35 Acts of Kindness

25 Feb

When I started this round of 35-day activities, I used the phrase “random acts of kindness”. While I strongly believe in coordinated and sustained acts to achieve social change, there’s something about the intimacy and small joy of “random acts of kindness” that I’ve always been enamored of.

I wanted to help strangers, but also people I know who I wanted to appreciate. Some acts were spur of the moment but others required thought and preparation. So, I dropped the “random” to encompass all of them. You’ll find some acts to be merely polite and others to be something anyone would do for a friend or family member. It would be an act of kindness for you not to judge how well I accomplished this particular goal. 🙂

Here’s my list for anyone who wants to do the same:

1. Cheer on marathon runners at a race
2. Pick up trash at the beach or any public area
3. Leave a homemade treat for your postal worker
4. Make homemade treats for your partner’s co-workers
5. Write a snail mail letter to a friend in need of cheering up
6. Buy food for a person who is homeless
7. Make an appointment to donate blood
8. Send a thank you card to someone from your past who was a positive influence, such as a teacher, mentor, or coach
9. Give away packaged snacks at the greyhound station for people going on long bus trips
10. Send fun family photos to a relative who would like it
11. Create a CD mix for someone
12. Help someone with their luggage at the airport or train station
13. Use deals from your favorite stores to buy an unexpected gift for a friend rather than yourself
14. Take a photo of a place where a friend has positive memories and send it to them to brighten their day
15. Provide treats for the children of your local mom and pop shop
16. Make a card for a friend
17. Make homemade treats for your partner’s friends during their weekly “guys/girls/bois night out”
18. Make a donation to a cause you support but may not have given to otherwise
19. Get a treat hand delivered to a friend that lives far away
20. Bring a treat for your local library workers and volunteers
21. Bring treats for your co-workers
22. Leave a big tip for your server when going out to eat
23. Send valentines to those who might be lonely or recovering from a break-up
24. Write recommendations for colleagues on LinkedIn
25. Pass out food to folks living on the street
26. Instead of telling a family member or friend “you should really have a ________”, just get it for them
27. Help someone with household chores or errands
28. Make something for someone, whether you draw, write, paint, sew, knit, or build it
29. Reach out to 5 people you care about but haven’t been in touch with
30. Compliment 5 people
31. Those things your partner does that anger, annoy, or frustrate you? Smile and let it be.
32. Give up your seat on the train so friends can sit together
33. Help someone reach their fitness goal by exercising or dieting with them, or signing up for a race or activity with them
34. Stop and help someone with directions, even if it means pulling out your iphone and using the last remaining battery
35. Instead of nagging someone to do something, just do it for them and don’t mention it


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