Kindness. No matter how much there is in our lives, we can always use more.
The best way to receive more kindness, of course, is to give it.
I’ve put together a list of fifty acts of kindness to make the world a better place – to the benefit of other people, the world, and yourself.
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 when we shop for fair trade products, making sure the artisans receive a living wage for their work.
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 can show to ourselves.
Self-kindness is vital to our well-being and confidence and can be demonstrated in so many different ways, from nourishing our bodies with healthy foods to surrounding ourselves in nature to 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.
These acts of kindness cover others, the world, and ourselves.
And of course, a list of fifty is such a small start – use this list as a launchpad, and see where it can take you! There are surely hundreds – thousands – of additions that can be made to this list!
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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 them appropriately.
8. Call an older relative and ask them to tell you a story about their childhood.
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.
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, note or small gift 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 to 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.
Read More About Kindness:
- How to Make Time to Be Kind, Even in a Busy World
- How to Turn Neighbors Into Friends Through Acts of Kindness
- Inspiring Examples of Kindness During Crisis: Stories of Positivity
- How an Affirmation Can Make You a Kinder Person
Final Thoughts on 50 Ways 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.
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?