On Kindness: 100 Ways to Be Kind


Kindness is contagious; the world is in dire need of it right about now. It's been a week and a half since the election and people are still feeling scared, hopeless, and fiery. "Hate" is being muttered more than "love" these days, so let's take the initiative to spread the love. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Water your plants
  2. Water your neighbor's plants
  3. Bake cookies for the mailman/trash collector/or neighbors
  4. Volunteer at a local homeless shelter
  5. Go to a bookstore and leave little love notes in between the pages of random books: "your smile is stunning," or "someone, somewhere is thinking about you right now."
  6. Play with your pet
  7. Hold the door open for someone
  8. Send sweet notes in the mail to people you don't know
  9. Buy a cup of coffee for whoever is behind you in line at the café
  10. Give helpful advice to someone who seems like they need it
  11. Give good, long, warm hugs
  12. Bake a cake, add candles, and gift it to someone for no reason at all. Have them wish on it.
  13. Call a friend just to say, "hi"
  14. Bring your loved one coffee or breakfast in bed
  15. Clean the shared office kitchen
  16. Recycle
  17. Give your friend that piece of clothing or jewelry she complimented weeks ago
  18. Stand up for someone else's rights
  19. Pick up & throw away litter your find on the street
  20. Decorate your house for others to take pleasure in
  21. Lend a pen & paper to a co-worker who forgot to bring their own to a meeting
  22. Give a tip that makes the waiter/waitress do a double-take
  23. Give a loved one a massage
  24. Plant flowers, a tree, or a plant in your front yard for others to enjoy
  25. Add change to parking meters that are about to run out
  26. Reach out to an old friend - even if you ended on shaky terms
  27. Read a book to a child
  28. Smile at strangers
  29. Give genuine compliments
  30. Donate that dollar to the charity grocery stores are donating to
  31. Be polite on the road
  32. Have a conversation with the salesperson helping you. Ask questions about his/her life
  33. Take a shorter shower to save water
  34. Measure your carbon footprint and take steps to make it smaller
  35. Help your friend practice for an interview or redesign her resumé
  36. Babysit for friends who need a night out on the town for free
  37. Truly listen when someone is talking to you
  38. Encourage someone who is feeling deflated
  39. Leave a used book on public transportation for someone else to pick up
  40. Grow your hair out and donate a bunch
  41. Donate blood
  42. Return a lone shopping cart that's in the middle of the parking lot back to the store
  43. Do your best to be on time so you don't keep anyone waiting
  44. Share your umbrella
  45. Clean our your closets and donate clothes and toys in good condition
  46. Volunteer at an animal shelter
  47. Become an organ donor if you aren't one already
  48. Share a positive blog post
  49. Take someone to the movies
  50. Send flowers for no special reason to someone you know would love them
  51. Organize a carpool
  52. Keep hand warmers on your person to hand out to the homeless in cold weather
  53. Call a family member who always loves hearing from you
  54. Help someone who is financially hurting if you can afford it. Expect nothing in return
  55. Tell someone why you appreciate them
  56. Tutor a child having a hard time in school
  57. Run an errand for someone who is super busy
  58. Make someone laugh
  59. Leave flowers at a hospital desk for the nurse's to decide who needs it most
  60. Pray or send good, positive thoughts into the universe for someone who needs it
  61. Donate delicious cans of food to a homeless shelter
  62. Make a silly face at a stranger through a window to make him smile
  63. Put a surprise note in your partner's lunch
  64. Cook your partner or friend's favorite meal for him/her
  65. Bring a treat to work for your co-workers to indulge in with you
  66. Help a mom with her cumbersome baby carriage
  67. Let the person in line behind you go ahead of you
  68. Let someone else have the close parking spot
  69. Hold the elevator
  70. Offer to switch seats on an airplane/train/bus for a couple/family trying to sit together
  71. Do your roommate's dishes
  72. Ask the phone rep how their day is going; they likely have been listening to people complain all day
  73. Write to an old teacher/mentor who has made a difference in your life
  74. Tell a manager when you receive impeccable service
  75. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. Don't judge
  76. Follow up on your promises
  77. Invite someone over to dinner
  78. If you print out a coupon before going to the store, print a few extras to give to other shoppers
  79. Let your partner watch their favorite show even if you hate it
  80. Help someone move
  81. Send a care package
  82. Be patient
  83. Stand up for the underdog even if you risk being made fun of
  84. Avoid gossipping
  85. Go to your friend's art opening/band meet/etc
  86. Tape dollar bills to the sidewalk and write a note in chalk stating "just for you" to someone to come across
  87. Be genuinely happy for others
  88. Give a glowing recommendation
  89. Pick a flower for someone
  90. Enter not yourself but your friend into raffles and contests and cross your fingers they'll win
  91. Give your tired girlfriend a manicure or pedicure
  92. If you see someone pulled over on the side of the road, stop to make sure they don't need help
  93. Show up for someone who is counting on you
  94. Answer the phone even if you don't want to. We all hate being sent to voicemail
  95. Give thoughtful advice if it's asked of you
  96. Be a conversation shifter: when the conversation is going south or headed in the direction of gossip, find something related, but uplifting to talk about
  97. Buy an inspirational book for someone
  98. Offer to wallow with someone who's in mourning
  99. Throw someone a surprise party to celebrate them on their birthday or when they've acheived a milestone
  100. Support small businesses

What did I forget? Let me know in the comments below how you spread kindness into the world around you.