The population in New York City in 2019 was over 8 million. Walking the streets of Manhattan can feel overwhelming. Complete strangers stroll alongside each other ignoring, scowling, or too lost in their own thoughts to see you. It happens every day until a moment we’re graced with a small act of kindness. A brief gesture of goodwill that demonstrates human compassion can make a world of difference in another person’s day.
February 17th is Random Acts of Kindness Day. It is a day not only to acknowledge others’ good deeds but attempt some of your own. Make someone’s day by spreading kindness in a variety of ways, big and small. The calendar has numerous holidays throughout the year, why not have a day to do something nice for a colleague, loved one, or stranger? You have the power to improve lives, create a memorable instant that lingers in the heart long after you’ve moved on to the next act.
In recent years, society seems to have lost its soul. The news can be a constant reminder of the evils living in the world. It can be difficult to keep faith in people when there is so much focus on the negative aspects of life. Our cynical selves may swoop in over the course of months or years when much of who we meet or come across are motivated by selfishness. Disbelief that good people and intentions are often present is not the norm. The distrustful nature people often have hinders many from allowing themselves to be vulnerable. The key to performing acts of kindness is not to expect anything in return. Sometimes, not so much as thanks is received in exchange for the action. The giver has to be comfortable with or without receiving gratitude for his or her kindness.
If you are ready to contribute a good deed, there are many ways to express it. I challenge you to take on any on the list, then encourage someone else to do the same. A chain of kindness can slowly be created to increase benevolence among others who may not be familiar with the day.
Acts of Kindness:
- Offer to listen or help someone having a bad day. The simplest way to assist sometimes is to acknowledge their pain.
- Hold the door for someone or if they hold it for you: Smile and say, “Thank you.” You will be surprised by how grateful people are to hear those words.
- Let someone go ahead of you in the line. You never know if they are rushing to get home to their kids or had a stressful day at work.
- Offer a compliment. It does not hurt to say nice words to a person that may not hear good things frequently.
- Buy a colleague a coffee or tea. Let them know they are appreciated.
Random acts of kindness cost nothing but mean so much to people who rarely see good in their life. Contribute your share; there is no price on empathy, so give some back. One day, it might come around to you when you most need it.