February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. Weird, right? I’m writing this on Valentine’s Day. A day in which we make a big deal about a holiday that celebrates other people in the form of getting them a gift. Three days later, we get to celebrate people in the form of doing something nice for them. But I’m sure no one (or very few) people have heard of Random Acts of Kindness Day. We are more focused on a holiday that tells us we need to buy a gift for our loved ones — whether it be flowers, chocolates, a card, or jewelry. Our society has become so wrapped up in materialistic things, we forget that we can show our love and/or appreciation in ways that don’t involve money.
We don’t need to constantly buy things for loved ones in order for them to know that we care and appreciate everything that they do for us. Not everyone can afford to buy an expensive piece of jewelry. I’ve known women to get upset that their girlfriend got an expensive piece of jewelry for Valentine’s Day, while they only got a card. But that card could have contained a beautiful and heartfelt message. That card could have been all their significant other could have afforded at the time. Love doesn’t mean buying things for another person. Appreciation doesn’t mean buying things for another person. If you can afford to buy something nice for another person, do it when you want to. But don’t think that you have to buy someone else’s love.
Do something different today. Take time out of your day to do something nice for another person. It doesn’t need to be a person you love. It can be a stranger. The smallest thing you do can turn their day around.
You can literally save a life by doing one nice thing for someone else.
1. Open a door for someone else.
2. Leave a nice note in the book you’re reading for someone else to find.
3. Thank someone.
4. Write positive messages on sticky notes and leave them in random spots around your town/city.
5. Give a compliment.
6. Return a shopping cart for someone.
7. Give someone a hug.
8. Make breakfast in bed for someone else.
9. Take the time to talk to/spend time with a homeless person.
10. Give someone a book you think they’d like.
11. Say thank you to a custodian.
12. Call your parent(s)/grandparent(s).
13. Help someone who’s stranded on the side of the road.
14. Tell a manager how great their employee is.
15. Don’t interrupt someone else when they’re talking.
16. Introduce yourself to your new neighbor.
17. Clean the equipment after you use it at the gym.
18. Bring donuts to work.
19. Donate clothes you no longer wear.
20. Send a goodnight/good morning text.
21. Leave a positive review for a business.
22. Write a list of your favorite qualities about someone else and give it to them.
23. Read to a child.
24. Give someone a handmade card.
25. Bake a meal/dessert for a neighbor.
26. Take the trash out.
27. Write a handwritten letter.
28. Donate to a charity.
29. Support a local restaurant.
30. Send a care package to a troop.
31. Share one of your favorite recipes.
32. Send a postcard.
33. Empty the dishwasher.
34. Spend time at a nursing home.
35. Leave a complimentary note about another person’s parking.
36. Be polite on the road.
37. Plant a tree.
38. Say hi to the person next to you on the elevator.
39. Let someone with only a few items cut you in line at the grocery store.
40. Smile at 7 strangers.
41. List unused items for free on Craigslist or Facebook.
42. Leave quarters at the laundromat.
43. Water your plants.
44. Choose five people in your contacts and send them a positive text message.
45. Start a gratitude journal.
46. Offer to babysit for a night.
47. Run an errand for someone who’s too busy.
48. Leave a treat in your mailbox for your mail carrier.
49. Put your phone away if your spending time with someone else.
50. Contact a previous friend/employer/teacher/acquaintance who made a difference in your life.