“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” – Aesop
Ah, kindness. My favorite friend.
Especially during the holidays, I’ve chosen to take that quote to heart by deliberately focusing on where I can practice more kindness in my everyday life.
Originally, my first instinct was to brainstorm deliberate acts of kindness: donate to a food shelf, sign-up for another Habitat for Humanity, or volunteer at a local soup kitchen.
But then I got the nudge to do something more spontaneous—real-time acts of kindness. By being conscious and aware of my actions, I could help spread the kindness, peace, and goodwill I was looking to experience.
Want to join me? Here are a few suggestions from my favorite acts of kindness for the holiday seasons and beyond.
Yield in traffic. When someone is trying to get into your lane of traffic or waiting to pull out from a side street, be the car that stops to let them in. You can even make it into a game: How many people can you yield to today?
Express your appreciation. We often forget to express our gratitude to the people around us, so take the time to say thank you. In addition, taking time to be grateful for what you already have—food, clothing, and a roof over your head—can put you quickly into a spirit of appreciation.
Smile at strangers. I know this is sooo Minnesotan, but it’s quite easy. Instead of looking down when people pass by, try smiling at them instead. And just a kind smile is enough—not an over-exuberant toothy grin. Even if people don’t smile back, there is great power in being seen.
Think calm; be calm. Whatever you focus on expands, so if you’re thinking kind thoughts you will act in kind ways. And if you find yourself getting worked up, stop and take a deep breath. If you’re still feeling stressed, find a healthy distraction to help redirect your focus.
Pass it on. You know how it feels when someone does something nice for you—you feel like doing something nice for someone else. Kindness is catchy. I wonder how many people on the receiving end of kind gestures decided to do the same for someone else by paying it forward.
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
Need to hear a little bit of kindness? Then schedule a free call with me at connect.michaelcreative.com and I’ll meet you there.