibilities are endless!
*Hold a sign on the corner. Seriously. Over the holidays, my fiance and I saw a family standing on a street corner holding signs. Instead of asking for help, they were offering it. Their signs said things like “You matter!” and “Have a great day!” It warmed our hearts and inspired us. Sometimes people just need a reminder that there is some good out there. Be that reminder for someone!
*The next time you bake cookies, take a few over to a neighbor. Or save some for the guy who comes to work on your cable. It’s not much, but I bet it’ll make them smile. And hey, it’ll be less there tempting you, so it can also help out that New Year’s diet, eh?
*Same concept as above- The next time you’re packing lunches for your kiddos, pack an extra one. Take it to the person on the corner on your way to school drop-off. It’ll warm your heart to know they’ll have a meal that day, and it can be a great lesson for your kiddos. If you can, include an extra pair of gloves or socks with the lunch. I promise you, they’ll be grateful.
*Donate. Donate those clothes that are cluttering your closets. Help your kiddos sort through and donate their old toys and books. Donate your time. Help out at the school, the local mission, your neighbors, online. An hour spent helping someone can make a world of difference, for you and them. Unsure who needs your help? Sometimes it’s as simple as putting the offer out on social media. Reach out, you might be surprised to see who reaches back.
I hope I’ve inspired you to spread some kindness today. Even the smallest gesture can turn someone’s day around. This world is scary, tired, and weary. Let’s make it a little kinder, one act at a time. Together, we can help each other to live better.