It does not take much effort to be kind and it certainly doesn't cost much to extend kindness to others. It's a new day and it's time to make the world a better place.
(RAK = Random Act of Kindness)
Performing random acts of kindness is a life-enriching antidote in this newly infected world. Performing just one RAK can lift someone's mood (even your own) and leave them and you feeling inspired, fulfilled and joyful. In addition, just one RAK can truly make someone’s day. Taking it a step further, some RAKs have been known to change the course of a person’s life or even re-write history.
Kindness is contagious and studies have shown that kindness actually helps you live longer.
Here are 15 random acts of kindness ideas that you can perform right now. They will infuse positivity into your day and make those that are on the receiving end light up with joy.
1. Write a letter to someone and actually put a stamp on it and snail mail it.
Text messages are good for quick exchanges of information and status updates. Emails have their place, too. However, there's nothing more personal that a handwritten letter, note or card to rekindle a connection.
"When you care enough to send the very best." - Hallmark
2. Send (or hand-deliver) a care package or a joy package to a friend.
A care (or joy) package is a wonderful thing to receive. Not only does it contain things someone would be happy to have, the good thoughts that go along with it can help boost positive feelings. I'll never forget that random day in March 2020 when my friends Karin Emde and her Mom Judy Holden came back home to Eureka Springs from visiting their homeland, Canada, and what did I find on my doorstep? Delicious, sentimental Canadian treats as well as some interesting books to read. Such a lovely thing for them to do.
Thank you Karin and Judy!
3. Mow a neighbor’s lawn after mowing your own.
This is too easy. Get out there and get the most out of the adrenaline rush. After you finish cutting your lawn head on over to your neighbor’s yard.
4. Call your grandparents and take time to listen to them reminisce about the “good old days.”
Grandchildren often roll their eyes whenever their grandparents begin to talk about their younger days. It is an act of kindness to sincerely listen to these stories that are part of your heritage.
My wonderful Grandparents, Joe, Josephine, Phyllis and Ted have all passed on but if they were still here, I would give them the gift of my time and listen. (Tip: Use RAK #6 below.)
If you're lucky enough to have Grandparents that are still living, you will never regret carving out time to connect with them and when they do pass on, you'll always have those memories of when you took time to reminisce with them.
5. Write a letter to former teachers who made a difference in your life.
Teachers often do not realize how much influence they have on the lives of their students. Write a teacher a letter (email or snail mail) and tell them how they contributed to who you are today and how much you appreciate them.
Ms. Adrienne Buonaccorsi, wherever you are, this RAK is for you. Grazie per avermi insegnato l'italiano ed essere anche un mentore figo. (Thank you for teaching me, Italian, and being a cool mentor as well.)
6. When someone speaks, practice active listening.
Ahhhhh, active listening. This art form is nearly extinct. Be present, put the cell phone down, make eye contact, nod, acknowledge and let the other tell their stories with you as their captive audience. Listening is a form of love.
7. Wash the dishes even if it’s someone else’s turn.
Give someone a break in your household from doing the washing up. Show them how much you care. Your RAK might even trigger someone else to step up to the sink and RAK-n-roll tomorrow.
8. Introduce someone to a potential employer or business associate or help them with their resume.
A few years ago, I had an opportunity to help a friend rework her resume and today she works at the beautiful Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. While I certainly don't take credit for this win, I'm beyond happy to simply be part of her career journey and in helping her out in some way. This was one of the easiest, most meaningful RAKs.
Receiving outside help when one is building up a career or a business is a wonderful RAK. The introduction you made could be the break that someone is waiting for.
9. Support local businesses.
Eureka Springs is abundant with small businesses and most local small businesses are family-owned. Support neighborhood coffee shops, art galleries, restaurants and pubs, souvenir and clothing stores, the farmer’s market, specialty shops or visit with one of our many artisans. Make a conscious choice to patronize their products or services. Every little bit helps.
Check out our many shops here https://www.facebook.com/groups/heartofeureka/
10. Call and tell a manager about the wonderful service you received.
With all the wonderful food and beverage options in Eureka Springs, spread more kindness by highlighting the positive things.
After you've been surprised and delighted, call the manager and speak to him/her for a moment. Gush about the great service that you received. It makes everyone feel good, especially because statistics show "a customer that had a negative experience usually tells ten people, but a customer that had a positive experience rarely tells anyone." - especially the manager.
11. Paint rocks.
Many people enjoy the hobby of finding small rocks and bringing them home to paint or put a positive artistic flourish upon them or an inspirational message or two. When finished, they return the rocks to where they found them, or they pollinate another area of town by simply dropping one in a new location. They are then discovered by locals and visitors.
Our former neighbor Debbie did this a lot all around town. One time, she decided to take two rocks, stencil one of them with a solid red heart and the other with the word love. She simply found a spot in our yard to position them, and it was delightful to find them just sitting there for us when I was putting out the weekly trash for pickup and when I saw them, I beamed with joy.
I loved the solid red heart so much, I brought it indoors and positioned it in our dining room on a side accent table so I could see it every day. Thank you, Debbie. Eureka Springs misses you. Hope you're enjoying your new life chapter in Galveston, Texas.
12. Leave positive comments for people on social media.
Make a point to leave positive feedback or share positive feedback on Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, Facebook, or leave compliments on someone’s social media profile, especially for people that you don’t know very well. This can help uplift people.
When we were all quarantined during the Worldwide Pandemic, this post shared by local Eurekan Scott Moore captured my attention...
13. Pick up litter that you see.
It’s easy to walk by litter and tell yourself that it’s not your problem. But, if everyone did that, Eureka would be filthy dirty. Take pride in keeping up our town. Take time to clean up behind others when you see the need to do so. It just takes a minute.
Also, please don't be a litter bug, Thank you.
14. Give away a gift card.
One of my favorite RAKs of all time is giving away a gift card. If I win a gift card at work or if I am given one to a department store or restaurant that I know one of my friends would really love, I will give it to them to use instead of keeping it for me. This is always an unexpected but very welcomed surprise and I love seeing people smile when I give them a gift card as a random act of kindness.
15. Become an agent of positivity.
www.iloveureka.com knows it's place - this blog has grown into a lovely source of good news and positivity. Nowadays, it’s almost second nature for most people to be negative about something, especially on social media.
Please stop for a moment, breathe, and take a moment to consciously redirect your free will to choose a different direction. Get off the complain train and become an agent of positivity.
Take the path of least resistance.
...and, finally ... in the words of Brian Weinmann's wife (captured in Scott Moore's shared post) - "continue to love one another." ❤️