Kindness. A word that means “the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate.” Wikipedia defines this word as “a behavior marked by ethical characteristics, a pleasant disposition, and a concern for others.”
In a world where rage and violence seem to slowly be taking over, any act of kindness is rare and much needed. While people lashing out in anger and selfishness shocks viewers (as these acts are also documented more than we know), people acting kindly towards one another is an alternative way to leave jaws dropping.
As fellow human beings, we should show more consideration to those around us. A gesture doesn’t have to be so big and grand. It can be something so small, but the act itself has such a magnified impact; it can automatically turn someone’s day around for the better. Here is a list of ten simple things you can do to brighten a person’s day:
1. Offer a Water Bottle to the Person Delivering Your Mail.
We all get mail nearly every day. Thanks to Amazon Prime, many of us also get packages filled with goodies at the click of a button. But less thought is given to the people who are actually coming up to our mailboxes or our doors and giving us these things. So keep some water bottles handy and offer it up to your delivery person. Quench their thirst and your soul with goodness!
2. Say a Kind Word to a Stranger.
I mean like an actual stranger. Example: I was just about to pull out of the parking lot of the hair salon when I noticed a woman walking to her car with a new ‘do. I hesitated for a second, rolled down the window and called out to her, “Girl, your hair looks amazing!” And let me tell you, her face lit up like the sun rising. She took the time to walk over to my car and thank me, and tell me that she was excited to show her husband and maybe get a date night out of it! One small sentence complimenting someone just boosts their mood and yours!
3. Take out Someone’s Trash for Them.
I know sometimes I wait until the last minute to drag my trash to the curb. But if you see someone’s trash box full and waiting at the side of their house, why not roll up your sleeves and take it to curb where you know it’ll be picked up? It could be someone elderly or sick, or maybe the trash is just too heavy to drag all the way down the driveway. Whatever the reason may be, help out your neighbor!
Life hack: Feel free to ask before you do, just in case 😉
4. Give a Great Tip.
Last night, we went to an Indian restaurant to eat. My almost two-year-old son is a big fan of Bollywood music, so he lit up when one of his favorite jams came on. Our waiter came over and did a little jig with him, offered him crayons and a coloring book, even though we brought books for him from home, and engaged with him throughout the evening. It was something that looked like this young man genuinely enjoyed doing, keeping this little one happy. Instead of going for the usual 20% tip, we gave him more to show our appreciation for his efforts.
5. Give a Good Review.
This might go with the above! We all get great service at some point. Whether it’s at a restaurant, a store, a movie theater, etc. We might even think, “Oh, I should tell this person’s manager! Or write a great review online!” But personally I have a hard time actually getting to it. Let’s all make an effort and actually write that good review for the great service we received. Who knows, it might be very well needed!
6. Treat people who are homeless like people
We live in a day and age where homelessness has become a common backdrop to our daily lives. We may ignore someone who is homeless because we feel uncomfortable; maybe because we feel that we don’t have much to offer them. But whatever we may or may not have, we always have a smile. So look at that person. Make eye contact and say, “Have a nice day!” or “God bless you.” Maybe even offer them a banana or a bag of chips. Something so small can make a world of difference in someone’s day or even life. Acknowledgment of their existence in this way can be a way of uplifting someone who is not used to anyone giving them the time of day.
7. Let Someone Else Take the Closer Parking Spot.
It’s a mission that we all share when entering the parking lot for the mall. Who can nab the closest spot? I myself have been known to make my rounds several times in order to get the most convenient parking place. But we don’t know the stories of others. Maybe someone is late to a birthday party. Maybe that someone isn’t qualified to park in the handicap spot but twisted their ankle this morning. Who knows? It goes to show that we don’t know what another person is going through. If it’s between you and another person to grab the spot closest to the door, let them have it. Your heart is in the right place….and who doesn’t like a bit of walk?
8. Let Another Person in Front of You at the Grocery Store.
Ever had a full cart of groceries and are in a hurry? It would probably take a few extra minutes to let the person who literally has two things check out in front of you. Speaking from experience, it can actually calm your anxiety to do something nice for someone, even if you are a little late!
9. Hold the Door Open.
Let’s take it way old school here! This random act will literally take minimal effort: hold the door open for someone and smile. BAM! 9 times out of 10, you will always get a smile back. This is such a lovely form of contact between two strangers who most likely will never see each other again. But it’s a great way to keep the smiles constant amongst humans in this world of ours.
10. Write a “Thank You” Card.
Recently I was on the receiving end of a lovely note from a good friend of mine. She thanked me for being there for her and helping her with what she needed. It was so unexpected, and brought tears of happiness to my eyes. Writing a thank you note doesn’t just have to be for a birthday or wedding gift. It can be a “just because” note. And those are the very best.
The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, has said that “every act of kindness is a charity.” We as Muslims, have a duty to uphold this, and commit acts of kindness throughout this world, to keep it light and filled with love. Kindness is the very best way to spread our faith and love, and so we shall.