50 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place

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Kindness. No matter how much there is in our lives, we can always use more. And the best way to receive more kindness, of course, is to give it. Here are fifty acts of kindness to make the world a better place – to the benefit of other people, the world – and you.

Because kindness comes in many forms. Most often, we think of kindness as doing something for another person without thought of receiving anything in return. But we can certainly show kindness to people we will never meet, such as shopping for fair trade products. And when thinking of kindness, we should make sure animals and our planet are on the receiving end.

All too often forgotten or ignored is the kindness we show to ourselves. Self-kindness is vital to our well-being and confidence, and can be demonstrated so many different ways, from nourishing our bodies with healthy foods to surrounding ourselves in nature to a daily meditation practice.

Here are fifty acts of kindness that anyone can perform. Some may be more appropriate for a post-COVID world, but many can be done right now. They cover kindnesses to others, the world, and to the self. And of course, a list of fifty is such a small start – use this list as a launch pad, and see where it can take you!

50 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place

1. At least once a day, look in the mirror and give yourself a sincere compliment.

2. Send a text message to someone you’ve been out of touch with, just to let them know you are thinking of them.

3. If the person behind you in a store line has just a few items, let them go ahead of you.

4. Have a friend or family member who is struggling or looking sad? A simple hug has incredible healing properties.

5. If you’ve been contemplating getting a pet, adopt from a shelter or rescue, and give serious thought to bringing a senior animal home. Older pets are much harder to place than puppies and kittens, but need your love just as much.

6. Give a sincere compliment to three people you talk to today.

7. Separate your trash into recyclables and non-recyclables, and dispose of appropriately.

8. Call an older relative and ask them to tell you a story about their childhood.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

Scott Adams

9. Have a LinkedIn account? Write a recommendation for a coworker.

10. Download an album of recent pictures, and send them to a relative or friend who you haven’t seen in a while.

11. Leave spare quarters at the laundromat for someone to discover and use.

12. Choose one disposable item in your home, and find a way to replace it with an eco-friendly alternative.

13. Buy donuts – or a fruit tray – to share with co-workers.

14. Take the time to seek out fair trade products because you will be helping to provide someone with a living wage.

15. Leave an extra-large tip for a server who has done a good job.

16. Purchase local produce whenever possible, and if possible, get it directly from the grower at the farmer’s market.

17. Have a conversation with the grocery clerk while he or she rings up your purchases.

18. Send a gratitude email to a coworker who deserves more recognition. Copy his/her manager and the Human Resources Department for their files.

19. Each evening, write down three things you are grateful for that day.

20. Return shopping carts for people at the grocery store.

21. Have bottles of nail polish that you know you won’t wear again because you don’t like the color? Give them to the pre-teen child of a friend.

22. Surprise your partner by planning an activity that he/she really enjoys (that you might not), such as tickets to a sporting event or show.

23. Write a positive comment on your favorite blog, website, or a friend’s social media account.

24. Organize a cleanup party at a park, beach, or empty lot. Provide all necessary supplies, along with snacks and water.

25. Decoratively paint small rocks, then leave them alongside a sidewalk or trail for others to find.

26. During a group conversation, make sure everyone has an opportunity to speak. Try to make sure every person feels included.

27. While you’re out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.

28. Send a birthday card via snail mail. Include a personal note inside.

29. Leave water bottles on your front stoop for the UPS and Amazon delivery people.

30. Learn the names of your office security guard, custodian, and mail carrier and always greet them using their names.

31. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao Tzu

32. Purchase extra dog or cat food and bring it to an animal shelter, and bring along any old towels or blankets you have that you don’t need.

33. Take up meditation. Practice every day.

34. Keep an extra umbrella at work, in order to lend it out to coworkers when it rains.

35. Send a ‘thank you’ card or note to the officers at your local police or fire station.

36. Run an errand for a family member, just because that person is feeling overwhelmed at that moment.

37. Volunteer as a tutor for an hour or two once a week at a local school.

38. Leave a small treat in your mailbox for your mail carrier.

39. Organize an informal event with the neighbors on your street – morning coffee, happy hour, or just take a few moments to stand at the end of your driveways and say hello.

40. Email or write to a former teacher who made a difference in your life.

41. Take a walk outside several times a week in order to immerse yourself in nature and fresh air.

42. Take time to read. After you’ve read the book, drop it off at the closest “little library” so that someone else can enjoy it.

43. Stop and make a purchase at every child-run lemonade stand.

44. When on a team call, compliment one of your co-workers who made a major contribution on a recent project.

45. Organize a fundraiser or charity drive, or coordinate a team to participate in a group event.

46. Give up your seat so that someone else can sit on the train or bus.

47.Choose a cause that you believe in, and find out how you can become an active volunteer.

48. Create “necessity bags” of toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, warm socks, protein bars, etc. to distribute to people experiencing homelessness.

49. Join a community garden and donate your harvest to the local food bank.

50. Buy yourself a bouquet of your favorite flowers.

Also Read:

Final Thoughts on 50 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place

So there you have it, fifty ideas to get us all on our way to a brighter, kinder tomorrow. Because, as evidenced by my favorite quote ever, “Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” (Henry James)

How will you be good to others, the world, and yourself today? What other ideas do you have for acts of kindness to make the world a better place? Let’s have a conversation in the comments!

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Woman with long dark hair looking in mirror while putting on face mask

8 thoughts on “50 Acts of Kindness to Make the World a Better Place”

  1. Beautiful post Lori. A great reminder that doing something kind for another takes little effort and reaps great rewards, and showing yourself a little kindness can have the same result. Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. I just love this post! You’ve mentioned so many things that I didn’t even think of to make someone else’s day. I also like how you included ways to be kind to ourselves. So often, we’re not kind because we’re not happy with ourselves. So I agree self-love is also so important. Thank you Lori!

  3. Hi Lori. What a wonderful topic for a blog post. I already do a lot of the things on the list but there are certainly more things that I could be doing (I suspect the same could be said for many of us). One thing I like to do when driving is to let other drivers out at junctions – although part of this is the optimist in me thinking that if I do it for enough people, and a proportion of them do the same for others, then eventually it may come back to me again and somebody will let me out!

    1. Richie, I’m glad you liked it! You are a good person to let others out first when driving – and I believe in karma, so that kindness (like all kindness) will come back around to you. In fact, if I go anywhere today (big IF) I will make a point to let someone else merge in front of me!

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