Five Ways To Show Kindness During World Kindness Week

busy intersection in New York City

We live in a chaotic, stressful world—and it has only gotten worse with COVID.  It is easy to get wrapped up in our own little bubble and become oblivious to what is really going on around us.  I thought since it is World Kindness Week it would be good to focus on ways to exercise kindness to others—even when things get a little tense, or maybe I should say especially when things get tense.  Here are five ways that we can all show kindness.

two kids walking, one has hand on the other's shoulder

1. Be kind to family members.  Since family members are often the first people we interact with in the morning, I thought that would be a good place to start.  We can get so familiar and less formal with family members because they are sort of an extension of ourselves.  This can cause us to be less than polite with them.  However, this thinking is a little backwards.  Since Jesus said, “You must love your neighbor as yourself,” and our family members are actually our closest “neighbors” kindness should be heaped onto them.  Saying please and thank you is a good start.  Also, doing little favors like turning down the TV or radio or helping another household member look for a missing item can do much to build the bonds of the relationship.

traffic

2. On your way to work or school look for ways to go out of your way to be kind to others.  This may seem to be a challenge unless you have passengers that you can be kind to, but there really are lots of ways you can show kindness during this time.  Have you ever been at a four-way stop or round-a-bout when others were at the same intersection?  Instead of insisting on going first, let one or two other people go first.  Is someone trying to cross the street in the middle of the block?  If it’s safe to do so, why not stop and let them cross?  If someone pulls out in front of you or cuts you off, why not let it go instead of blaring your horn at them?  Not only will this show kindness to someone who may not even deserve it, but I think you will find that your mood will be better and your stress level will decrease.  If you are a younger one riding a school bus, maybe you could sit next to that kid that no one wants to sit by.  You may find they are actually an interesting person and get a pretty good friend out of that kind action.

sticky note on a crosswalk sign that says next time you think about beautiful thoughts don't forget to include yourself

3. At work at school, there are many more opportunities to show kindness.  This one might take a little preparation ahead of time, but find a way to leave little notes with encouraging thoughts on the desks of others.  The challenge of this one is to try not to get caught leaving them.  The person who receives the note will feel good because they will know that someone else thought about them—and that could be just the boost they need if they are struggling with some trial.  It will also make you feel good because you can observe their mood change from a distance and know that you helped to make that happen.  Another way you can show kindness is to do something that isn’t your “job” like taking out the trash.  When I was working in the hospital and a patient asked for some water or a blanket, I would get it for them.  Nurses are really busy and frequently get overloaded with patients.  If a person had to wait for a nurse for such a simple task they may have to wait quite a while—maybe hours.  It was a simple thing and it helped the patient feel better.  You will find that there are all kinds of opportunities like this if you just keep an eye out for them.

two people holding doors open for another person

4. At the store, a restaurant, or other business there are all sorts of ways to show kindness to others too.  Hold a door open for someone else.  It the doors at the business are automatic, let someone else go through first.  If someone is lingering in an area you need to get to, show a little patience.  Avoid getting irritated or showing outward signs of frustration such as sighing or negative body language.  Sort through the messages on your phone or look over your list as you wait.  No doubt, there have been times when you took a little longer to do something than someone else would have liked—so just be patient and kind.  It will likely be returned to you eventually.  If someone cuts in front of you in line, try to let it go—even if they are aware they went in front of you.  If nothing else, you will know that you did an act of kindness and you can give yourself kudos.  Here’s one—smile at every person you see in the business.  Sometimes, it just takes a smile to get someone through a tough time.  😊

yellow tulips

5. Send someone a text or email just because.  Better yet, send them a card.  People often expect to receive a card on a special occasion, but it is always a nice surprise to get a card for no reason other than you matter to someone else.  I send a lot of cards to people.  I found some I really like on Amazon.  If you want to take it up another level, send them flowers or balloons just because.  There is no limit to the extent you can go with this one.  Send them a clown—okay, that one is a little over the top, especially since some people get creeped out by clowns but you get the point LOL.  Maybe buy them a coffee card from their favorite coffee shop instead.  The point is to show kindness to another person without expecting anything in return.  It will make your relationship with that person stronger and it will make both of you feel good. 

sunset over the water

These are just a few of the ways you can show kindness to others during World Kindness Week—but why not make it a permanent gesture and show kindness all year long?  Let’s all make that a goal.  If you want to see more ways you can show kindness, be sure to read the post I published last year about Random Acts of Kindness Week.  There are also many other ideas online.  Have a great week!

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